As the company slims down to its core mobile business in an effort to compete with Apple's iPhone and Android-powered devices, Bloomberg reports today
that Nokia has agreed to a deal with China Mobile Ltd. to become the first vendor of a Windows Phone 8 device in China.
According to the report, Nokia's deal with China Mobile will feature a specialized Lumia 920T model that is compatible with the country's TD-SCDMA powering China Mobile's network. China Mobile is currently the world's largest mobile phone company with 703 million subscribers as of the end of October 2012 and 79.3 million users on its 3G network.
The report notes that the Lumia 920T will sell for the equivalent of $739 without a contract and will go on sale before the end of the month.
As reported previously, Nokia is aggressively pursuing global markets such as Western Europe where 4G network features
and a growing base of smartphone users may favor the company's offerings over those of its competitors. The deal with China Mobiles comes after Nokia's shipments to China plummeted 64% in the last quarter, with customers dropping the Symbian OS currently being phased out as Windows Phone 8 models roll out.
While the Lumia 920T represents the high-end of Nokia's product line, the company is well aware of the need for a cheaper alternative that still qualifies as a smartphone and may help encourage adoption of Windows Phone 8. Nokia announced on its website
today that it will soon market a third smartphone called the Lumia 620, pictured below, which at $249 is a more affordable yet strong featured model.
Nokia suggests that the Lumia 620 is aimed at a younger audience, but one of the best qualities of the phone is its 3.8'' display. While most smartphones have been headed in the opposite direction with screen size, Nokia's Lumia 620 could immediately appeal to people who have a strong preference for a phone that fits comfortably in pockets. Add in Nokia's camera suite, HERE maps, Nokia Music, Nokia Drive, and Nokia City Lens, and the Lumia 620 starts to sound like a product without a direct counterpart offered by other companies.
Despite the publicity surrounding Nokia's sustained slump, it has arguably developed the most enticing Windows Phone 8 products with its Lumia line. While the pricing was a deterrent with only the Lumia 920, Lumia 820, and Lumia 822, the inclusion of the Lumia 620 helps complete the company's range of smartphone offerings.
Six consecutive quarters of losses may make things look bleak, or cast a long shadow, but if Windows Phone 8 proves to be successful in its early stages, Nokia will arguably be the most to thank for its expansion.