London - Nokia has begun rolling out its first two Windows smartphones in foreign markets and will bring a portfolio of Windows phones to the U.S. early next year, president/CEO Stephen Elop said at this morning's annual Nokia World event.
The first two phones, the premium Lumia 800 and more affordable Lumia 710, use 14.4Mbps W-CDMA/HSPA+ cellular technology, but Elop said Nokia will add CDMA and LTE versions of Windows phones "to address specific local market requirements."
The much-anticipated introduction is the first tangible result of a strategy announced eight months ago to switch the company's smartphone focus to the Windows OS from Nokia's Symbian OS.
In the U.S., the launch will be accompanied by Nokia's largest marketing campaign in years, a spokesman told TWICE.
In a separate announcement, the company said it entered into a long-term partnership with Monster to develop audio accessories for Lumia phones. The first accessories are two stereo headsets, said to be to co-designed and co-developed by both companies.
Of the two phones unveiled at today's event, the premium Lumia 800 is more likely to end up in the U.S. because it operates in HSPA+ mode in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands as well as in foreign 900/2100MHz bands. The 710, in contrast, operates in HSPA+ mode only in overseas 900/1900/2100MHz bands.
Though the phones use the standardized Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS, Nokia said it is differentiating its Windows phones from other Windows phones, in part by through design and craftsmanship and also by the inclusion of three free apps and services. They include the 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 MixRadio, Nokia's free global mobile music-streaming application offering hundreds of music channels as well as off-line listening. That service will be expanded later this year to create personalized channels from a global catalog of millions of tracks. A third free app with service is the ESPN Hub, letting users access sports news, statistics and videos.
In other differentiating features, the Lumia 800 features a Carl Zeiss camera lens, curved AMOLED display, and unibody polycarbonate shell. It will retail for about 420 euros ($586), excluding taxes and carrier subsidies. The Lumia 710 will be priced at 270 euros ($377).
Both models feature a 3.7-inch 800x480 WVGA capacitive touchscreen,
with hardware acceleration and graphics processor, Internet Explorer 9, HTML 5, 720p video capture, and multiple camera features such as LED flash, continuous autofocus and face detection. Both lack memory-card slots.
Like other Mango smartphones, both models come with and free 25GB of Microsoft's Skydrive Cloud storage to store photos, music and documents, a spokesman told TWICE.
Neither model features memory-card slot or front-facing video camera for video chats.
Both models also feature 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.
Lumia 700 also includes 8GB of embedded memory, 5-megapixel camera with f2.4 aperture, and replaceable back covers, which the Lumia 800 lacks because of its unibody construction.
For its part, compared to the 710, the Lumia 800 adds such features as an 8-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and f2.2 aperture, curved-glass AMOLED display, and 16GB of embedded memory. It weighs slightly more, at 142 grams, compared with the 710's 126 grams, but it's slightly smaller, at 116.5mm by 61.2mm by 12.1mm. The 710 is 119mm by 62.4mm by 12.5mm.
To launch the devices in overseas markets, the company developed a marketing campaign with the "Amazing Everyday" message in a 30-second TV commercial and a 60-second movie-theater commercial. The company also developed point-of-sale furniture with a tile theme to mimic the Windows Phone 7.5 user interface. Guerilla marketing tactics are also planned.
U.S. marketing specifics weren't disclosed.