Nokia unveils cheapest handset; expands smartphone portfolio
Barcelona: Nokia on Monday unveiled four new devices, including its cheapest phone at 15 euro (around Rs 1,100), and sought to strengthen the smartphone portfolio in an attempt to regain the ground it has lost to global rivals Samsung and Apple.
Nokia 105, the company's "most affordable phone to date" at 15 euro, is designed for first-time buyers to woo them with colour screen, FM radio and dust and splash-proof keypad.
In India, Nokia's lowest priced device is available at about Rs 1,250.
"The momentum behind Nokia is gathering pace. The launches today reflect our commitment to broadening our devices and services portfolio to meet the demands of people and businesses around the globe," Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop said.
Nokia has lost share in the affordable devices category to low-cost handset makers, especially in markets like India.
The Indian market, where Nokia is a dominant player, is majorly a feature phone market with over 94 percent share.
According to industry reports, Nokia is the market leader, but competitors like Samsung and Micromax have gained strong traction.
"The Nokia 105 is available for a recommended price of 15 euros. It is planned to start rolling out in Q1 2013 and is expected to be gradually expanded to in China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, Vietnam and other markets in Africa, Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe," Nokia said in a statement.
Nokia's other device -- 301 -- is designed to provide more affordable Internet and email access and is expected to be available for 65 euros (Rs 4,600).
This latest launch is likely to fill the gap between the Finnish major's high-end Windows-powered Lumia devices and mid-tier Asha feature phones.
The Nokia 301 will start rolling out in Q2 2013 and will be available in more than 120 countries in Africa, India, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Latin America, it said.
"By offering better experiences at a more affordable price, we are reinventing the battle for affordable mobile devices, and Nokia has the building blocks to win," Elop said.
Nokia also expanded its Lumia range with the launch of Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 at the Mobile World Congress here, upping its ante against global rivals - Apple and Samsung - in the smartphone category.
Lumia 520 will be Nokia's most affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone, with the same digital camera lenses on Lumia 920. It will be priced 139 euros onwards.
It will be available in Q1 in Hong Kong and Vietnam and in markets in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa in Q2.
The Nokia Lumia 720 has a high-end camera and will come with Nokia Music application; Here, the location services suite and wireless charging options. Its starting price is 249 euro.
The rollout of this device is planned to start in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore in Q1 2013 and expand to China, Europe, Asia, Africa and India in the second quarter.
Nokia also announced its location-based services like Here Maps, Here Drive and Here Transit will become available for non-Nokia Windows Phone smartphones in select markets.
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