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Nokia's launches mobile phone fightback

Monday, February 27, 2012 - 03:14

Feb.27 - Finnish mobile giant Nokia has unveiled its new Windows-powered Lumia smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Andrew Potter reports

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There was a time when it seemed everyone owned a Nokia mobile phone. But the Finnish company's fortunes have tumbled, to the point where it now holds just two percent of the lucrative smartphone market. It hopes the Lumia 610 will help change that. NOKIA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT JO HARLOW, SAYING: "Like any Lumia, the Lumia 610 provides easy access to social networks, and puts all your contacts from mobile, email, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin into one place with the people hub." Such internet-heavy applications are where Nokia has lost ground using the previous operating systems it developed in house. That's been dumped, and the Lumia uses Microsoft's Windows Phone software as it battles the Android operating system, and Apple's dominant iPhone. At around $250USD the Lumia is cheaper than previous Nokia smartphones, part of an aggressive strategy being led by Nokia president and CEO Stephen Elop. SOUNDBITE: STEPHEN ELOP, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF NOKIA, SAYING (English): "We're playing to win. We're absolutely playing to make sure we have very strong market share across all geographies and price points in which we operate." Ben Wood is head of research at CCS Insight, and says such pricing is crucial if the phone is to succeed in emerging markets. SOUNDBITE: BEN WOOD, HEAD OF RESEARCH, CCS INSIGHT, SAYING (English): "Nokia needs to push Lumia to new price points in order to drive scale in markets like China, Latin America and others. Android is already at the sub-100 euro space. Lumia, right now, is a long way north of 200. Lets see what they can deliver." Nokia's latest offering comes on the first day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It's the world's biggest trade show for mobile devices. Along with the Lumia 610, Nokia revealed the 808, a cameraphone with capacity unthinkable just a few years ago. NOKIA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT JO HARLOW, SAYING: "41 megapixel sensor with high performance optics and unique pixel processing technology." Taiwan's HTC is also using cameras and music functions to try and stage a comeback. The HTC One family has three phones, all using Android software. Peter Chou is HTC president and CEO. SOUNDBITE: PETER CHOU, HTC PRESIDENT AND CEO, SAYING (English): "I have never been so excited about a phone like HTC One. We're focussed on the camera and sound because these are the most impactful to people's best moments." The new range is critical for HTC. The company came from nowhere to become a big player in the mobile handset market. But its share price plunged more than 40 percent last year, with investors feeling the company had lost its edge. Sony revealed its expanded Xperia line of phones, the Japanese company's first model since the end of its joint venture with Ericsson. It's one of dozens of new products being launched in Barcelona this week, in a market place which is both crowded and extremely unforgiving. Andrew Potter, Reuters

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Nokia's launches mobile phone fightback

Monday, February 27, 2012 - 03:14