Ina Fried

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With Lumia 610, Nokia Aims to Take Windows Phone to a New Low (Price)

As hard as Nokia has been working to improve upon Windows Phone, it has been working perhaps even harder to find ways to bring the phone further downmarket.

That’s because it badly needs models that can fill the spots occupied by its waning Symbian platform to sell in strongholds like China and Indonesia.

With the Lumia 610, introduced on Monday, Nokia is not only hitting the lowest price for a Windows Phone but also going into new languages.

“The expansion of the portfolio downwards in price points is obviously quite important,” Nokia VP Ilari Nurmi said in an interview last week at Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland.

The 610 is made possible in part by a new version of Windows Phone that has lower memory requirements, but also through lower-cost display and processor technology.

As a result, Nokia says it can sell the Lumia 610 for 189 euros unsubsidized ($252), roughly $100 less than it charges for the Lumia 710, and less than half the price of the Lumia 800.

Despite the cost-cutting moves, Nurmi insists that the core of the Windows Phone experience is preserved, something he said is not always the case with low-end Android phones.

It is true that its lower amount of memory means that not all Windows Phone apps will run, but Nurmi insisted that “a supermajority” of programs will run.

Nokia is also announcing global availability for the Lumia 900, announced for the U.S. with AT&T at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The global version of the device, however, will feature an HSPA+ modem, as opposed to the LTE one being used for the U.S.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work