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Nokia Forays into Tablet Business

Finnish handset manufacturer, Nokia Corporation (NOK) has launched Lumia 2520 – a tablet based on Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) latest Windows RT 8.1 platform. The device is priced at $499 (exclusive of taxes and subsidies) and is expected to hit stores in the last quarter of 2013.

The 10.1 inch tablet comes with a 6.7 MP camera with Zeiss lens supporting full HD videos. The lens is protected by scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 2. Moreover, the gadget is powered with Qualcomm Inc.’s (QCOM) popular 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, which supports high-end graphics and enhanced battery life. It also allows LTE downstream and upstream speeds of up to 150 mbps and 50 Mbps, respectively.

The tablet – which operates on multiple networks and frequencies – also features 2GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory, two built-in USB ports and a new video editing app called Video Director Moreover, Nokia Power Keyboard, which facilitates typing and saves battery life, is available for $149 with the tablet.

Gartner research firm believes that tablet shipment in 2013 will rise 43% to 182 million over last fiscal. Such strong growth has induced Nokia to foray into the tablet business, which is growing at a fast pace.

Nokia is already gearing up for the upcoming holiday season with the launch of its latest tablet and two more new 6 inch smartphones, Lumia 1320 and 1520. Lumia 1520 has a 20 MP PureView camera and supports full HD videos. Moreover, the company has launched three Asha flagship phones, Asha 500, 502 and 503, costing $69, $89 and $99, respectively.

Recently, Microsoft has decided to acquire Nokia Corp.’s handset business for $7.2 billion (5.44 billion euros). The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders and regulators.

Thus, it is to be seen how Nokia performs during this holiday season with its newly launched high-end gadgets and feature phones. However, launch of Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPad mini 2 and iPad Air will further intensify competition during the season.

Nokia currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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