Nokia To Go Downmarket At MWC To Better Compete With Huawei And ZTE, Report Says

Windows Phone 8 is Nokia’s big play for the future, but as a result of focusing on those devices and their higher-end target market, the company is giving up ground to firms like Huawei and ZTE with lower end devices. But the Finnish company may be looking to get its budget-friendly groove back with the introduction of new, basic handsets not based on Microsoft’s mobile OS, to be unveiled at MWC next week according to Reuters.

The tails of new models come from “company sources,” according to Reuters, and suggest Nokia will introduce “cut-price” hardware in multiple handsets, as well as a single new Lumia device on Windows Phone 8, but one designed with affordability in mind. Nokia already offers the budget Lumia 620, a $249 smartphone with Microsoft’s latest OS onboard, but that’s still over $200, whereas the average selling price of Nokia mobile phones in general was € 31 in 2012, Reuters notes, with net sales of mobile phones accounting for € 9.44 billion in sales in 2012 for the company.

Nokia has had tremendous success with its Series 40 line of devices, as Natasha noted in an article late last year, but even that market where it has traditionally been strong is under attack from rival manufacturers. Nokia is failing to attract audiences in its traditionally strong markets with even low-cost Lumia handsets. And it’s losing share fast to Huawei and ZTE, which are quickly charging up the ranks of global handset manufacturers thanks to an emphatic focus on lower end devices.

Nokia’s candle is burning at both ends, with the company facing threats in both smartphones and with low-end devices. The company said to “expect a lot of things” in 2013 based on the Series 40 platform at the end of 2012, and it looks likely we’ll see some of those things unveiled at MWC. A revamped Series 4 line could definitely help shore up its shrinking share of the under $100 market, and if a new Lumia can break the $200 barrier, we might see Nokia win back some precious smartphone share as well.