Sources tell Reuters this morning that Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) is planning to unveil low-cost mobile devices, at least one of which will be a Lumia handset running on Windows 8. The devices are expected to be revealed next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. If Nokia does move forward with a low-end handset, it would likely be far ahead of Apple Inc. (AAPL), which numerous analysts have been speculating would release a low-cost iPhone late this year or early next year.
Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) has been struggling to gain market share around the globe, as evidenced by Google Trends’ search volumes map. And as a result, the company is expected to begin offering low-end devices to infiltrate the low-end market.
There have been rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will offer a low-cost iPhone in order to gain global market share, but thus far the company has remained mum on the subject. Analysts have speculated over and over again that a low-cost iPhone would be good for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)
So, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (HEL:NOK1V) (BIT:NOK1V) (AMS:NOKA) is apparently heeding the advice meant for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Reuters cites anonymous sources who say the company is planning to unveil new low-end models next week at the Mobile World Congress, an industry convention that’s held in Barcelona. If the sources are right, then Nokia’s low-cost phones will likely be coming out long before Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s low-cost iPhone could make it to the market.
At this point there’s no word on how much the low-cost phones would be sold for, but the sources did tell Reuters that there may be more than one low-cost phone introduced. One of the low-cost options to be offered by Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) is expected to be a Lumia handset running on Windows 8.
Of course, if Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (HEL:NOK1V) (BIT:NOK1V) does indeed begin offering low-cost phones to compete with the mobile devices made by Chinese rivals like ZTE (HKG:763) and Huawei, then the entire point would be to address a greater segment of the mobile phone market. If the company does this successfully, it could be just what the struggling handset maker needs to stay afloat.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s flagship Windows 8 Lumia devices have been seen by many as the last attempt for the company to stay in business, but so far since the launch of the devices, the company’s market share appears to be only about 5 percent. However, the Lumia only addresses high-end markets, which is where the iPhone 5 and devices made by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) compete.
This morning in pre-market trades, shares of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (HEL:NOK1V) (BIT:NOK1V) rose almost 2 percent at the New York Stock Exchange, almost erasing yesterday’s losses.