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Nokia Unveils Three Handsets As Cell Phone Industry Prepares For iPhone Launch

The new Nokia handsets are positioned in the $200 to $330 segment where Nokia has been relatively weak.
Nokia unveiled three mobile phone handsets Monday in a move the company said should help it increase its market share lead over its competitors. The news was the latest in a series of handset announcements in recent weeks as mobile phone providers position their products against the Apple iPhone, set to launch June 29.

The new Nokia handsets are positioned in the mid-range of mobile devices, the $200 to $330 segment, where Nokia -- with traditional strengths on the low and high ends -- has been relatively weak. With its leading market share position under assault from other handset providers, Nokia expressed confidence the new handsets will help increase its share of market.

"We now see our share of the global market expanding to above the current estimate of 36%," said Urpo Karjalainen, Nokia senior VP for Asia-Pacific, according to media reports.

The Nokia 6267 features an enhanced 3G music and video player with dedicated keys that Nokia said make music listening uncomplicated. The handset has two digital cameras: a 2-megapixel device with flash, and another that captures images for video playback.

The other models -- the 3500 Classic and the 6121 Classic -- are enhancements to older, popular Nokia handsets.

In recent days, handset providers and mobile phone service providers have launched a wave of new devices in advance of the planned debut of Apple's iPhone. Last week, Sony Ericsson unveiled two new Walkman phones: the W910 and the W960. The high-end W910 features Sony Ericsson's SenseMe, which works to catch the mood of music as it's ripped from CDs, enabling users to create playlists according to music style.

Apple's iPhone is largely built around its successful iPod and will have advanced music- and video-playing features. Also serving to create interest and tension among existing handset providers is a recent survey by market researcher M:Metrics, which said its survey of more than 11,000 cell phone users revealed that 9% of them are interested in purchasing an iPhone.