September 26, 2008 / 10:44 AM / 11 years ago

Nokia to unveil touch-screen phone Oct 2: sources

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The world’s top cellphone maker Nokia NOK1V.HE will unveil its first touch-screen phone at a media and analyst event in London next week, two industry sources told Reuters on Friday.

Smaller handset vendors — LG Electronics (066570.KS), Apple (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) — have rolled out numerous popular touch-screen phones over the last two years.

Both sources said Nokia was set to unveil the phone, codenamed “Tube,” on Oct 2. A Nokia spokeswoman declined to comment.

“The phone is extremely important. We have been waiting for the market leader to respond to <Apple Inc’s> iPhone for a year and a half now. There is a lot of pressure on Nokia,” said Carolina Milanesi, analyst at Gartner.

Nokia said in July it would introduce its first touch-screen phone this year, and would sell it more cheaply than rival touch-screen models in order to tap into a higher-volume market.

“The demand outlook in emerging markets, like India, is good for a cheaper touch-screen phone,” said Hannu Rauhala, an analyst with Pohjola Bank.

Kai Oistamo, head of Nokia’s devices business, said in July the Finnish firm was fully committed to bringing a complete portfolio of touch devices to the market, both in the high-end and low-end segments.

Shares in Nokia were 3.4 percent lower at 13.43 euros by 6:05 a.m. EDT, hurt by grim outlook comments from Blackberry-vendor Research In Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Simon Jessop

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