Feature Article

December 14, 2011

T-Mobile To Sell $49 Nokia Smartphone in January

Nokia and T-Mobile are going after consumers looking for an upgrade from their basic cell phone. The companies will be introducing the Lumia 710, priced at only $49.99, after a $50 rebate. Both companies believe the price of the handset, lower-priced data, and easier-to-use Windows Phone operating system will ease customers who have been hesitant to upgrade to a smartphone.

Chris Weber, head of Nokia’s North America business, said this product is idea for those who have yet to upgrade. “This is the right product to go after the 150 million feature phone users in the country,” said Weber.

This announcement will mark the first Nokia Windows Phone to hit the U.S. stores. The Lumia 710 and the higher end version of the phone called, Lumia 810 is already available in Europe.

Roger Cheng, senior writer for CNET, said the Lumia 710 offers nothing special. “The phone is designed to be a more affordable version of the Lumia 810 – a decent phone with no real extra bells and whistles. As such, there’s nothing inherently flashy about it,” said Cheng.

Cheng said this phone is not a threat to smartphones already on the market. “It’s unclear whether customers will take a gamble on the device when other eye-catching devices, running on Android or Windows Phone, are sitting next to it,” said Cheng.

Brian Bennett, senior editor for mobile phones at CNET, tested the phone and said the screen is one of the nicest features of the phone. “As with other devices, I really like the Lumia 710’s AMOLED display, which uses what Nokia calls ClearBlack technology,” said Bennett.

The arrival date, Jan. 11, is just after Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer will give a keynote speech at the Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where he’s likely to announce the availability of Nokia Windows phones on additional carriers.

Cole Brodman, T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer, said he has high expectations for this phone. “We’ll be working to leverage their overall advertising pressure and commitment to the marketplace,” said Brodman.

The Lumia 710 is a 4G device that will use its HSPA+ network. The phone has download speeds of up to 21 megabits per second, though Brodman said the typical download would range between 3-6 Mbps. It will also feature a 3.7-inch touch screen, a white or black case, and a 5-megapixel camera. 

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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