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Upcoming models look to take wind out of Android's sails

Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) has survived bringing Windows Phone handsets to market and now is hoping for a turnaround.  Amid modest success, the Finnish phonemaker is downsizing its global workforce to adjust to its smaller share in the smartphone market.  But much like early adopters of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system, Nokia hopes for big gains with Windows Phone in years to come.

Former Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) executive and now Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced during a conference call to investors on Thursday that new low-end Windows Phone handsets will be key to conquering global markets.  Comments Mr. Elop, "We need to compete with Android aggressively.  The low-end price point war is an important part of that."

This topic is a bit confusing to U.S. phone buyers as mid-range handsets like Nokia Lumia 610 are typically offered for free in their market, although these subsidies come with strings attached -- you must sign a two year contract.  But in many other countries customers primarily pay for unsubsidized handsets and then benefit from smaller monthly contract fees.

Limbo bar
Nokia is testing how low it can go to battle Android. [Image Source: Frank Pettit]

In such markets, even lower priced handsets are tempting.  Android's ability to produce such budget smartphones is a big reason why it's currently enjoying a healthy global lead.

Microsoft initially maintained a very stringent minimal hardware specification for Windows Phone, making budget WinPhones out of the question.  But Nokia has been working closely with Microsoft and it appears that the operating system giant has had a change of heart about selling lower end product.

Comments Mr. Elop, "We had plans already to go lower than the 610, [we've found] ways to go even further than we anticipated.  [We also plan to] broaden the price point range that we're pursuing with Lumia."

Next week is a big week for both companies at it marks Microsoft's Windows Phone Summit, where it's likely to show off the next generation Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone Summit
[Image Source: Microsoft via The Verge]

The new mobile OS is expected to add an integrated Skype app, multi-core processor support, four screen resolution choices for manufacturers, and tighter NFC radio support for smartphone "wallets".

Source: The Verge



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RE: Good News...
By kleinma on 6/14/2012 2:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
I have a droid and an iPhone 4s, and the iPhone sucks. I just ordered a galaxy S3 to replace the droidx, and I know that I will hardly touch the iPhone once that happens. Right now the only benefit it has is the fact that it is a faster piece of hardware than my current android.

All that being said, if Verizon actually had the lumia or other windows phone that was not ancient by smartphone standards (they have one, the HTC trophy, which was nearly a launch unit for the OS), I would sell the 4s and get one of those. Hopefully a sweet Nokia phone running WP8 gets on their network not too far after launch.


RE: Good News...
By Mitch101 on 6/14/2012 2:57:25 PM , Rating: 3
Windows 8 Phone
Dual possibly quad Core even though it doesn't need it
High resolution screen
42 megapixel camera
64gb leaked photo recently due to a memory slot
Near Field
X-Box integration with smart glass
100,000 apps and counting
Nokia Acquires Mobile Imaging Technology Maker Scalado
Skype Integration for Video calling
Microsoft may have purchased Yammer

BTW there is some Big announcement from Microsoft coming Monday.


RE: Good News...
By matty123 on 6/14/2012 3:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
High resolution screen


In my opinion this is the only problem that win 8 needs to solve, I don't really mind the slower processors, less RAM exct. because as pointed out the OS feels slick and fast.

However the one thing that keeps my from getting a lumia right now is the low res screens if they can fix that I believe they will have a winner.


RE: Good News...
By Samus on 6/14/2012 4:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is the 'lower end' Windows phones (like the Lumia 610) are crippled with 256MB of RAM, a really cheap corner to cut when you consider memory costs practically nothing in bulk, all the while limiting app compatibility, a potentially suicidal move for the WinMO environment.

If you need to make budget phones, start with the screen, CPU, and storage capacity (or bring back MicroSD expansion)


RE: Good News...
By Mitch101 on 6/14/2012 5:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
Memory expansion is coming back but unsure if you can put apps on it or if its for stuff like podcasts, music, video, etc. Will see on the 20th.


RE: Good News...
By Samus on 6/14/2012 4:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is the 'lower end' Windows phones (like the Lumia 610) are crippled with 256MB of RAM, a really cheap corner to cut when you consider memory costs practically nothing in bulk, all the while limiting app compatibility, a potentially suicidal move for the WinMO environment.

If you need to make budget phones, start with the screen, CPU, and storage capacity (or bring back MicroSD expansion)


RE: Good News...
By Alexvrb on 6/15/2012 10:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah Verizon's WP7 "lineup" (Trophy) is downright irritating. If they had a Lumia 900 I'd strongly consider it, even with the less-than-magnificent display PPI. But hopefully WP8 isn't too far off, and will bring some interesting choices. Ever since Palm's efforts stagnated (they should have licensed the OS out), and Blackberry stumbled and fell, it has become almost a two horse race.


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