Nokia adds clamshells to handset range

Nokia has introduced five new cellular handset models, including a smart phone and a handset for 3G (third-generation) networks.

The announcement was made in Singapore, where the CommunicAsia 2004 exhibition opens Tuesday.

The Nokia 6630 is billed by the company as the world's smallest 3G handset, weighing 127 grams and measuring 110 millimeters by 60 millimeters by 20.6 millimeters. The phone uses the Symbian operating system (OS) and includes Bluetooth support, a 1.2-megapixel digital camera with 6X digital zoom that can capture still pictures and video, an MP3 music player, RealNetworks' RealOne mobile video player and Nokia's VPN (Virtual Private Network) client to securely connect with corporate e-mail servers and intranets, Nokia said in a statement.

The 6630 ships with 74M bytes of memory, including a removable MMC (MultiMediaCard) flash memory card, Nokia said. Optional accessories include an attachable flash and Bluetooth keyboard, it said.

The 6630 operates on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz bands, including those with support for EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) high-speed data. It also operates on WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) networks. The 6630 will ship during the fourth quarter in Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, and will cost under Euro 500 (US$600), Nokia said. Though the company has not announced plans for selling the handset in the North American market, a Nokia spokeswoman in Finland said that the 6630 does work in that region.

Nokia also added to its line of smart phones with the announcement of the Nokia 6260. The triband GSM 6260 offers an MMC slot and a built-in VGA (640 pixels by 480 pixels) camera that can record both video and still photos, and runs Nokia's Series 60 smart phone software, which is based on the Symbian OS. The phone includes standard smart phone applications, such as contact manager, e-mail and a Web browser. It also supports push-to-talk connections, Nokia said.

The 6260 is a clamshell handset with a display that can be folded back for Web browsing or typing using Nokia's Bluetooth keyboard. The phone will be available worldwide during the third quarter, starting from Euro 400, Nokia said.

In April the company reported a 2 percent decline in its first quarter sales, pointing in part to its inability to launch new products quickly enough, particularly it its mid-range market where it lacked a choice of the clamshell handsets that have become popular with consumers. At the time, Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, promised to quickly introduce new handsets and to focus on three areas of development: expanding mobile voice, driving consumers' use of multimedia and encouraging more business use of mobile applications.

Nokia introduced three clamshell handsets, bringing its total portfolio of such models to four. Nokia also introduced a mid-range phone and two low-end models on Monday.

The mid-range Nokia 6170 is a triband GSM phone with a stainless steel finish and a built-in VGA camera that can capture videos and still pictures, Nokia said. The clamshell phone has two color screens. The main internal display is a 128 pixel by 160 pixel display that can show 65,536 colors, while the secondary external screen measures 96 pixels by 95 pixels and can show 4,096 colors.

The 6170 will be available worldwide for around Euro 250, Nokia said.

Rounding out the latest additions to Nokia's phone line-up, the low-end Nokia 2650 offers a clamshell design while the Nokia 2600 offers a spreadsheet, contact database and calendar applications. Both phones will be available worldwide during the third quarter, according to Nokia. Pricing was not disclosed.

CommunicAsia runs through Friday.

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Sumner Lemon and Laura Rohde

IDG News Service
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