x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Nokia unveiling 41-megapixel mobile camera to rule them all

Nokia plans to launch a 41-megapixel camera phone in the Middle East - but consumers face a longer wait before snapping up its eagerly anticipated Windows Phone.

Nokia plans to launch a 41-megapixel camera phone in the Middle East - but consumers face a longer wait before being able to buy its eagerly anticipated Windows Phone.

The Finnish company said the Nokia 808 PureView phone will be available in the region by the end of June, priced at about US$600 (Dh2,203). The handset - which runs on Nokia's existing operating system - is the world's highest-resolution camera phone, with a Carl Zeiss lens.

"It will bring a professional-like imaging performance into your pocket," said Vesa Jutila, the head of smartphones product marketing at Nokia.

"Taking photos is one of the most frequently used features in the phone," Mr Jutila said. "It's particularly true here in the Dubai and the Middle East."

Nokia has faced tough competition from rival mobile brands Apple and phones running on Google's Android operating system.

In a bid to stem its declining market share, Nokia last year announced plans to incorporate Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system into its high-end smartphones.

The company is rolling out this range - dubbed the Lumia - in the United States, with plans for other markets such as China.

But Nokia said it was not yet ready to launch its Windows Phone range in the Middle East.

"We will launch when it's a market-beating proposition," said Tom Farrell, the vice president of Nokia Middle East, in reference to the Windows Phone handsets.

Mr Farrell said three factors must be addressed before the launch of the devices in this region. "Today, Windows Phone does not support Arabic. So we won't launch until we have Arabic for the Middle East," he said.

"We want to build up local content for apps with the Windows Phone. [And] we want local operators, local retailers and local partners to launch with us."

Nokia is the world's number-one manufacturer of mobile phones. However, it is suffering from tough competition in the lucrative smartphone sector.

Its share of that market - which is currently led by Apple - stands at 12 per cent, having declined from 28 per cent in 2010, according to IDC.

Mr Farrell said Nokia had seen growth in the number of applications downloads in this region. "In the GCC area, it's 4 million [app downloads] per week, and we've seen 280 per cent growth year on year," he said.

"The Nokia store in Saudi Arabia has crossed the 100 million cumulative download threshold.

"That puts us in the top 10 in Nokia globally."

Mr Farrell added that social networking and communication applications were the most popular in this region.

"It's mostly around social applications, social networking, chat and some religious applications," he said.

bflanagan@thenational.ae

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