SAN FRANCISCO--AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) will launch the Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 635, one of three new Windows Phones the handset maker announced here at Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Build developer conference.
AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as T-Mobile's prepaid brand MetroPCS, are expected to launch the device later this year, most likely during the summer. The carriers did not reveal pricing for the Lumia 635, which will be one of Nokia's first Lumia smartphones to ship with Windows Phone 8.1 software out of the box. The Lumia 635 features a 4.5-inch screen, 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 400 processor, 5-megapixel camera and LTE. Nokia said the 635 is expected to be broadly available for $189 before taxes and subsidies, though exact carrier pricing hasn't been determined.
The 635 is the LTE variant of the Lumia 630, a 3G device that Nokia also announced. The 630 sports a 4.5-inch LCD screen, 5-megapixel camera, 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and, like the 635, includes 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards of up to 128 GB. The 630 comes in single-SIM and dual-SIM variants. The Lumia 630 is expected to be released in May, beginning with Asia, India, the Middle East, South America and Europe, at $159 for the single-SIM variant and $169 for the dual-SIM model before taxes and subsidies.
Nokia also unveiled the Lumia 930, a device similar in many ways to the Lumia Icon, which Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is selling for $200 with a two-year contract. The phone sports a 20-megapixel PureView camera with optical image stabilization and comes with Nokia's numerous camera and image editing apps. The 930 also has a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, a 5-inch 1080p, display, NFC and wireless charging, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. The 930 is expected to roll out globally in June starting in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and India for $599 before taxes and subsidies.
Nokia also said all of its Lumia phones with Windows Phone 8 will get an over-the-air software update to Windows Phone 8.1 this summer, following testing and partner approvals. The standout feature of Windows Phone 8.1 is Cortana, Microsoft's voice-activated personal digital assistant. (In related news, Sprint (NYSE:S) said it will update its two Windows Phone 8 phones, the HTC 8XT and Samsung Ativ S Neo, to Windows Phone 8.1 this summer.)
Interestingly, Nokia's new devices feature what the company calls "SensorCore," which Nokia said provides low-power motion sensing with Microsoft's Bing Health and Fitness, essentially turning the gadgets into fitness bands. Nokia said the SensorCore SDK is being piloted with select partners ahead of a public release.
Microsoft is in the process of finalizing its $7.5 billion deal to acquire Nokia's devices and services unit; the deal is expected to close this month. In an interview with FierceWireless, Chris Weber, Nokia's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said that Nokia intends to continue innovating in its hardware. Nokia will be "the tip of the spear on Windows Phone," he said. "There's a very distinct role we need to play."
Weber said he is very excited about the dual-SIM version of the Lumia 630. The dual-SIM part of the market makes up 60 percent of the handset volume in India, Weber said. Indeed, the low-cost Lumia 520 was Nokia's most successful Lumia phone last year--and according to Stephen Elop, Nokia's executive vice president of devices and services, it is the best-selling smartphone at its price point around the world. (The Lumia 521, a U.S. variant that T-Mobile sells, costs just $126 without subsidies.)
Weber said for the 630 and 635, Nokia has the support of the most operators it has ever had for a Lumia product. Elop said that hundreds of carriers will support the phones around the globe.
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