Microsoft’s new smartphone to have Line messenger app pre-installed
South Korea’s top portal operator Naver Corp. said Monday that its free messaging app Line will be pre-installed on Microsoft Corp.’s soon-to-be-released Lumia 540 smartphone, reflecting its growing popularity around the globe.
“The Lumia 540 will be pre-installed with the Line application, although it does not mean that all of the future Lumia lineups will do so too,” an official from Naver said. “However, our company will continue to expand such ties around the globe.”
Microsoft’s official website shows images of the Lumia 540 displaying Naver’s messenger app that boasts more than 50 million members, along with other popular social networking services such as Facebook, Skype, and Twitter.
Industry watchers said the deal reflects the rising popularity of Line, which has about 180 million monthly active users.
“As the Lumia 540 is a budget smartphone aiming for the global market, it needs to emphasize basic features,” an industry watcher said. “Thus, it can be understood that Line is now recognized as one of the most widely-used applications.” The price tag of the Lumia 540 is estimated at $150.
Naver has been making efforts to team up with global smartphone makers to expand Line’s presence worldwide. Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp. have also pre-installed the Line app on their smartphones for shipments to emerging markets such as Thailand and Vietnam.
In 2014, Naver also purchased the MixRadio music-streaming service from Microsoft, expanding the scope of its ties with global tech players. (Yonhap)
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