SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Finland”s Nokia, the world”s top mobile phone maker, launched seven new phone models on Monday, including a third-generation technology (3G) phone and another three high-end camera phones.
The company unveiled its 6280 3G slide phone with a 2-megapixel camera in Singapore, a day ahead of CommunicAsia, the region”s largest IT and communications trade show.
Other products showcased included the 6270 quadband slide phone, also with a 2-megapixel camera; the 6111 camera slide phone and the 6060, a GSM clamshell model for basic voice functions.
Nokia also introduced three CDMA models — the high-end 6265 2-megapixel camera slide phone and two entry-level models, the 2255 clamshell handset and the 2125 candy bar-shaped phone.
CDMA or code division multiple access is the world”s second-most common mobile phone technology after GSM or Global System for Mobile communications.
Nokia”s executive vice-president and general manager for mobile phones, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, said the firm was committed to growing its CDMA mobile business, particularly in Asia Pacific and China.
"The growth prospects on the CDMA front are extremely encouraging. The CDMA market is expected to grow at pace with the overall handset market and the global CDMA handset volume is expected to increase by 10 to 15 percent year-on-year in 2005," he told a gathering of telecoms industry participants.
Nokia Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific Urpo Karjalainen said the region was expected to account for one-third of the total CDMA handset volumes by year-end.
The seven models are expected to start shipping in the second half of 2005, Nokia said.
Nokia was forced to slash prices for its phones in 2004, when it lost market share partly because of a lack of attractive mid-priced camera phones and folding clamshell models.
But it was able to plug most gaps in its product portfolio by early 2005 and posted first-quarter profits that beat all market forecasts.
In April, the company reported earnings of 0.19 euro per share for the March quarter, versus 0.16 euro a year before, exceeding all estimates in a Reuters poll of 27 analysts.
Nokia is seen reporting a consensus mean net profit of 3.6 billion euros for the year ending Dec. 31, a poll of 40 analysts by Reuters Estimates showed.
According to research firm Gartner, Nokia”s global market share rose to 30.4 percent in the first quarter from 28.8 percent in the year-earlier period, but fell from 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004.
Motorola Inc. of the U.S. had a share of 16.8 percent, up from 16.3 percent in the year-ago quarter and the same figure in the fourth quarter.
Smaller rival Japanese-Swedish mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson also said on Monday it was launching four new phones, one of which, the S600, was aimed at the youth market.
The group said in a statement the other three phones were a clamshell Z520, a simpler phone, called the J210, as well as a 3G phone, the K608i.