Nokia World reveals phablets and tablets in Abu Dhabi

Nokia World reveals phablets and tablets in Abu Dhabi


By Leo Kelion

Nokia has unveiled its first phablets – extra-large phones – as well as its first tablet computer.

The Windows Phone handsets introduce the ability to change which objects in a photo are in focus after it is taken.

The Windows RT tablet has a 4G data chip, unlike Microsoft’s recently unveiled Surface 2.

Nokia World in Abu Dhabi is likely to be remembered as the Finnish firm’s last major event before it completes the sale of its hardware unit.

Microsoft agreed to buy the business for 5.4bn euros ($7.4bn; £4.6bn) in a deal which the companies have said should be finalised by early 2014.

Lumia 1520
The Lumia 1520 runs the latest version of the Windows Phone system
Nokia’s former chief executive Stephen Elop, who resigned to become head of the company’s devices and services division until his transfer to Microsoft, admitted to the BBC that choosing Windows Phone rather than Android as an operating system had presented the company with “a very difficult challenge.”

“It’s been hard. It’s a very difficult challenge; it’s a very competitive environment, but we’re pleased with the fact that we’re building momentum,” he said.

One analyst said the sale should aid the US firm’s efforts to promote its mobile platforms against the market leaders, Google Android and Apple iOS.
“For the last two years Microsoft and Nokia’s marketing efforts have jarred against each other at times – having one big effort should be better than two smaller ones,” said Martin Garner, from the consultancy CCS Insight.

“Microsoft can also spend a lot more marketing the devices than Nokia could. That does seem to be a key criteria – both Samsung and Apple’s spends are very high indeed.”

Microsoft’s share of the handset and tablet markets is growing but from a relatively low level, according to market research firm Gartner.

Windows Phone took a 3.3% share of smartphone sales in the April-to-June quarter, said the firm, with Nokia proving the most popular brand.

It also forecast that about 1.7% of all tablets shipped over 2013 as a whole would be powered by either Windows RT or the full Windows 8 operating system.

Big phones
Nokia showed off two phablets at the UAE launch.

Lumia 2520
Nokia decided to make a Windows RT tablet despite other firms deciding to ditch the platform
Both the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320 feature 6in (15.2cm) displays, allowing extra rows of apps to be displayed on their home screens than possible on smaller models.

The firm said that the extra space would also make it easier to use the phones’ touchscreen keyboards, suggesting this would appeal to business users who used productivity software.

A new Beamer app will allow the phones to stream the contents of their screens onto to a web browser on a separate display. It works by sending data via Nokia’s computer servers.

Another new app – Refocus – lets owners determine which parts of a photograph are in focus and which are blurred after it is taken. The phones achieve this by taking a series of images in quick succession at different focus lengths rather than replicating the light field effect captured by a Lytro camera.


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