Nokia Lumia 720 en route to Australia

Nokia Lumia 720
Piggy in the middle: it's not the biggest and its not the cheapest

Nokia is expanding its Windows Phone 8 range in Australia, with plans to launch the Lumia 720 this week.

Virgin Mobile will be first with stock, with the Lumia 720 on its shelves from April 4. Vodafone follows a week later.

While both telcos are yet to release contract pricing for the new Lumia, Nokia is has set an outright price of AU$429 RRP and will partner with retailers to sell the phone directly.

Distant third

Nokia's announcement comes as the latest smartphone market share statistics show Microsoft's Windows Phone platform doubling its share in Australia to secure a solid, if distant, third position in the mobile computing category.

At 3.4-percent share, Microsoft, and Nokia, have a long road ahead of them, though. Apple's iOS has ten-times as many devices in play down under, with 32.5-percent share and the Android platform boasts nearly twice as many as iOS.

The Lumia 720 will be the fourth Nokia branded Windows Phone 8 handset in Australia. The Lumia 920 and 820 launched on the major telcos late last year to coincide with the release of the WP8 software launch. Since then the cheap Lumia 620 has been released through electronics retailers only, for AU$269.

This latest Lumia improves on the big daddy of the range, the 920, with a lighter, slimmer design. It packs a dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm processor under the hood and uses Nokia's super-sensitive touchscreen technology for use with a fingernail or gloved hands.