Nokia introduces new smartphones to better compete with rivals

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 7:30:28 by

KARACHI: Taking on the challenge from its competitors in the smartphone market in Pakistan, Nokia has launched three new models of its Lumia series – Lumia 920, 820 and 620, powered by Lumia Windows 8.

With features like wireless charging and image stabilisation cameras, Nokia believes that the Lumia series will gain a stronger footing in Pakistan’s growing mobile market.

Speaking at the launch, Nokia Vice President Marketing IMEA (India, Middle East, Africa) Alessandro Lamanna said the handset maker was focused on redefining the future of smart devices and continued to invest in delivering truly compelling experiences to consumers across price points.

“With the launch of Lumia Windows Phone 8 range, we aim to usher in an era of unique innovations in the smartphone market,” he said. “The announcement today is yet another giant leap in the progress we have made in relation to our strategy announced in February 2011.”

Microsoft Pakistan Country Lead Channel Sales Salman Siddiqui said, “With Windows Phone 8, we created a new way to think about smartphones, one that puts people at the centre.

“With the same look and feel, the same technology core and cloud service, Windows Phone is built to work seamlessly with Windows 8, you can learn it once and use it everywhere.”

Rise in local apps demand

The launch of operator billing system in Pakistan in the next few weeks would take the growth in apps sales to double digits within a year, Rabia Nizami, DX, Area Head Near East of Nokia told The Express Tribune on the sidelines of the Lumia event.

A customer will be able to buy apps from the operator billing system and the mobile service provider will charge from his or her post-paid or prepaid bill.

Since Pakistan is not a big credit card market, it has been difficult for the people to buy content.

Right now, Nokia gives 70% of the content sales profit to the developer and keeps 30% with itself. After the operator billing system, the mobile operator would also have its share, she said.

However, after the official launch of Lumia series, she hoped, the growth rate would likely go into double digits within a year.

Nizami, who also looks after apps development, revealed that demand for Pakistan-made apps was growing fast, especially in the Middle East.

Nokia has partnerships with local universities and professional software houses to encourage and train youth.

It arranged four-week internships for the students of NED University and the University of Karachi in which the students were trained in developing apps.

In 2012, Pakistan-made apps got a great response from different regions. One Pakistani, who developed a Quran search engine, saw 0.5 million downloads in just six months. Another Pakistani, who created a cricket app, experienced over 1 million downloads.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2013.

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