Nokia Corp.’s CEO and president, Stephen Elop, is making his first trip to Brazil to announce the launch and the local manufacturing of its Asha series, a category of cellphones with Internet access and other features focused on entry-level smartphone users. The Finnish company (NOK) also said it will manufacturer the Windows Phone’s Lumia 710 in Brazil.
“Latin America is an exciting market for us,” said Elop in opening a Nov. 30 news conference, adding that smartphone penetration is growing as fast in the region as anywhere else in the world.
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Nokia has a manufacturing site in Manaus in northern Brazil, where the company produces 17 different types of handsets. The new production is to start early next year, and both the Asha series and Lumia 710 will be on sale by the end of next year’s first quarter, said Almir Luiz Narcizo, president of Nokia Brazil.
The Brazilian site will also provide devices to other Latin American countries.
Nokia did not say how much it is investing to prepare the Manaus site to produce the new devices. However, this will the third time in the past year that Nokia has made an investment to adapt the manufacturing plant. The Manaus site also have to be prepared to make Nokia’s N8.
Nokia is also planning to launch the Lumia 800, which not be made in Brazil.