Microsoft has debuted today its first smartphone running Windows software since its takeover of Nokia’s phone business has completed in late April. The new Lumia 530 smartphone is a low cost Windows Phone 8.1 device, and actually the cheapest one so far from the Lumia line of smartphones.
This new device will primarily be aimed at developing markets to challenge cheap Android smartphones. And with such new initiatives from Google as Android One, Microsoft definitely needs to move fast. The Lumia 530 will start selling from next month, featuring a 4-inch screen, a quad-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm processor, 512 megabytes of RAM and 4 gigabytes of internal memory.
Despite being a low-cost device, you will still be able to use the trademark Microsoft apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint inside Microsoft Office. If you find the initial storage too small, there’s another 15GB of free cloud storage via OneDrive. Also, you can expand Lumia 530’s on-board memory up to 128GB using a MicroSD memory card.
There’s also a 5-megapixel camera that should be able to take some decent pictures, but nothing too impressive. The Lumia 530 also comes with a selection of interchangeable colored shells, available in bright orange, bright green, grey or white. You will also be able to choose from the single SIM or dual-SIM variants.
To try and appeal to potential buyers, Nokia also introduced a new mini speaker priced at €19 in the same toy-like design like other trademark Nokia accessories.
Considering that the new Lumia phone will cost just €85 in Europe (or $115),this is the strongest selling point of the device and not its specs. It will have to compete with a plethora of cheap Android phones from smaller OEMs but also against better known handsets such as the Moto G and Moto E.
Jo Harlow, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Devices Group said the following:
“We are moving quickly to help more people experience the uncompromised Lumia technologies, third party apps, and Microsoft services that we deliver on our flagship products. Lumia 530 underscores our commitment to making affordable smartphones for everyone, and introducing more people to the best of Microsoft.”
We’ve seen in the recent quarterly earnings report from Microsoft that the newly acquired Nokia business isn’t yet profitable and Microsoft needs to look for creative ways to get it up on a positive trend. Microsoft bought Nokia for more than $7 billion in April and it has already drained nearly $700 million in the latest quarter.