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Nokia Launches U.S. Windows Phone In Comeback Bid

Sunnyvale, Calif. — Keeping its
promise that it would deliver its first Windows Phone in the U.S. in early
2012, Nokia announced that the Lumia 710 will be available Jan. 11 for use on T-Mobile’s
HSPA+ 4G  network.

The entry-level 710, positioned
as a person’s first smartphone, will retail for $49 through T-Mobile stores,
select dealers and retailers, and T-Mobile’s web site with two-year service
agreement. At T-Mobile stores, the price is after $50 mail-in rebate card.

Nokia Americas president Chris
Weber called described the phone’s launch as “the start of our re-entry into
the U.S. smartphone market” following the company’s decision to focus on the Windows
Phone OS instead of its own Symbian OS as its top smartphone platform.

Previously, Nokia said its
Windows Phone U.S. launch would be accompanied by Nokia’s largest marketing
campaign in years.

Weber called the Lumia 710 “a
well-designed product that delivers the most compelling Windows Phone
experience in its price range.”

The Windows Phone platform, said T-Mobile
CMO Cole Brodman, will “play a more prominent role in our lineup and marketing
efforts in 2012.”

The Lumia 710 and the premium
Lumia 800 were

in October

for global distribution as Nokia’s first Windows Phones, both of
which feature Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS.

In the U.S., the 710 will be
available in a black or white with 3.7-inch ClearBlack 800×480 WVGA
scratch-resistant capacitive touchscreen, Qualcomm 1.4 GHz Snapdragon with
hardware acceleration and graphics processor, 8GB of embedded memory,
5-megapixel camera with f2.4 aperture, replaceable back covers, 14.4Mbps
W-CDMA/HSPA+ cellular technology, Internet Explorer 9, HTML 5, 720p video
capture, and multiple camera features such as LED flash, continuous autofocus
and face detection. Both Lumia phones lack memory-card slots and a second
camera for video chats.

Other features on both models
include FM radio, stereo Bluetooth, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Headphone, FM
tuner, voice activation, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, and a variety of location
technologies, including Cell ID, Wi-Fi location, GPS and assisted GPS. Like
other Mango smartphones, both models come with and free 25GB of Microsoft’s
Skydrive Cloud storage to store photos, music and documents.

Besides using design to
differentiate the phones, Nokia said it would also differentiate its Lumia
models by incorporating free apps. Those apps include Nokia Drive turn-by-turn
navigation app, which turns the phone into a portable navigation device whose
maps and the routing algorithm reside in the phone. A second free app is the
ESPN Hub, letting users access sports news, statistics and videos. Both apps
are available globally, including the U.S.

A third free app announced in
October wasn’t mentioned in the company’s T-Mobile announcement. That’s
MixRadio, Nokia’s free global mobile music-streaming application offering
hundreds of music channels as well as off-line listening.