Nokia Unveils $68 Mobile Phones for Speedy Internet Access

Nokia Oyj (NOK1V), the second-biggest maker of mobile phones, unveiled cheaper handsets today to meet consumer demand for fast connections to the Internet.

The Nokia 207 and 208 are candybar-shaped phones that let users connect to speedier third-generation networks, the company said in a statement. They come with Nokia’s Xpress Browser that compresses data and will include social applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Both handsets will cost $68 and are expected to start shipping this quarter. The third model is a dual SIM version of the Nokia 208.
A sign stands outside the headquarters of Nokia Oyj in Espoo. Photographer: Henrik Kettunen/Bloomberg

The company said the new models are its “most affordable 3G devices yet.” As Nokia strives to catch up with Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in smartphones priced at more than $500, the Espoo, Finland-based company is also trying to boost sales of more basic handsets that sell for a fraction of the price, a category that accounts for most of its device business. Nokia’s first-quarter sales slumped 20 percent as competition from Asian manufacturers of phones that run Google Inc.’s Android software hurt demand for the company’s cheaper models. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop said the decline in its mobile-phone business was primarily caused by competition and Nokia was preparing “aggressive moves” to respond. It unveiled new software to power its Asha mobile phones in May