Nokia MWC launches hit the mark

Nokia has announced two new smartphone devices that will be added to its Lumia Windows Phone range. Each is built and priced to specifically target a certain consumer segment, extending the vendor’s current crop of Lumia smartphones further.
The new Lumia 720 is aimed at the trendy, youthful segment and is priced the highest of the two latest additions. The device is expected to lure content-driven users as it has plenty of storage and is expected to hit the high-tier of mid-range handsets. It has a sleek design and sports a 4.3-inch display and 1-GHz dual-core processor. It also has NFC and changeable covers that allow the device to offer wireless charging. Specifically, the Lumia 720 aims to take some DNA and services from the flagship Lumia 920, and provide them at a much more affordable price.
In contrast, the new Lumia 520 pushes the quality and styling of the range down to its lowest price point, just €139. It has similar styling to its stable mates and is aimed squarely at those consumers wanting high standards on a low budget. Again, the device borrows Nokia’s styling and differentiated services from those higher-tier Lumias.
Both devices are significant additions to the Lumia range and build on their number-based classification. The pricing also takes the range, and the Windows Phone 8 operating system, into uncharted waters, which can only help drive the platform into new segments and territories to boost volume and market share.
With these devices, Nokia has also made the correct decision to take the DNA of the high end of its portfolio down the price tiers rather than launch warmed-up versions of its lower-end products. This approach is sure to attract consumers to the new smartphones and, added to Nokia’s prized differentiated services, will provide an enticing value proposition. This proposition will undoubtedly be helped by some unique and ingenious marketing used at point of sale which focuses on Nokia’s differentiated technology and services, rather than the platform.
However, while the Lumia 520 has clear expectations and focus, it is difficult to see how the 720 will fare in the squeezed mid-range. Under current market conditions, there is still a polarization in the market as consumers either plump for high-end devices or look for value, low-end products. The 720 appears to sit somewhere in the middle, which, despite quality design and services, may stifle its market potential. This is, unless Nokia can position it as the flagship product in its Lumia range in certain markets around the world.
David McQueen is a principal analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, heading up the firm’s Handsets and Devices team. For more information visit