Nokia Announces New Budget Smartphone, Lumia 525

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Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) has announced that its newest smartphone, the Lumia 525, will go on sale December 14 for just $199. As the successor to Nokia’s best-selling Lumia 520, the new smartphone is targeted at emerging markets and won’t be immediately available in the US or UK, reports Jon Russell for The Next Web. The phone will initially be available in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia.

People have been expecting the Lumia 525 to be launched ever since it was accidentally named as one of the prizes for the Nokia All Access Live Nation Contest, although with the release date coming soon the company may simply choose to ship winners a new Lumia 525 as originally intended.

Nokia Lumia 525 features

Like its predecessor, the Lumia 525 has a 4-inch color touchscreen and a 5-megapixel camera, but it has the latest version of Windows 8, a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and 1 GB of RAM. Since the phone is going after the EM mobile market, the target audience is less likely to buy a new phone while their old one is still in good working order, so the upgrade is a matter of competing with the Moto G for market share rather than trying to get people to drop their 520 for a bump in performance.

The Lumia 520 was eventually launched in the US for $185 off contract, reports Liam Tung for ZDNet, and you might expect a similar price point for the 525, but that assumes the phone is launched in developed markets at all. A Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) spokesperson described the 525 as a variant of the 520, as opposed to a completely new model, and said that the phone may not be launched in the UK since the 520 remains popular. If that same reasoning is applied elsewhere, US consumers looking for a budget smartphone might have to settle for the 520 or wait for a new model to be launched.

Nokia’s high-end smartphones

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) would much rather push its high-end smartphones like the recently unveiled Lumia 1320 or 1520, and its new tablet the Lumia 2520 in developed markets because these products allow Nokia to compete directly with the iPhone and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android.

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