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Nokia ‘determined to lead’ smartphone market

Elop indicates hopes of revival with new devices

Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said this morning that the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer was determined to gain back ground and lead the smartphone market.

As the company launched its first Windows Phones, the Lumia 800 and 710, to a packed audience at Nokia World in London, Elop said: "These are the first phones to properly amplify the Windows Phone platform. We are signalling our intent to be today's leaders in smartphone design and craftsmanship."

Nokia has is weathering a tough few years, which have seen its marketshare hit by the Apple iPhone, and BlackBerry, HTC, Samsung and other devices. It is shedding around 7,500 staff - as well as transferring 2,700 Symbian employees to Accenture.

Elop made a point of praising staff for their work during tough times for the company. "Our employees have recognised the dangers and made the amazing decisions we needed", he said, which would help put the company back on track.

Nokia's high end new Windows Phone, the Lumia 800, will sell for approximately 420 (£365). Its other Windows Phone, the Lumia 710, will carry many of the key features, and will sell for 270 (£235).

The phones were "being boxed and ready to ship", Elop said. The audience was played a live stream of the phones being loaded with software and boxed at factories, ready for distribution, perhaps in response to comments in the industry that Nokia had not released any Windows Phones since the partnership was announced in February.

At the devices launch today, the company also debuted a range of phones running on Symbian, at lower prices from 60 upwards - and principally aimed at developing markets. Elop said many of the world's smartphone markets were "far from mature", and would provide substantial growth for Nokia.

The company also signalled its desire to grow rapidly in the applications market, with a focus on "contextual knowledge" that Elop said would "enable us to build more relevant services".


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