Nokia next week has plans to announce three new mobile phones, one of which is the 7200, the first ever clamshell phone the company will produce. The 6820 will sport a keyboard similar in style to the 6800, and the 6230 camera phone will be the successor of the previous 6220 model currently in production.
See press release below.
Nokia to unveil three new cellphones next week
Amsterdam, Reuters News Service — Finland’s Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, is set to unveil three new models next week, one of which is the company’s first fold-away design, industry and market sources said yesterday. Nokia will show the ‘clamshell’ model 7200, the 6230 camera phone and the 6820 with keyboard at its Mobile Internet Conference in Nice, France, on Tuesday, the sources said.
The Finnish company declined to comment. Until now, Nokia has been reluctant to stamp an operator’s brand on its phones, but the new models feature places for a logo of a mobile telecoms operator. Consumers would also be able to access carrier-specific services with special buttons.
Other phone manufacturers, such as Motorola, have no qualms about co-branding and this has added the pressure on Nokia to follow suit or risk losing business. Co-branding and special buttons have helped Japan’s Sharp become the most popular phone maker for Vodafone’s Live! service. “A more relaxed attitude toward operator branding should help Nokia maintain its share as we suspect that operator branded phones are on the rise,” said analyst Richard Windsor at Nomura in London, who had obtained pictures of the new phones.
In Europe, Vodafone Live!, T-Mobile’s T-zones and Orange’s signature phones show that operators want models tailored to their network. In Japan and the US this was already a trend.An industry source, who also said Nokia would launch the models next week, pointed out that the new clamshell model was the company’s first response to a growing number of fold-away models which are popular in Asia and the US.Louis Vuitton phoneIn contrast to all-silver designs from Asian vendors, which Nokia in the past has dismissed, its 7200 folding model is part covered in what appears to be printed beige textile.
One industry analyst described it as a ‘Louis Vuitton phone’, an allusion to the French luxury luggage brand.All the new phones are for GSM networks, which are used around the world. Some 70% of all mobile phone users are on a GSM network. Analysts said this was remarkable because Nokia needed fold-away designs to compete in the CDMA markets of the Americas and parts of Asia. CDMA is GSM’s smaller rival.South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, although only number four worldwide, is the world’s largest CDMA cellphone maker and produces almost exclusively fold-away models for these networks.
Nokia chief executive Jorma Ollila said last week in a third quarter results conference call that his company was not fanatical about its ‘candybar’ shaped phone designs. “We will move to broader range of form factors, including clamshells,” he said, mostly speaking about CDMA networks.
All models would be introduced commercially by early next year, too late for the Christmas and Chinese New Year holiday seasons. The 6230 and 6820 models will be ready to work on the EDGE standard, which is the successor of GPRS and which gives GSM networks faster and more efficient connections for data applications such as video and picture messaging.
EDGE will first be used by GSM operators in the US and Eastern Europe, two of Nokia’s growth markets.