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Nokia shows off new smartphones
Nokia has unveiled two new smartphones which run Windows Phone 8
Nokia has revealed its first smartphones to run the next version of Windows, a big step for a company that has bet its future on an alliance with Microsoft.
Nokia's new flagship phone is the Lumia 920, which runs Windows Phone 8.
The lenses on its camera shift to compensate for shaky hands, resulting in sharper images in low light and smoother video capture, Nokia said. It can also be charged without being plugged in; the user just places it on a wireless charging pod.
Nokia also unveiled a cheaper, mid-range phone, the Lumia 820. It does not have the special camera lenses, but it sports exchangeable backs so owners can switch its colours.
The Finnish company revealed the new phones in New York. The American market is a trendsetter, but Nokia has been nearly absent from it in the last few years. One of chief executive Stephen Elop's goals is to recapture the attention of US shoppers, many of whom buy iPhones or Android devices instead.
Nokia launched its first Windows phones late last year under the Lumia brand, as the first fruits of Elop's alliance with Microsoft. Those ran Windows Phone 7 software, which is effectively being orphaned in the new version. The older phones cannot be upgraded, nor can they run applications written for Windows Phone 8.
Nokia sold four million Lumia phones in the second quarter, a far cry from the 26 million iPhones that Apple sold. So far, the line has not helped Nokia halt its sales decline: its global market share shrunk from the peak of 40% in 2008 to 29% in 2011, and it is expected to dwindle further this year.
The price and availability date of the new phone were not immediately available.
Wireless charging has shown up in other phones, most notably the Palm Pre of 2009. But Nokia is making its phone compatible with an emerging standard for wireless charging, called Qi. That means the phone can be charged by third-party devices.
At the event, Nokia executive Kevin Shields demonstrated the technology by placing the phone on top of a JBL music docking station, which charged it.