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Nokia Corp. and T-Mobile on Wednesday started to sell Nokia Lumia 710, the first Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango”-based handset from Nokia in the U.S.  The handset essentially marks the time when Nokia officially begins its new assault on the U.S. market, but will this offensive be a success?

"We are excited to team with Nokia in bringing its first Windows Phone to the U.S. with the elegantly designed Nokia Lumia 710. Windows Phone offers a compelling mobile OS choice for people who want a smartphone built around them, their family and friends. We expect it to play a more prominent role in our lineup and marketing efforts in 2012,” said Cole Brodman, chief marketing officer at T-Mobile USA.

Nokia Lumia 710 is based on Qualcomm MSM8255T 1.4 GHz "Scorpion" system-on-chip with one ARM Cortex-A8 core, Adreno 205 graphics processor with hardware acceleration for high-definition video playback, dual-channel LPDDR2 memory controller as well as GSM (GPRS, EDGE) W-CDMA/UMTS (HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+), MBMS support. The phone has 512MB of RAM and are equipped with Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11b/g/n, G-sensor, digital compass, A-GPS, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio jack, 3-axis accelerometer and so on. Lumia 710 has 3.7" capacitive LCD multi-touch screen with 800*480 resolution can be personalized with exchangeable back covers and thousands of apps. Nokia Lumia smartphones include "signature Nokia experiences" optimized for Windows Phone, including Nokia Drive, which delivers a full-fledged personal navigation device (PND); Nokia Music introducing MixRadio and so on.

It is rather strange that Nokia decided to re-enter the U.S. smartphone market with Lumia 710, not the more advanced Lumia 800 or flagship Lumia 900. The model 710 does not offer a number of capabilities that are supported by the model 800, for example, it does not have an advanced AMOLED screen and a camera with Carl Zeiss lens.

Today, people are increasingly upgrading to smartphones, and many are doing so for the first time. According to the NPD Group, U.S. smartphone sales reached 59% in the third quarter 2011, an increase of 13% since third quarter 2010. With an increasing demand for smartphones, Nokia and T-Mobile specifically positions the Nokia Lumia 710 for first-time users.

The biggest question is whether Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango”-based smartphones will be compelling for the first-time users. A lot of smartphone owners already use Apple iOS and Google Android platforms and they will recommend appropriate phones for the first time users. As a result, it is unclear where should the first-time users to receive Windows Phone recommendations from.

The Nokia Lumia 710 is expected to be available at T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers and retailers nationwide, and online starting January 11. The Nokia Lumia 710 is expected to cost $49.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate card, with a two-year service agreement and qualifying “classic” voice and data plan. The price of the Lumia 710 looks compelling, it is $50 lower compared to the price of the iPhone 4 8GB with two-year contract.

“Our research shows nearly everybody in the U.S. wants a smartphone, but many believe they can't afford it. That's where T-Mobile shines. Our Unlimited Value and Monthly4G plans make it more affordable than ever to step up to mobile data on our 4G network,” said Mr. Broadman.

Tags: Nokia, Lumia, Windows Phone, Microsoft, T-Mobile

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