MWC 2013: Nokia Drives Prices Down But Keeps The Quality Up

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Peter Skillman, VP at Nokia, talks about four new budget phones slated to appear soon

It is widely recognised that Nokia is not doing too well. By the end of last year, the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer was forced to sell and lease back its historic headquarters in Espoo, and last month, it refused to pay dividends to shareholders for the first time in two decades.

However, the design tradition that made Nokia a household name is still very much alive. The company shipped 16 million units in the last six months, most of these being ‘feature phones’. It also scooped up the “Smartphone Of The Year” award in the US for its Lumia 920, and brought four new handsets to Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Design skills

Our colleagues from ITespresso Spain  tracked down Peter Skillman, VP for mobile user experience design at Nokia, at MWC to ask him about the new phones, OS choice beyond Windows Phone 8 ,and opportunities in developing markets.

Nokia announced four new phones at MWC. The first was the rugged Nokia 105, which manages to feature a colour display at a bargain-basement price of $20 (£13). According to Skillman, this device was designed for developing markets but will also be available in Europe as a second phone option.

The next phone was the Nokia 301, based on the familiar Series 40 platform. The device costs just $85 (£56) and offers 3G connectivity, ‘HD voice’ and dual-SIM support. These phones were complemented by an entry-level Lumia 520 and the mid-market Lumia 720, two surprisingly affordable Windows 8 devices.

During the interview, Skillman confirmed that Nokia is looking “very closely” at the tablet market, but refused to give any more details.

This first appeared on TechWeekEurope UK. Read the whole story and view the video here.