Nokia broadens its smartphone lineup

Stephen Yang/BLOOMBERG - A woman takes a photograph of a Nokia Oyj Lumia 710 smartphone at a launch event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011.

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Nokia is padding out its smartphone line with new models that it hopes will help expand its footprint in developing markets around the world.

The Lumia 520 and 720, two Windows Phone 8 devices, will cost less than the company’s flagship 920 phone, and will give Nokia something to market against cheap smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system.

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The 520 and 720 do not have U.S. availability dates, but will be rolled out in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

The Finnish company introduced four new phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, all of which are aimed at customers who are unwilling or unable to buy a top-of-the-line device. The Nokia 105 and 301, also announced Monday, are feature phones, but come in the eye-catching candy colors of the Lumia line and are aimed at customers in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The 105 will cost less than $20 and the 301 will cost just under $90. The 301 will be aimed at Africa, Asia, the Middle East, India, Europe and Latin America.

For U.S. customers, T-Mobile and Nokia also announced that they will offer the Lumia 521, a Windows Phone 8 device, that the carrier described as having “high-end features at an affordable price.” The companies haven’t, however, said much about the phone’s specifications, price or availability.

Nokia has seen some encouraging signs that its Lumia line and partnership with Microsoft to make Windows Phones has helped the company compete against rivals such as Apple and Samsung.

According to figures from IDC, Nokia was still the world’s second-largest mobile phone vendor — behind Samsung — in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, the figures also showed that Nokia’s marketshare is continuing to slip, with the company holding 17.9 percent of the market as compared to last year’s 24 percent.

 
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