Struggling cellphone maker Nokia has launched its first smartphone design for China, looking to the world’s biggest market to help drive a corporate turnaround.
Nokia is launching the device exclusively with telecom operator China Telecom, China’s third-largest mobile carrier. The 800C device will be sold without contract for 3599 yuan ($570), Nokia said. Additionally, Nokia plans to sell a Chinese CDMA version of the Lumia 610 — the company’s cheapest Windows smartphone — in the second quarter this year, also through China Telecom.
Nokia said on Wednesday that its new Lumia 800C is designed to run on China’s homegrown CDMA standard and will be supported by China Telecom, one of the country’s three major state-owned carriers.
Finland-based Nokia launched a corporate turnaround effort one year ago after falling far behind Apple Inc. and other competitors in tapping into the new popularity of smartphones.
China is the world’s biggest mobile phone market with about 900 million accounts, and is Nokia’s biggest market.
”China is critically important for Nokia,” CEO Stephen Elop told a news conference.