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Mawston says Nokia has been pushed into a corner as Symbian was unable to compete with other operating systems and MeeGo took too long to develop.

“It’s a risk that they may be juggling too many balls at once,” Mawston said. “They were pushed into a multi-platform strategy for at least the short-term, but given the competitive situation with Symbian and MeeGo they really had no choice but to develop a third (platform) and juggle all three at once.”

Elop described the Lumia phones as a “new dawn” for Nokia.

“Lumia is light … Lumia is the first real Windows Phone,” Elop declared to the London audience.

He acknowledged that since he took over the Nokia leadership a year ago there had been “some difficult moments and some tough decisions to make,” including more than 12,000 layoffs, but was upbeat about the future.

“Eight months ago, here in London we outlined a new direction for Nokia,” Elop said. “Since then we’ve gone through a significant transition and we are playing to win _ no holding back, no hesitation, no second guessing.”

Ovum analyst Nick Dillon said the success of the new Windows devices will be critical.

“The challenges which Nokia faces are significant _ many potential Windows Phone customers will have already bought an Android or iPhone and will have some form of attachment to those platforms,” Dillon said. “Nokia will have a challenge to convince them to switch to what is a largely unknown, and therefore risky, alternative.”

Nokia, which according to Strategy Analytics, is the world’s top seller of dual SIM card handsets, sold 18 million such devices in the third quarter.

“Dual SIM is really something Nokia should have been doing in 2007 and 2008 when the market really started rocketing quite aggressively,” Mawston said. “Like with smartphones really, they’re two or three years behind and are gradually playing catch-up.”

The Espoo-based company, near Helsinki, employs 136,000 people _ up from 132,000 a year ago.