SAN FRANCISCO – Nokia debuted three new smartphones at Microsoft Build Wednesday, each building off the Lumia brand. The phones will support Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8.1, also announced at Build.
The Nokia Lumia 930, 635, and 630. Source: Nokia
On the high end, Nokia executive vice president Stephen Elop announced the Nokia Lumia 930, with a 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quadcore processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of internal storage. The 930 also has a 5-inch HD display, 20 megapixel PureView camera, Qi/inductive wireless charging, and four digital microphones for high-performance sound and video.
Lumia 930 will begin selling in Europe, Asia and the Middle East in June, while the US market continues to see the Lumia Icon. The handset will be available with over 100 operators, Elop said at Wednesday's keynote, for $599 before taxes and subsidies.
For a lower-tier phone with media punch, Nokia announced the Lumia 630 and 635. Both have Snapgdragon 1.2 GHz quadcore processors and aim to be an entry point device to the Windows ecosystem.
"These devices bring an uncompromised Microsoft and an uncompromised Lumia experience to more people at much lower price points," Elop said. "This is a huge opportunity for all of us to broaden the reach of our applications."
At $189 before taxes and subsidies, the Lumia 635 has 4G LTE with a 4.5 inch display. Lumia 630 has two variants -- 3G and dual SIM 3G – for $159 and $169, respectively. The dual SIM capability is visible on Windows 8.1, with different colored tiles for each card and the option to pre-select which contacts will be called on each SIM.
Dual SIM capability is critical in Asian, Brazilian, and Indian markets, Elop said. Analysts expect more than 100 million dual SIM smartphones will be shipped in 2016.
"Dual SIM certainly is an economic necessity if you're going to do business with India," Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, told EE Times. "It's market shaking in the sense that Nokia is doing new and novel things that haven't been done before... it will cause a lot of people to revisit their valuation of phones."
Elop showcased the Lumia 630/635 as competitive with fitness bands and wearables, noting that the devices' four standard sensors can be integrated with Bing Health. The handset price also includes Nokia's Mix Radio, which allows users to download music offline. The ability to download offline and use Microsoft Office on mobile will play a huge roll in eastern market rollout.
"A lot of people in the third world buy these cell phones not just for messaging and laying games, but to move their product to market. It's going to be a big help for people," Strauss said.
While Nokia already has foothold in Europe, Wednesday's lower-tier phone announcement is part of a larger market push. Nokia has always believed in offering a wide portfolio of products catering to a variety of consumers, a company spokesman wrote in an email exchange.
"Nokia realizes that if they want to succeed... it's growing market is in Asia, Africa, and Europe,” Stauss said. "They're they're trying to be very aggressive and addressing market segments they weren't crossing. Nokia is going to be a market player at the low end."
— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times