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Since December 2011, Nokia has been executing its "come back campaign," with the launches of the Lumia and Asha series of handsets. While the Asha series is intended to shore up support in the low-end handset market, Nokia sees the Lumia playing a vital role in improving overall handset profit margins and attracting the aspirational purchasers in markets like China, Indiam and Indonesia. To that end, Nokia unveiled its first Lumia smartphones for the China market-a a CDMA2000-compliant Nokia 800C and the Nokia 610C. Furthermore it is emulating Apple and will have an exclusive launch partner: China Telecom.

The end-user experience is pretty good. Windows Phone 7 is a stylized, slick, and coordinated experience. There are a few niggles and at least one big irritation... Power drain has been a significant frustration which has been rectified to some degree.

Microsoft (and Nokia's) greatest challenge will be building localized app support. Nokia has stated that a range of China-specific apps and services have been lined up such as a Weibo, RenRen, Baidu search, and local games. In all, around 20,000 apps are currently available to Windows Phone 7 user in China. Is 20,000 apps enough? Not really... but it is a start.

ABI Insight: http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1012143

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