BARCELONA, Spain--Nokia plans to shift its marketing for its Lumia line running Microsoft's Windows Phone software this year away from the Windows Phone and Lumia brands and more toward Nokia-specific products and unique features, according to a Nokia executive.
Nokia unveiled two new mid-range Lumia smartphones, the Lumia 720 and 520, which run Microsoft's Windows Phone software. The two devices offer the operating platform's higher-end smartphone features but at a lower price. The company also introduced two feature phones, the Nokia 301 and 105.
Nokia plans to use its time at the Mobile World Congress trade show next week in Barcelona, Spain, to announce low-cost handsets and a smartphone running Microsoft's Windows Phone software, according to a Reuters article.
Nokia is set to unveil a range of low-cost handsets this week in an effort to counter growing competition from Chinese rivals, a company source told Reuters .
Nokia is expanding its new Lumia-exclusive streaming music service to the U.S. market less than a month after launching the effort overseas.
Nokia said it plans to invest $250 million in a new venture capital fund to give money to promising mobile startups, part of its strategy of investing in future mobile opportunities.
Nokia surprised analysts by announcing plans to axe its annual dividend payment in an effort to bolster its cash reserves. The company reported underlying profits in its fourth quarter--its first profitable quarter in a year--and unexpectedly boosted its net cash by €796 million to around €4.36 billion.
Nokia reported that its North American handset shipments--essentially all Lumia Windows Phones--rose in the fourth quarter to 700,000. That is a marked improvement from the third quarter when it sold 300,000 devices in the U.S. market.
Sprint Nextel's major announcement last week during the Consumer Electronics Show was that it will launch its first Microsoft Windows Phone 8 smartphones by the summer from HTC and Samsung. Left off that list was Windows Phone's biggest supporter, Nokia--and that seems to be the way it will stay for a while.
Nokia reported that improved sales of its Lumia Windows Phone smartphone range helped its mobile phone business achieve underlying profitability in the fourth quarter of 2012. The surprise announcement gave markets hope that CEO Stephen Elop's strategy is finally starting to pay off.