Nokia Launches U.S. Windows Phone In Comeback Bid

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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

unveiled 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 800x480 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.


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