London: Embattled tech firm Nokia will start manufacturing cheaper mobile handsets in a bid to fend off growing competition from Chinese rivals at the lower end of the market, it has emerged.
The new models are due to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress industry convention in Barcelona next week.
The move suggests that Nokia is expanding its focus after concentrating in the past two years on catching up with Apple and Samsung in more expensive smartphones, the Telegraph reports.
According to the paper, sources told a UK-based news agency that Nokia could introduce cut-price basic phones aimed at competing with the likes of Huawei and ZTE, as well as a new, lower-price model of its Lumia smartphones running on Windows Phone 8 software.
Nokia has struggled with growing competition in both smartphones and lower-end handsets.
Its Lumia smartphone range was widely been seen as a make-or-break product line for Nokia due to its high margins, the paper said.
Its success is seen determining whether Chief Executive Stephen Elop made the right decision two years ago in switching to Microsoft Windows software from its own Symbian system, it added.
First Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013, 20:28