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Nokia CEO Throws iPhone, Talks Up New Lumias

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop grabbed an interviewer's iPhone and threw it on the floor while pitching the company's newest Lumia smartphones.

Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress
Coolest Smartphones At Mobile World Congress
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
During a convivial televised interview, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop jokingly snatched the interviewer's iPhone and threw it on the ground. Elop was attempting to evade questions about an unannounced Lumia smartphone while also showing off the Lumia 620.

The Finnish interviewer (see video below) did not appear to be all that concerned about his hurled device, and asked Elop if he could replace it with a Lumia phone. Elop said he would. Elop was also happy to discuss the features of the Lumia 620, which is a mid-range Windows smartphone being sold in numerous markets around the world.

The Lumia 928, which has not been officially revealed by Nokia, and what the TV interview was really about, is believed to be a thinner, more attractive version of the Lumia 920. The 928 will shed the bulky plastic shell of the 920 and replace it with a thinner, aluminum shell. All of Nokia's Lumia smartphones have made heavy use of polycarbonate for their shells. Switching to aluminum would be a significant design change for Nokia. It will still be sold in various colors, including black, white, cyan and red.

[ Android phone fan? Watch for HTC's One. Read For HTC, The One Can't Come Soon Enough. ]

The 928 is also believed to have a high-end PureView camera and a 4.5-inch OLED screen. It will support LTE and simultaneous voice and LTE data connections. It could arrive as soon as April. It will be sold by Verizon Wireless, which has yet to offer a high-end Nokia smartphone.

As attractive as the 928 sounds, the 620 is probably going to be a more important device to Nokia in the long run. Why? Nokia must retain customers in markets where high sales volumes trumps high sales prices. The 620 lands close to the bottom of Nokia's Lumia smartphone line-up, and is a more affordable option for those on a budget.

It will be particularly important in markets such as India. Nokia is in real danger of losing more ground in India to Samsung, which also has made a strong push into emerging markets. India is Nokia's single biggest market. About 13% of the 336 million devices Nokia shipped during 2012 went to India. Samsung's low-cost Android smartphones, however, are stealing Nokia's share of the market. Nokia owned 60% of the Indian market in 2009, but that has dropped to about 30% as Nokia has been slow to introduce new, low-cost models there.

Nokia introduced a handful of mid-range smartphones and low-end feature phones during Mobile World Congress last month. The Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 are launching in China in the coming weeks. It's not clear if either device will come to the U.S.

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