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Nokia likely to unveil Lumia 610 and 900 phones next week

The mobile phone maker is expected to show off its Lumia 610 and 900 phones at next week's Mobile World Congress.

Nokia's Lumia 900.
Nokia's Lumia 900.
Bonnie Cha/CNET

Nokia may finally offer a peek at its new Lumia 610 and 900 phones early next week.

Sources told Reuters that the mobile phone maker will show off both Windows Phone handsets in a news conference scheduled for Monday at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

Little is known about the 610 except that it's supposed to be a budget-friendly phone, cheaper than some of the other Lumia handsets. The Lumia 900 has gotten most of the buzz so far, with proud parent Nokia demonstrating the device at last month's CES.

Nokia's first LTE-based Windows Phone handset, the 900 will sell for $99 with the standard two-year contract. Carried by AT&T in the United States, the phone is scheduled to debut March 18.

Despite the 900's focus on the U.S. market, the sources told Reuters that Nokia will unveil a global version of the phone at MWC on Monday.

Responding to the Reuters report, a spokesman for Nokia told CNET that the company cannot make any comment on speculation of this sort.

Whenever it hits the stage, the 900 will be packed with other high-end features, including a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen and a rear camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and dual LED flash.

A front-facing camera is also part of the package along with 16GB of memory and a long-lasting battery.

Though still a global leader, Nokia has seen its share of the mobile market continue to drop in the face of the iPhone and Android devices. And Microsoft's Windows Phone has been stuck with around a 1 percent share for the past year. Both companies need these new handsets to attract buyers who would otherwise opt for a phone from Apple, Samsung, HTC, or LG.

As Reuters points out, cheaper phones will be a key strategy for both Nokia and Microsoft if they expect to carve off a healthier chunk of the market. Beyond the as-yet-unpriced Lumia 610 and the $99 Lumia 900, Nokia has been selling the 710 for just $39 to $49, though it's available for free from such retailers as Wal-Mart.

For less budget-conscious buyers, Nokia will soon be selling an unlocked version of the Lumia 800 for $899. But that's a package deal, which includes a Purity HD stereo headset by Monster, a Nokia Luna Bluetooth headset, and Nokia's Play 360 wireless speakers.