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Microsoft, Nokia to launch new smartphone in S. Korea next week
By Lee Youkyung
SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) -- Microsoft Corp. and embattled handset maker Nokia Corp. said Thursday they will release a new smartphone in South Korea next week, hoping the first result of their partnership will take on the iPhone and Galaxy smartphones.

   The Nokia Lumia 710 will be launched on Dec. 26 via the country's second-largest mobile carrier KT Corp., according to a statement by the three companies.

   The smartphone will be the first mobile device in South Korea to use the Mango 7.5 software, Microsoft's newest mobile operating system.
It will likely appeal to professionals and students who frequently use Microsoft's document editor and email management programs, the companies said, as it will allow users to access, read and edit documents on Microsoft sotware programs and seamlessly synchronize with documents saved on personal computers.

   Microsoft, which has a tight grip on South Korea's personal computer business with its Windows operating system, lost ground to its archrival Google Inc. in recent years in the country's booming mobile market.

   Samsung Electronics Co., one of Microsoft's long-time allies in mobile devices and personal computers, made headway against its main smartphone rival Apple Inc. by adopting Google's Android system.

   In contrast, Samsung smartphones based on Microsoft's mobile system made few advances either at home and abroad.

   The U.S. software giant announced a broad partnership with Nokia earlier this year, hoping the Finnish partner would help turn its fate in the lucrative mobile market.
The Nokia Lumina 710 will be the first chance for South Korean consumers to see any result from the partnership, which was announced in February.

   The new Mango smartphone is topped with a social networking service hub for quick browsing and easy access to multiple services. Around 40,000 applications are currently available to be downloaded on the handset.
The 3.7-inch smartphone is powered by a 1.4-gigahertz processor from Qualcomm Inc.
By taking a two year contract and a monthly basic rate of 34,000 won, consumers can purchase the new smartphone for 360,000 won (US$311), KT said.