The Nokia Lumia series is a line of smartphones and tablet computers designed and marketed by Nokia. Introduced in November 2011, the line was the result of a long-term partnership between Nokia and Microsoft—as such, all Lumia smartphones run the Windows Phone operating system, aiming to compete against the iPhone and Android-based devices. The Lumia name is derived from the partitive plural form of the word 'lumi', which means 'snow' in the Finnish language.
On 3 September 2013, Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Nokia's mobile device business, expected to close in early 2014. As part of the deal, Microsoft will acquire rights to the Lumia and Asha brands from Nokia, but will be unable to use the Nokia brand on future devices following the acquisition. The following month, Nokia extended the Lumia brand into tablets with the unveiling of a Windows RT tablet under the brand.
An Android comparable series, the Nokia X family, was unveiled prior to the acquisition at MWC 2014.
From 1988 to 2012, Nokia was the largest vendor of mobile phones in the world, which included early smartphones built on its Symbian platform. However, in recent years, its market share declined as a result of the growing use of touchscreen smartphones from other vendors, such as Apple's iPhone line and Android-based products. In 2010, its market share had declined to 28%, and in April 2012, Samsung Electronics (a prominent user of Android) ultimately overtook Nokia as the largest mobile phone vendor in the world. Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop passed on the idea of producing Android devices, believing the company wouldn't be able to suitably differentiate its Android products from that of other vendors. In an employee memo, Elop infamously described the company as being on a "burning platform", blaming the "war of ecosystems" between iOS and Android as part of Nokia's overall struggle, and asserting that the company needed to make major changes to its operation.
In February 2011, Stephen Elop and Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer jointly announced a major business partnership between Nokia and Microsoft, which would see Nokia adopt Windows Phone as its primary platform on future smartphones, replacing both Symbian and MeeGo. The deal also included the integration of Bing as the search engine on Nokia devices, and the integration of Nokia Maps into Microsoft's own mapping services. Nokia had planned to use the MeeGo platform as part of its future plans prior to the announcement, although the company announced that it would still release one MeeGo device in 2011. Aligning with Microsoft had been considered a possibility by analysts due to Elop's prior employment with the company.
The Nokia Lumia 800
Nokia unveiled its first Windows Phone 7-based devices, the mid-range Lumia 710 and high-end Lumia 800, on 26 October 2011 at its Nokia World conference. Motivated by requests from the U.S. carrier AT&T for an LTE-enabled device, Nokia quickly developed the Lumia 900 as a follow-up, first unveiled at the 2012 International CES. The Lumia 900 received heavy promotion by the carrier as a flagship device, but its launch was dampened by a software bug that prevented the device from connecting to certain mobile data networks, forcing AT&T to issue credits to those who purchased the device. Upon its launch in April 2012, the Lumia 900 was listed as a top seller on Amazon.com, but online sales began to tamper off by May. While not revealing further details, a Nokia representative stated that the company was "pleased with the consumer reaction, as well as the support we have received from AT&T", while AT&T's mobility chief Ralph de la Vega stated that the Lumia 900 had "exceeded expectations".
In early 2012, Nokia released the Lumia 610, a new entry-level device taking advantage of the lower system requirements introduced by Windows Phone 7's "Tango" update. These new low-end devices were intended to improve Windows Phone adoption in emerging markets such as China.
A yellow Nokia Lumia 920
Later in September 2012, Nokia unveiled the Lumia 820 and the Lumia 920, its first two devices to use the second generation of the Windows Phone platform, Windows Phone 8. Both featured NFC, with the Lumia 820 embedding a microSD card slot, and an optional Wireless Charging Shell for Qi wireless charging. The Lumia 920 also notably featured Qi wireless charging, and a "PureView" camera with optical image stabilization. While Nokia received criticism when it was revealed that a demonstration video of its image stabilization technology was in fact, filmed using a professional camera, the Lumia 920 was a commercial success for the company.