Nokia Unveils $199 Lumia Smartphone for Emerging Markets

Nokia Oyj, the Finnish mobile-phone maker attempting a comeback, unveiled the Lumia 510, its cheapest smartphone based on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows software.

The Lumia 510, which has a four-inch display and comes in red, yellow, cyan, white and black, will start selling next month in the Asia-Pacific and South America regions, starting with India and China, Espoo, Finland-based Nokia said in a statement today. The phone, which runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 platform, has a retail price of $199. In comparison, the company’s Lumia 920 will be sold in Italy priced at 599 euros ($782).

Nokia, which reported its sixth straight quarterly loss on Oct. 18, needs to win over customers using Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google Inc.’s Android software if it’s to stop plunging market share and lift revenue. Convincing customers in the fast-growing markets outside of North America and Europe to move to Windows will help protect Nokia from competition and increase the chances of them upgrading to more expensive Lumia smartphones in the future.

“With the Nokia Lumia 510 we continue to meet our commitment to bring Windows Phone to new, low price points,” Jo Harlow, head of the company’s smartphones business, said in a statement.

Symbian Jettisoned

Nokia, which controlled more than half of global smartphone sales before the first iPhone and Android devices were introduced, last year jettisoned its homemade Symbian software in favor of Windows. Smartphones running Microsoft’s program have failed to threaten Apple and Google’s lead, holding a 2.7 percent market share in the second quarter, compared with 83 percent for iPhone and Android devices combined, according to Gartner Inc.

While Nokia sold 2.9 million Lumias last quarter, it sold 76.6 million basic phones, mainly in markets outside of Europe and North America, a 4.2 percent rise from the second quarter. Asia-Pacific is Nokia’s biggest region, making up 31 percent of third-quarter revenue. Sales in Latin America and China made up 22 percent of sales. Nokia used to be the biggest phone maker until Samsung Electronics Co. took the lead this year.

Nokia shares closed 2.7 percent higher at 2.16 euros in Helsinki trading yesterday, down 43 percent so far this year.

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