* Lumia 2520 is Nokia's first tablet
* Two large-screen smartphones to compete with Samsung
* Devices to retain Nokia brand after Microsoft handover
* Apple expected to launch new iPads on Tuesday
By Matt Smith
ABU DHABI, Oct 22 Nokia has unveiled
its first tablet and large-screen smartphones, which will form
part of Microsoft's global push to become a leading
player in consumer devices when it takes over the Finnish
company's handset business.
The Lumia 2520 tablet, along with the Lumia 1320 and 1520
phones are among the last products Nokia developed before
deciding to sell the devices unit to Microsoft in a deal that is
due to close in the first quarter of next year.
Nokia, once the global leader in mobile phones, arrived late
to the smartphone race and has struggled to catch up with Apple
and Samsung, who dominate the increasingly
crowded market for large-screen smartphones, known as phablets.
The Lumia tablet, which has a 10-inch screen, will also face
tough competition from the likes of Apple, which is expected to
unveil slimmer, faster iPads on Tuesday. The phablets, which
both have 6-inch screens, will take on a multitude of similar
devices from Samsung.
Analysts said the new products, which will retain the Nokia
brand after the Microsoft handover, are priced low enough to
The Lumia 2520, which comes in glossy red and white as well
as matt cyan and black versions, is expected to start shipping
in the fourth quarter for about $499.
"The tablet is a nice design, it's a good-value
proposition," Gartner analyst Annette Zimmermann said, though
she doubts that Nokia's first foray into the tablet market will
bring billions in sales.
Others also questioned whether the new launch is enough to
lure consumers back to Nokia and Microsoft, while Forrester
analyst Thomas Husson said the Lumia 2520's position for
Microsoft is unclear, particularly after the software giant
launched its own tablets.
At midnight on Monday, Microsoft started selling its Surface
2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. Still feeling its way in the
computer hardware business, the company is banking on the
lighter and faster models boosting the lacklustre sales of its
"Despite a more affordable price, the respective positioning
of Nokia's tablet versus the Surface 2 is not obvious and will
have to be dealt with after the Nokia acquisition," Husson said.
The new devices will help Microsoft to increase the number
of Windows users, but Husson said he expects it to remain a long
way from "a significant installed base of consumers".
Nokia's former chief executive Stephen Elop, hired in 2010
to turn round the company, decided in early 2011 to drop Nokia's
own operating system in favour of the Microsoft's untested
Windows Phone software.
The Lumia devices have been well received by technology
blogs and critics, but sales have been slow to pick up, partly
because of a lack of Windows Phone apps and a limited marketing