Nokia expects to sell 25 million smartphones this year -- handsets offering limited PC-type functions like e-mail -- more than doubling the 12 million it sold in 2004, according to a forecast by company CEO Jorma Ollila.
He also said at a company event in Amsterdam that the company expects to ship 100 million camera phones in 2005, and that Nokia would sell 40 million phones with MP3 digital music players this year, compared with 10 million in 2004.
By comparison, Apple said it sold 5.3 million iPods in the first three months of 2005 while Canon was the top seller of digital cameras in 2004, with 17 percent of the global market of 74 million units, according to research firm IDC.
Nokia unveiled its N91 multimedia phone, which will have a 4-gigabyte hard drive that can store thousands of music files. The phone, which will also run on high-speed 3G and wireless LAN networks, is due out by the end of the year.
Nokia said its other new phones, the N90 and the N70, will have two-megapixel cameras with high-quality Carl Zeiss lenses. The N90 will be in shops in the second quarter at a price of around 600 euros ($784), while the N70, also a 3G phone, will hit the shelves in the third quarter. Apple's original iPod retails for about 319 euros in Europe while Canon's cameras start at less than half the cost of the N90.
The company launched the new N-series sub-brand to make the new phone lineup stand out as luxuries specifically designed for high quality photos, video and music.
"Nokia is (already) a symbol of mobility. We're introducing a completely new brand (to make) a distinction to define a completely new category, which is multimedia," Vanjoki said.
The new brand is designed to help distinguish Nokia's camera and music phones from rivals like Samsung, which is selling camera phones with higher resolution than Nokia's, as well as a hard disk-based music phone. Meanwhile, Sony Ericsson will launch a Walkman phone after the summer holidays.
As phone subsidies from operators come under pressure due to cost cuts and aggressive price competition by virtual mobile operators, the new sub-brand may also convince consumers that they can pay more for their mobile phones, because they are buying a phone as well as a full-fledged music player and camera, Vanjoki said.
"Now there's no need to take a separate camera with you to make pictures," he said as he pointed to the Zeiss lenses also used in high-quality standalone cameras.
The hard disk-based music phone would have been launched sooner but Nokia is still working with Microsoft and its online partner OD2 to develop a music download service for mobile devices, Vanjoki said.
"But it will be this year," he said. "We're not going to miss Christmas." Source