Nokia has announced the arrival of two new smartphones, the flashy Lumia 800 and the more economical Lumia 710, which both run on the Microsoft operating system.
Lauded as the “first real Windows phone” at the London unveiling, the Lumia 800 has a 1.4Ghz Qualcomm processor, a 3.7 inch AMOLED “ClearBlack” display (this is a similar screen to the one on comparable phones like the Motorola RAZR), and 512MB RAM.
The Lumia 800 also has 16GB of storage, an 8MP camera with Carl Zeiss optical capabilities.
In comparison, the Lumia 710’s differences are a TFT display, a 5-megapixel camera, and a microSD card slot for potential expanded memory.
The Lumia series phones can, by design, most definitely compete with the current smartphone market because it hosts many of the same features. But will consumers actually buy?
“This is a new start for the company,” said London analyst Pete Cunningham to the New York Times. “This helps stop the bleeding and will help Nokia get back in the game.”
Although Nokia used to be the number one maker of cell phones, by the second quarter of 2011, the Finnish giant had fallen to third. This is most likely due to Nokia reporting a 40 percent drop in profits in July 2010.
The hope by Nokia is that the newly minted Microsoft-running phones will reestablish their dominance as the world’s leading phone manufacturer.
Nokia’s chief executive, Steven Elop, stated at the conference yesterday, “This signals our intent to be today’s leader in smartphone design and craftsmanship.”
According to Mr. Elop, the $585 Lumia 800 and the $376 Lumia 710 will run Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango operating system.
In this partnership of goliath companies, Nokia won’t be the only one to benefit; Microsoft’s operating systems only possess a minor 2 percent of the cell phone market share.
Nokia and Microsoft are attempting to catch up to the highly profitable Apple and Google developers, who’ve cornered the smartphone market in the last four years.
Unfortunately, the U.S., the biggest market for smartphones, won’t see new Nokia phones until sometime in 2012, according to Elop.
The Lumia series may never come to the U.S., but Elop assured the audience that new Nokia handsets would be available for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint early next year.