While it seems that Microsoft and newly acquired Nokia will not be releasing a new flagship Windows Phone this year, it doesn't mean there will be no new phones to hit the platform at all. On July 23 Nokia announced that the new Nokia Lumia 530 will hit store shelves later on this year.
The Nokia Lumia 530 is the follow up to the successful Lumia 520. The 520 is a budget friendly Windows Phone that has sold over 12 million units since being launched last year, and Microsoft are hoping that the Lumia 530 will enjoy as much success as the Lumia 520.
The Nokia Lumia 530 will be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, and it will have a 4-inch display. The processor will be married to 512MB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera, and 4GB of internal storage space (with microSD support for extra storage space).
There will be two versions of the device when it launches, a dual-SIM version (for emerging markets) and a single SIM version. There will be many color options including bright orange, white, grey, and bright green, but users will be able to purchase extra shells to change the color of their device. Perhaps the greatest feature of this device is that it will run Microsoft's newest version of their mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.1 right out of the box, this means that the budget phone will have access to all the new features such as Cortana and Action Center
T-Mobile have become the first of the four major carriers in the U.S to announce that they will be releasing the Lumia 530 on their network later on this year, and others such as AT&T are expected to follow their lead. T-Mobile released a statement on July 23 that claimed the Lumia 530 will give consumers the chance to try out the successor to the Lumia 521 (T-mobile varient of the 520), and take advantage of all the benefits of being an Un-carrier customer.
While the release of the Lumia 530 is good news for the Windows Phone platform in general, there is no way the the budget friendly smartphone will please die hard Windows Phone fans who were expecting a new flagship device to be released this year. Microsoft recently cancelled plans to release a new flagship device (code-named Project McLaren), after announcing plans to lay off over 18,000 employees.
The announcement of the new device did not mention a price, but the Nokia Lumia 530 is expected to hit shelves later this year with a price tag of under $100 in North America, and will likely have similar pricing in other countries around the globe.