In what is most likely to be its final major announcement before the sale of its hardware division to Microsoft, Finnish firm Nokia launched six new devices at Nokia World 2013 in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. The new arrivals include five new phones and Nokia's first tablet. Three of the five phones are in its budget Asha series, while the others are in the Lumia series that runs Microsoft Windows Phone OS.
Asha series phones are very popular in India and Nokia launched the Asha 500, 502 and 503 on Tuesday. All of these will be available in India in the coming weeks, five months after Nokia launched Asha 501 – the first device to ship with Asha OS. The operating system now has improvements such as better privacy features (choose which updates show up on the homescreen) and improved camera and photo sharing interface. WhatsApp co-founder Jan Kuom was at the event to announce that the messaging application will be available on the new Asha phones in a few weeks. Asha 500 costs $69 (roughly Rs 4,200), 502 is priced at $89 (around Rs 4,800) and the 503, which has 3G connectivity, will be available for $99 (Rs 6,000 approx.).
This announcement marked Nokia's entry into the tablet market, as the company launched the 10.1-inch Lumia 2520, which runs Microsoft Windows RT 8.1 and supports 4G LTE and WiFi connectivity. Nokia has adopted an aggressive pricing strategy for the tablet, which will be available in the US later this year for $499 (roughly Rs 30,000). Nokia did not announce if this tablet would be launched in India. The company said users can charge around 80 per cent of the battery in an hour. The battery lasts up to 11 hours on a single charge. Nokia claims the Lumia 2520 provides the best reading experience under sunlight.
During the launch, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said, “Tablet usage is the highest early in the morning and late in the evening. We want to change that. Lumia 2520