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Nokia Lumia 521 'Really Not Much Different' From Lumia 520 And What About 'App Gap'?

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First Posted: Apr 14, 2013 09:12 AM EDT
The Nokia Lumia 521 on display at the Pepcom Digital Focus event in New York on April 11, 2013.

The Nokia Lumia 521 on display at the Pepcom Digital Focus event in New York on April 11, 2013. Credit:iTech Post

Windows 8 phone fans can rejoice in the forthcoming Nokia Lumia 521 phone from T-Mobile. With all of the hot buzz surrounding the latest Lumia model from Nokia, we were delighted to have a chance to speak with Chris Hollis, Communications Manager of the U.S. for Nokia at Pepcom's DigitalFocus conference in New York City on Thursday, April 11 and see just what the Lumia 521 is all about.

(We did also determine that the rumored Nokia Lumia 928 is something Nokia refuses to speak about right now, but that's a whole other story.)

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iTech Post: We gotta ask: What's with Nokia's odd number names for the Lumia series? 520, 521, 720, etc. Where does this come from?

CHRIS HOLLIS: The naming conventions elude me. They just tell us, "This is what it's named." Okay!

iTech Post: What's the difference between the Nokia Lumia 521 and the Nokia Lumia 520?

CH: Really not much. This one [521] is designed around T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, which is a little bit different than what we announced on the 520. 520 is GSM and WCDMA. This one [521] will do GSM and HSPA+. That's really the biggest difference. That makes it exclusive to T-Mobile in the States.

iTech Post: What can we anticipate on price once the Nokia Lumia 521 is released?

CH: It's tough to say because T-Mobile hasn't announced it and they're really going to control the price. But when we did announce the 520, I think if I remember correctly, it came in before taxes and subsidies and all of that kind of thing roughly around $200. So, you start taking and looking at that and it's already incredibly affordable. Then you start working with carriers on pricing and things like that. Don't know what specific pricing will be, but it will be an affordable device.

iTech Post: How will T-Mobile's notorious "Uncarrier" plan come into effect with the Nokia Lumia 521?

CH: That would be something they [T-Mobile] will have to lay out. When the phone goes on sale in May, they'll have some more specifics to share about how that's going to work.

iTech Post: Will there be any launch events for the Nokia Lumia 521?

CH: I wouldn't anticipate an event or anything quite like that. We did announce that they would be carrying this specific variant in Spain at Mobile World Congress, then they issued some news this week saying they're looking to continue to support it. At this point, I think that's kind of where we're at. We just want to get the phone on sale and in people's hands.

iTech Post: What kind of color variants can we expect for the Nokia Lumia 521?

CH: For T-Mobile, it's just going to be the White.

iTech Post: How much does the Nokia Lumia 521 weigh?

CH: It's noticeably lighter than most of the other devices in our portfolio. You pick it up, it's really light. But durable too. Totally durable. It can take a beating and be totally fine.

iTech Post: This might be a tough one, but considering the notoriously fewer apps Microsoft offers in comparison to Apple and Google, why have you guys stuck by the company at this point?

CH: This is incredibly important. We get this question a lot. The "App Gap." What we're trying to do is come up with our own apps, but at the same time we have a full program that works with developers and says, "Here is how we create compelling apps that are gonnna make you money and get you notice." Anybody can just create an app and throw it out there. But we want people to be successful. It's incredibly important to us, it's not going anywhere. We have a full group that works specifically on creating great apps for Windows phones and we're going to continue to partner with Microsoft to drive that.

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