At Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, the Finnish handset maker took the cover off six new mobile
devices. Devices include the company's first Windows tablet, the Nokia Lumia 2520, as well as two large-screen Lumia smartphones and three new Asha models.
Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Devices and Services at Nokia, said now more than ever, mobile devices are at the center of consumers' lives as they look to capture, curate and share experiences on the go. Then he invited people around the world to switch to Nokia.
"With our latest range of Lumia and Asha products, we're delivering industry-leading design and imaging innovation to bigger devices at more accessible prices," Elop said. "The quality and value that Nokia products deliver continues to grow as we partner with developers to introduce app experiences that are unique to Lumia and Windows Phone.
"And clearly, with Lumia and Asha smartphones enjoying quarter-on-quarter volume growth in Q3 2013, that quality and value is resonating with consumers around the world."
Much of the buzz is around the Lumia 2520 tablet, with its 10.1-inch HD screen. The tablet combines both 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, a 6.7MP camera, and for the first time ever on a tablet, Zeiss optics. The Lumia 2520 runs on Windows RT 8.1 and features several color options. The device promises up to an 80 percent charge in one hour.
Software-wise, the Lumia 2520 comes installed with the "Dragons Adventure" interactive game, developed in partnership with DreamWorks Animation. Other exclusive software includes the Nokia Storyteller, an app that curates images and videos as a story on a map, and Nokia Video Director for video editing. The tablet is also equipped with HERE Maps and Nokia Music with Mix Radio. The Windows-based tablet will start shipping in the fourth quarter with a price tag of $499.
The first-ever large-screen Lumias are also turning heads. The Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320 both offer a 6-inch screen that Nokia said is suited for entertainment and productivity. Indeed, a new third column of tiles on the home screen means people can see and do more on a single screen. The Lumia 1520 and 1320 will roll out in the fourth quarter at $749 and $339, respectively, without a carrier-subsidized plan.
The Lumia 1520 is Nokia's top-tier device, with a 1080p display and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. It also features a 20-megapixel version of Nokia's PureView camera and wireless charging. The Lumia 1320 features a 720p display, a dual-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera.
Tiles Not Popular
We caught up with wireless industry analyst Jeff Kagan to get his take on the Nokia news. He told us the company's partnership with Microsoft has been a strong benefit for Nokia, even though it has continued to struggle with market share in the age of Android and Apple iOS.
"Now that Microsoft is acquiring Nokia it looks like these two will lead the way with Microsoft Windows phone," Kagan said. "The smartphones and tablets Nokia introduced today are a strong indication that Microsoft is focused on success in the mobile future. That is the good part."
Whether or not Windows Phone 8 can be more successful than a small percentage of the market share Microsoft currently holds is the question. Generally speaking, Kagan said, the vast majority of users don't yet like the new operating system with its tile interface.
"While I expect Nokia will continue to be successful and show growth with this latest line of smartphones and tablets, I don't expect them to blow the doors off expectations," Kagan said. "Expect continued modest growth."