Nokia officially unveils Windows Phone handset

After months of build-up and several leaked details about Nokia’s plan to switch to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, the company has finally revealed what all the hype has been about.

At the annual Nokia World conference in London, CEO Stephen Elop unveiled the Lumia 800, available in cyan, magenta, and black. Elop said it “is the first real Windows Phone.”

The handset has a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen, a Carl Zeiss camera lens, and includes special apps like a proprietary Nokia music portal, GPS software, and an exclusive ESPN app.

Nokia is perhaps the biggest victim of the iPhone/Android explosion over the last few years. The company used to dominate the smartphone market, and its proprietary operating system Symbian was so popular that it actually had an entire revenue stream from other manufacturers who licensed the software for their phones.

Today, though, anyone in the US will have a tough time even finding a Nokia phone in any mobile phone store. The company has managed to stay afloat thanks to its dominating presence in third-world countries, where its line of low-end phones continues to sell very well. In fact, Nokia still has the highest market share in the mobile phone space. It’s the smartphone market where the company has failed.

Many analysts see the jump to Windows Phone as an exceedingly big opportunity for Nokia to jump back, though. It is not too little too late. One of the reasons Nokia became such a powerhouse in the 2000s was because of its unparalleled mastery in ergonomics and hardware design. The software became a problem, but with a next-generation OS now on board, it could recapture the excitement of smartphone buyers.