* Nokia unveils three basic phones with full touchscreens
* New phones aimed at regaining share in emerging markets
* Shares rise around 5 pct
By Tarmo Virki and Terhi Kinnunen
HELSINKI, June 6 Struggling mobile phone maker
Nokia Oyj has unveiled its first full touchscreen
phones aimed at the budget end of the market, looking to fill a
gap in its product range and catch up with rivals, particularly
in emerging markets.
Nokia hopes the three new models will help it to claw back
some of the lost ground at its basic phone business, which has
tumbled in recent quarters alongside its even deeper problems in
its smartphone business.
"Nokia urgently needed these products for emerging markets
where rival Samsung has had full-touch, low cost devices like
the Star since June 2009. Now Nokia needs to quickly make up
lost ground with these new products," Ben Wood, head of research
at CCS Insight, said.
Analysts at Strategy Analytics estimate that 105 million
such handsets were sold globally last year, with demand
particularly strong in emerging markets.
Nokia's basic phone sales fell 16 percent in the first three
months of 2012 in part due to lack of touch screen models, and
have fallen in four of the last five quarters, while competitors
like China's ZTE and Huawei have been
Due to this in its last quarter it lost the position of the
world's largest volume cellphone maker, after leading the market
for 14 years, to Samsung Electronics.
Samsung has also overtaken Nokia and Apple Inc in
smartphone sales, where Nokia is trying to regain lost ground
with new models using Microsoft software.
So far sales of Windows Phones have been slow to take off,
but research firm IDC gave some hope to Nokia on Wednesday
forecasting the platform to take No.2 position by 2016 after
IDC said it sees Windows market share rising four-fold to
19.2 percent by 2016, while Apple's share would dip to 19.0
percent. It sees Android still controlling 53 percent of the
Shares in Nokia, which have more than halved over the last
year, were up over 4 percent by 1500 GMT, outpacing a 2 percent
firmer STOXX 600 European technology index.
BELOW 100 EUROS
Nokia said on Wednesday its Asha 305 model would go on sale
this month for 63 euros ($79), excluding subsidies and taxes.
The Asha 306 and Asha 311 models will go on sale next quarter
for 68 euros and 92 euros respectively.
"We are expecting Nokia to ship tens of millions of the new
models during H2 with a visible financial impact on the feature
phone business," said Nordea analyst Sami Sarkamies.
Previously Nokia has not had full touchscreen phones in
The new phones, which combine a new swiping screen interface
with Nokia's old S40 software, will be competing with similarly
priced Android phones from the likes of Huawei, ZTE
"The modernisation of user interface for touch screens is a
step in the right direction and we think the new phones can
compete against cheap Android models," said Pohjola analyst
"They are definitely heading in the right direction."