Today Nokia and Microsoft have officially announced the Nokia Lumia series for Belgium on a press conference. This evening Nokia has held an official Nokia event in Brussels (the Belgian capital) to celebrate the Lumia launch in Belgium. The Lumia series is Nokia’s series for Windows Phone (WP) smartphones. As you probably know, Nokia has made a partnership with Microsoft in 2011 to move as much as possible to the Windows Phone platform and give other operating systems (like their Symbian and MeeGo) a much lower priority. As time evolves, Nokia will prioritize Windows Phone more and more. At the end of last year the first Lumia smartphones arrived. The first Lumia, released in November 2011, was the high-end Lumia 800, while a few weeks later the middle-end Lumia 710 was introduced.
Nokia and Microsoft have announced today that the Nokia Lumia 800 will be available in Belgium from the 1st of February 2012 from Proximus, Telenet and Base, 3 of the 4 “large” telecom operators in Belgium (the 4th one, Mobistar, wasn’t spoken of…). The device, which will cost €499, will also be available in the most important retail stores: Belgacom Centers, Generation Stores, Base shops, Allo Telecom, Belcompany, The Phone House, Media Markt, Saturn, Krefel, Vandenborre, Photohall, Essec and Fnac. The Nokia Lumia 710 will be available starting from the 1st of March 2012, but during the first 3 months only from Proximus, the biggest and most known telecom operator in Belgium and connected to Belgacom, because they got an exclusive deal. Sales of the 710 will not be coupled with data subscriptions and you can get one for € 299. It’s unknown in which colors the Lumia 710 will be available, but the 800 will be there in black, cyan and magenta (all the possible colors for this model at the moment). There was no word however on a possible introduction of the ultra high-end Lumia 900, which was announced for (at least) the American market at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), earlier this month in Las Vegas. Of course no other models were announced, as those kinds of announcements can be expected more from Mobile World Congress (MWC, in February) and CeBIT (in March, in Hannover).
The Nokia Lumia launch in Belgium will be paired with extended Belgian marketing campaigns starting from the 1st of February 2012, including a “The Amazing Everyday” marketing campaign, a worldwide campaign from Nokia to promote Windows Phone on Nokia smartphones (the Nokia Lumia series).
A few links (in Dutch):
• The Flemish quality paper “De Standaard” mentions the announcement in its mobile chapter dSmobilia: http://www.standaard.be/mobilia/cnt/dmf20120120_073
• Knack.be datanews: http://datanews.knack.be/ict/nieuws/nieuwsoverzicht/2012/01/20/eerste-nokia-met-windows-phone-vanaf-1-februari-in-belgie/article-4000032783416.htm
• It was also mentioned on the Flemish public news on television: http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/mediatheek/programmas/journaal/2.19508/2.19510/1.1200429
• From the “news room” @ the Belgian Nokia site: http://newsroom.nokia.be/benl/toestellen/nokia-lumia-800-vanaf-1-februari-verkrijgbaar-in-belgie.html
The Nokia Lumia WP smartphones should give a decent boost for both Nokia and Microsoft, the maker of Windows Phone (WP). Windows Phone was introduced at the end of 2010, but the first real next generation version was introduced in the 2nd half of 2011 (in practice actually in the 4th quarter of 2011), called WP 7.5 (Mango). Windows Phone 7.5 was able to really compete with the 2 other real last generation smartphone systems: Android (from Google) and iOS (from Apple; on the iPhone device). Popular WP 7.5 phones were and still are the HTC Radar and HTC Titan. Since a few weeks Samsung has also released their Omnia W device running on WP 7.5, just as Acer with their Allegro smartphones. LG also has a WP 7.5 smartphone (Optimus 7.5) and even Fujitsu-Toshiba and ZTE have released one. Already announced for the near future are HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900, both ultra high-end WP smartphones which fully support LTE. It is expected Nokia will announce and release new models very soon and others will do the same too (some for sure like Lenovo, others probably like Samsung). The rise, or at least a big attempt to it, has only begun. Nokia and others are still busy making their models global and a lot of new countries have just seen the latest models, while many others will see them soon. The first real commercial conclusions can probably be taken in about 6 months. The introduction of many new applications from Microsoft (like Skype), a lot of further developed Internet services (like Bing Maps) and Windows 8 should give Windows Phone an even higher boost, later this year. Windows 8 is expected to cover an immense broad range of devices, possibly including smartphones, although the latter is not officially announced (yet?). It’s not sure if the next version of WP will be a Windows 8 edition or will stay a separate line in the Windows family. It can be considered as almost sure though that both will at least grow to each other very closely and integrate a lot. Fact is most experts laud the current Windows Phone 7.5 and most of the smartphones using them, especially the Nokia Lumia ones. Hopefully this is the start of a bright future!