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Nokia Set to Launch Cheaper Lumia

Zacks Equity Research

Nokia Corp. (NOK) is all set to ship their low-end Lumia 900 smartphones at an affordable price of $99.99, targeting the youth of the society. It will be the first 4G-enabled Windows smartphone and will be available from April 8, 2012.

The Lumia 900 handset is based on LTE technology, which offers faster downloading speed to the users, and will be launched on AT&T’s (T) network with a two-year service contract.

Earlier, in November, 2011, Nokia launched their first Windows-based smartphones called Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710 in the European markets. At year-end 2011, the company sold more than 1 million handsets in those markets.

However, the success of these high-end Lumia series of handsets were not that popular in the U.S. markets. So in order to revamp its device sales in the U.S. market, the company not only enhanced its Lumia smartphones with 4G technology support but have also offered it at a favorable price.

Nokia plans to launch a huge array of products by the end of the second quarter of 2012. During that period, the company plans to ship HD camera centric smartphone called Nokia 808 PureView that supports 41 megapixel camera.

Nokia also plans to launch their next-generation tablets based on the upcoming Windows 8 software. These new devices coupled with other product launches will certainly help the company gain market traction going forward.

However, we believe that continuous loss of market share coupled with stiff competition from Android-based smartphones and iPhones are headwinds for the company going forward.

Nevertheless, increased shipment of Nokia’s dual-sim handsets in the emerging nations coupled with aggressive cost reduction measures implemented by the company will act as growth catalysts in the forthcoming quarters. We, thus, maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation on Nokia.

Currently, Nokia has a Zacks #5 Rank, implying a short-term Strong Sell rating on the stock.

Based in Espoo, Finland, Nokia Corporation is the largest mobile phone maker of the world. The company also provides Internet services, comprehensive digital map information, and equipment, solutions and services throughout the world.

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