One year after it dramatically altered the course of its history by signing a landmark deal with Microsoft (s:MSFT) to use Windows Phone 7, Nokia took to Mobile World Congress to introduce a few new smartphones in its Lumia lineup — and talk up new phones based on its aging and doomed Symbian software.
Nokia introduced the Lumia 610, a new lower-cost Windows Phone that will sell for €189 euros (around $250) when it arrives on the market in the second quarter. The company will also make a version of the LTE-based Lumia 900 that AT&T (s:t) will carry in the U.S., featuring a DC-HSPA radio for use in countries that have yet to getting around to deploying LTE. Unsubsidized, that device will cost €480 ($645).
Yet despite pushing Lumia, Nokia also made sure to highlight its Symbian phones, which perhaps makes sense at a conference devoted to the worldwide smartphone picture — where Symbian is still a well-known operating system. It was a little odd, however, to see Nokia executives highlight three Asha-brand phones as well as a Symbian handset — the Nokia 808 Pureview — bearing a crazy camera: a 41-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera.
Still, there’s no doubt Windows Phone is the future of the company. Nokia announced that it will launch versions of the Lumia product line in China over the course of the year, tapping into one of the fastest-growing markets for smartphones as well as the largest overall potential market for the technology.