Nokia unveiled on Wednesday four new phones intended for developing markets as well as the company's first two smartphones running the Windows Phone operating system.
The Asha series, which runs the Symbian S40 operating system, is equipped with features often seen on smartphones but not on lower-end ones, such as Qwerty keyboards and touchscreen capabilities. The four devices will range in price from €60 (US$83) to €115.
Nokia also launched the Lumia 710 and the Lumia 800, premium devices intended to compete with Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google’s Android operating system.
The Lumia 800, which will retail for €420 without taxes or subsidies, will be available in some European countries next month, said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. The Lumia 710 will cost €270.
Commenting on the launch, Ovum analyst Nick Dillon said, “Having replaced its own Symbian platform with Microsoft's, this is essentially a restart for the handset manufacturer, which has struggled to adjust to the new dynamics of the smartphone market following the launch of the iPhone in 2007.
"With Microsoft's new mobile platform yet to take off and Nokia banking on Windows Phone it as its primary smartphone platform, the success of the devices will be critical to the future of both companie.
Nokia had very little input into the Mango release of Windows Phone, so the company has done well to differentiate its devices against those from other Windows Phones licensees, said the Ovum analyst.
Nokia has included its Nokia Maps, which provides free offline navigation on both devices and high quality imaging.
Nokia will offer In addition to offering access to its music catalogue in 38 countries and provide free access to a radio streaming service which uses the Nokia Music catalogue.
“While none of these on their own are standout features, they at least provide Nokia with some ammunition for its marketing and sales team to market the devices in an increasingly competitive market,” said Dillon.