3GSM 2007: Alcatel shows budget design range

New handsets are cheap but far from simply 'cheerful'

Unveiling a new line up of handsets at 3GSM in Barcelona today, budget phone maker Alcatel demonstrated that attractive design can be affordable with a spread of handsets aimed at tapping into the fashion market.

Best known in the UK for pre-pay bargain handsets, Alcatel took the wraps off a 2007 range of over 15 handsets, topped by a sub-£70 pre-pay music-oriented sliderphone, the OT-C825. This device, with textured like finishing, comes with music player controls on the front and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the rear. It also supports MicroSD memory cards to expand its music player capabilities.

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Alcatel's new design strategy, as outlined to Tech.co.uk, is for every phone to be tailored to a unique lifestyle, attitude or taste, using textures and materials to inspire an emotional response from users.

It has included several other music majoring sub-£50 models, such as the OT-E805 candybar - that features a 3.5mm headphone socket as well as micro SD card support for its MP3 player - in its latest portfolio.

Commenting on the launch, Alcatel Mobile Phones chief marketing officer, Eric Vallet, said: " Our unique strategy to focus on products with easy living design and on entry level range has proven to be successful, as our trendy designs and features are well received by customers."