Nokia to fight rivals with cheaper models-sources

Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:10pm EST
 
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By Ritsuko Ando

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Nokia is shifting the focus of its turnaround strategy to regaining domination of cheaper handsets after a stuttering campaign to catch up with Apple and Samsung in high-end smartphones.

Company sources said it would introduce cut-price basic phones to compete with the likes of Huawei and ZTE and a new, lower-price model of its Lumia smartphone on Monday at the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona.

Nokia, once the industry's undisputed leader, is struggling to close the yawning gap with Apple's iPhones and Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and is also losing share in the low-end market which still accounts for the bulk of its sales.

Sales of basic phones fell over 20 percent in 2012 to 9.4 billion euros.

While some media reports have said that Nokia will announce a tablet in Barcelona, the company is not yet ready to unveil one, one of the sources said.

DOUBLE STRATEGY

"What they have to do is increase share in the growing smartphone part and also defend market share in the other," said Swedbank analyst Hakan Wranne.

He said a lower-priced Lumia would help boost its mid-tier offering, an increasingly important market as more consumers in developing markets demand access to Facebook and other social media sites from their mobile phones.   Continued...

 
Picture shows a Nokia logo at a shop in Warsaw, January 26, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (