Microsoft, Nokia unveil new Lumia 920
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Struggling under competition's onslaught, Nokia and Microsoft Corp took the wraps off the struggling European company's most powerful smartphone on Wednesday, in what may be their last major shot at reclaiming a market lost to Apple, Samsung and Google.
The world's largest software maker and the Finnish company that once dominated the cellphone market showcased the device in New York on Wednesday, and planned to demonstrate it for industry insiders in Helsinki as well.
Microsoft and Nokia hope the new Lumia will become a potent weapon in an escalating global mobile industry war, but analysts were initially less than impressed. Nokia's shares plummeted 15 percent shortly after the unveiling, to 1.94 euros.
The Lumia 920 and smaller Lumia 820 run on the latest Windows Phone operating software, which Microsoft hopes will rival Apple's iOS and Google's Android to become a third mobile platform. If the new phones do not appeal to consumers, it could spell the end for money-losing Nokia and deal a serious blow to Microsoft in its attempts to regain its footing in the market.
The Lumia 920 - which executives billed on Wednesday as the flagship Windows phone - sports "Pureview" camera technology to reduce blurring from hand motion, and wireless charging capability. Powered by Qualcomm Inc's Snapdragon processor, it comes with augmented reality technology that lets users see details of their surroundings through the camera.
The Lumia 920 - available in yellow or red - sports a bigger, brighter 4.5-inch screen than Nokia's previous smartphones, taking a page from rivals such as Samsung, which has backed larger displays in past years. It comes with an 8.7 megapixel camera, in line with rival devices, but Nokia hopes the "Pureview" technology will give it an edge.
"The Lumia 920 feels like more of an evolution of existing Lumia phones than the revolution we expected from the close collaboration between Nokia and Microsoft," said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight. The two companies "will have to spend eye-watering sums on marketing and offer the new phones at aggressively low prices."
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