Nokia pins recovery hopes on advanced camera smartphone

Nokia on Thursday introduced a new smartphone, the Lumia 1020, with a powerful 41-megapixel camera in its latest bid to catch up with rivals Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.

Tech bloggers responded enthusiastically, saying the camera quality was the highest in the market. But analysts questioned whether it was enough to help Nokia, suffering a fall in cash reserves after years of poor sales, survive.

“The hardware’s a beauty on this thing,” said tech website Engadget after CEO Stephen Elop demonstrated features including “floating lens” technology that adjusts for camera shake and six lenses that help produce sharper images.

The Finnish mobile phone maker is pinning its hopes for a comeback in smartphones on Microsoft Corp‘s Windows Phone – an operating system that is struggling to compete with Google’s popular Android system.

While regular mobile phones still account for the bulk of its shipments, smartphones are viewed as crucial for its long-term survival because of their higher margins and increasing demand for web access from mobile phones.

Jo Harlow, Nokia’s executive vice president in charge of smart devices, said the growing popularity of photo and video sharing meant more consumers will want better cameras.

“Taking pictures is in the top three things people do with a smartphone. It’s a relevant feature to be focused on,” she told Reuters. “To stand out you have to differentiate.”

The new Lumia’s 41-megapixel count far exceeds those of the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, at 8 and 16 megapixels respectively. It is also higher than some compact cameras, although higher megapixels do not necessarily mean better photos as factors such as lens quality also affect the end result.

“The imaging capabilities here are extraordinary,” said Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart.

But he added: “It’s still a Windows Phone … if somebody is looking for applications they’re still going to look at iPhone.”

Sourcehttp://news.yahoo.com/nokia-unveils-lumia-smartphone-41-megapixel-camera-152002963.html

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Nokia Unveils $68 Mobile Phones for Speedy Internet Access

Nokia Oyj (NOK1V), the second-biggest maker of mobile phones, unveiled cheaper handsets today to meet consumer demand for fast connections to the Internet.

The Nokia 207 and 208 are candybar-shaped phones that let users connect to speedier third-generation networks, the company said in a statement. They come with Nokia’s Xpress Browser that compresses data and will include social applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Both handsets will cost $68 and are expected to start shipping this quarter. The third model is a dual SIM version of the Nokia 208.

The company said the new models are its “most affordable 3G devices yet.” As Nokia strives to catch up with Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in smartphones priced at more than $500, the Espoo, Finland-based company is also trying to boost sales of more basic handsets that sell for a fraction of the price, a category that accounts for most of its device business.

Nokia’s first-quarter sales slumped 20 percent as competition from Asian manufacturers of phones that run Google Inc.’s Android software hurt demand for the company’s cheaper models. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop said the decline in its mobile-phone business was primarily caused by competition and Nokia was preparing “aggressive moves” to respond. It unveiled new software to power its Asha mobile phones in May.

Cash Sources

Nokia’s shares fell 0.5 percent to 2.97 euros at 1:22 p.m. in Helsinki, paring the advance to 1.4 percent this year and valuing the company at 11.1 billion euros ($14.4 billion).

Of the 336 million handsets Nokia sold last year, only about 10 percent were smartphones. Basic models accounted for 31 percent of Nokia’s revenue, versus 18 percent for smartphones. Network equipment made up most of the balance.

Nokia reported April 18 that it sold about 11 million fewer mobile phones in the first quarter than analysts had projected, with basic phones plunging 21 percent to 55.8 million units. A failure to revive the low-end business would leave Nokia without an important source of cash to develop devices to challenge competitors.

The phonemaker this week said it plans to buy Siemens AG (SIE)’s share in the six-year Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture for 1.7 billion euros, giving it full access to the phone-equipment maker’s cashflow.

Nokia Siemens today won a contract worth at least $200 million to build a fourth-generation wireless system for Russia’s biggest mobile-phone company OAO Mobile TeleSystems.

Sourcehttp://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-03/nokia-unveils-mobile-phone-models-for-fast-internet-access.html