At the Mobile World Congress, Nokia announced four new additions to its mobile phone lineup—two smartphones and two feature phones. All of the phones are relatively inexpensive.
Kevin J. O’Brien with The New York Times reported, “Nokia on Monday introduced two new low-priced basic cellphones, plus two lower-priced versions of its flagship Lumia Windows smartphone — part of an effort by the former market leader to compete amid an intensifying price war in handsets. The four new phones — the Lumia 720, Lumia 520, Nokia 301 and Nokia 105 — will help Nokia maintain and perhaps build on its position as the No. 2 maker of cellphones worldwide behind Samsung and fend off challenges by two Chinese manufacturers, Huawei and ZTE, analysts said.”
The Washington Post’s Hayley Tsukayama noted, “The Lumia 520 and 720, two Windows Phone 8 devices, will cost less than the company’s flagship 920 phone, and will give Nokia something to market against cheap smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system.”
TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas commented, “Windows Phone 8 is an increasingly attractive OS at these budget price points — where Android hardware can be woefully underpowered. The easy to use Live Tiles interface, embedded Facebook et al social networking and value-add extras (such as 7GB of free SkyDrive cloud storage from Microsoft — and free streaming music from Nokia) compare well against a swathe of budget Androids. While WinPho is still certainly constrained when it comes to choice of apps, here at the low end smartphone price point that’s not such a huge minus. What the OS lacks in apps it makes up for with its polished look and feel — and, in the 520′s case, enough power under the hood to keep the basics feeling slick.”
Paul Sandle with Reuters added, “Nokia launched a 15-euro ($20) phone to shore up its position in the basic handset market, where it has lost share while it focused on developing expensive smartphones…. The entry-level Nokia 105, its lowest priced ever device with a color screen, was aimed at first-time buyers in markets such as South America, Africa, Russia and Asia-Pacific, [CEO Stephen Elop] said.”