Tech Notes: Nokia offers cheaper Windows smartphone

Written by Reuters | Updated: Feb 28 2012, 08:46am hrs
Nokia, the worlds third-largest smartphone maker by shipments, will sell a Windows phone priced at 189 euros ($254) in the second quarter to capture first-time users against similar devices powered by Googles Android. The Lumia 610 will be 30% less expensive than Nokias current cheapest smartphone running Microsofts Windows platform. The device will be targeted at young people. Nokia also announced a high-resolution camera phone as it returned to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Europes biggest wireless show, with its first product introduction in three years. The price makes it very competitive with the low-end Android devices, Carolina Milanesi, a research vice-president at Gartner. The handset will be attractive to operators as it will require very little subsidy, she said. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop won good reviews for the first two Lumia phones using the Microsoft platform, which sold well over 1 million units, he said. Nokias shares have fallen about 10% since it unveiled those handsets on October 26 as consumers continued to bypass Windows phones in favor of Android handsets costing as little as $100 and Apples iPhone, which broadened its range with discounted older devices.

HTC bets on cameras to recover market share

Taiwans HTC Corp has turned to advanced cameras and music functions for a new range of phones at the centre of its bid to recover from a rapid fall from grace in the tough and fickle smartphone market. The worlds No. 5 smartphone maker launched the HTC One series of models at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress on Sunday, taking the fight to Samsung Electronics and Apple with fast graphic chips and advanced music and photography functions. It is a fight that HTC was losing at the end of last year, when its sales slumped and investors dumped its shares on concerns the firm had lost its edge. Analysts said the new devices represented a pragmatic choice for a company that lacks the resources of its deep-pocketed rivals. HTC seems to have learned from mistakes it made in 2011, said Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. The company aims now to concentrate on: bringing innovation through design of premium devices rather than spreading efforts across all segments of the market. Rapid innovation was the hallmark of HTCs lightning rise from obscure contract maker to purveyor of must-have gadgets. Its shares more than tripled in the 14 months to April 2011.