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Can Nokia's flashy phones spark sales?

The handset maker launches a bevy of new phones at the CeBit computer show. Features include color screens, multimedia messaging and support for RealNetworks' media players.

Nokia launched a bevy of new phones at the CeBit computer show in Hannover, Germany, adding color screens, MIDI sounds, multimedia messaging capability and support for RealNetworks' media players.

But the news will likely be overshadowed by a financial report from the company. Nokia also announced Tuesday that net sales for the first quarter are expected to be slightly lower than the 6 percent to 10 percent drop already predicted.

In particular, networks sales are expected to drop by 25 percent from the previous, year compared with the 16 percent to 20 percent previously predicted. Profits, however, should be higher than expected.

Sales of cellular phones are expected to be within the 3 percent to 7 percent decline already predicted. The company will try and boost those sales with the series of flashy new devices, most of which will be available in the second quarter.

The deal with RealNetworks means that the RealOne Player, which supports RealAudio, Real Video and 3GPP (third-generation partnership project) media formats, will be included as a standard feature on Nokia's Series 60 technology and in Nokia phones based on the Symbian OS. The Series 60 technology also supports multimedia messaging (MMS), Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and Java.