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Nokia & Windows Phone 8: Will They Pique Investor/Consumer Interest?

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The Finnish handset maker, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), recently came out with two new smartphones based on Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. On specifications front, both the models are improvements over their earlier versions. Well, hardware has never been a problem for Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), but generating interest in Windows has. It will be a huge challenge for Nokia to prove its mettle on this front, even more so when it has to face the likes of the soon to be launched Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5. Factors that could hurt the handset maker could be the lack of carrier relationship and pricing details, along with absence of a competitive model to compete for the mid segment.

Nokia & Windows Phone 8: Will They Pique Investor/Consumer Interest?

The recently launched WP8 (Windows Phone8) devices, the Lumia 920 and 820, are fitted with 4″+ touch screens, high-end cameras, and wireless charging. Another distinguishing feature in the WP8-era devices from Nokia is Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz dual-core S4-Snapdragon. The Lumia 920 has a curved 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ screen. A dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU with 1 GB RAM, 32 GB disk space and 7 GB storage in the cloud with SkyDrive for users, are other important feature of note. Apart from these, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) also plans a 2,000mAh battery, which is expected to last 10 hours with 3G.

The less pricey version, the Lumia 820, has a 4.3 inch screen, NFC enabled, along with an 8 megapixel PureView branded camera, and it also comes with wireless charging. It has 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 8 GB of storage space (expandable upto 32 GB), and 7 GB in SkyDrive.

The WP8 phones from Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) will be available in the selected markets later this year. Information regarding pricing, specific dates of availability, country reach, carrier partners, and the breadth of the roll-out were not shared.

Nokia’s WP8 era phones will have to compete with the much awaited iPhone5 and Android upgrades. To counter the competition, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) could partner with a carrier that is willing to invest in marketing, and prominently position the new Lumia phones with its retail sales force.

Other factors that could determine the success of new Lumia models, apart from good hardware and partners, will be the acceptability of Windows Phone 8, along with challenging macro environment, and potential production capacity constraint for Windows Phone8.

Both Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have planned a better go-to-market approach for Windows Phone8, however, lack of information on pricing and availability of the new WP8 devices is not something that should have happened. Also, users can’t upgrade Windows 7 phones, nor will all apps written for Windows Phone 8 run on Windows 7.

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Aman Jain
Personal Finance Writer

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