Microsoft, which acquired Nokia’s Devices & Services business earlier this year for $7.2 billion, has announced the launch of its first non-Nokia branded Lumia smartphones; the 535 and 535 Dual SIM.
The move follows Microsoft announcing last week that the exclusive line of Windows Phone apps for its own smartphones would come under its Lumia smartphone brand rather than Nokia. However, it is believed that Microsoft plans to license the Nokia brand for its lower-end mobile phones for 10 years.
In order to bring “the latest Microsoft experiences to more affordable price levels,” the estimated retail price for the new devices running the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system will be around €110 before taxes and subsidies.
“Lumia 535 comes with our ‘5x5x5’ proposition,” said Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for phones at Microsoft. “Innovation should be available to everyone, and we are doing this through the very best integrated Microsoft services free and out of the box, a 5MP wide-angle front-facing camera, and a spacious 5-inch qHD screen — all at an affordable price.”
Microsoft said the Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM smartphones will begin rolling out to “key markets” in November, but didn’t give specific details. UK availability is expected in Q1 2015.
In October, Microsoft said it sold 9.3 million Lumia smartphones in the quarter to 30 September, noting “modest growth over the prior year”. Under the auspices of Nokia, 8.8 million Lumia devices were shipped in the same calendar period last year.