Nokia hopes new smartphones will ring the changes


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The Independent Online

Nokia has launched its latest assault on the smartphone market with the first phones to emerge from its partnership with Microsoft.

The Finnish group has fallen from grace since its domination of the mobile market at the start of the millennium, but believes the two new handsets released yesterday will herald a "new dawn". However, analysts are questioning if the company is doing enough to reverse its decline

Nokia's chief executive Stephen Elop called the new products the, "first true Windows phones". Analysts at CCS Insight said they were a "remarkable achievement" after only eight months of development but added: "Nokia still has a mountain to climb to compete with Android and Apple."

In February, Mr Elop said the group was to shift focus from its smartphone operating system Symbian in favour of Windows, following a tie-up with Microsoft, another company desperate to crack the smartphone market. Yesterday, at the Nokia World event in London, the first phones developed under the new partnership were unveiled. The Nokia Lumia 800 device is aimed at the high-end market, and will compete with mobiles including the iPhone 4S, the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy SII. The "no-nonsense" Lumia 710 will be available cheaper.

Mr Elop said: "Earlier this year we recognised the need to shift our mobile strategy. We want people to feel and expect something special when they hear the word Nokia, but this simply wouldn't happen without change."

He added: "We're driving innovation throughout our entire portfolio, from new smartphone experiences to ever smarter mobile phones."

Francisco Jeronimo, the European mobile device research manager at IDC, said the question that loomed over yesterday's event was: "Will these devices save Nokia?"