Motorola launched five new handsets yesterday and announced it would use high-speed GPRS (general packet radio services) technology across its entire product line, a move expected to help jump-start the introduction of next-generation telephone services. The company also released its first third-generation (3G) mobile handset, a move that puts it one step ahead of its European competitors such as Nokia, Siemens and Ericsson. The world's second-largest handset-maker said the new products and upgrades to three existing phones marked a revamped focus on design and technology as Motorola tried to reverse a difficult period last year, when it posted its first loss since the 1930s and saw demand for mobile phones shrink for the first time. Mike Zafirovski, president of Motorola's personal communications sector (PCS), said: 'Anyone who tracks our industry will recognise the new direction represented by our 2002 portfolio. Design, style, elegance, entertainment and overall experience - these are all the hallmarks of a renewed and refocused Motorola PCS.' Motorola introduced the handsets at its design centre in Milan. The phones feature a mix of fashion and technology, and cover the low and high end of the market. The handsets include two models that were recently made available in Asia ahead of their global launch, reflecting the region's growing importance to the industry. The V70, which has a rotating cover, was launched in Hong Kong earlier this month, while the high-end A388 - which flips open to offer personal digital assistant functions - has been available in the mainland since last month. The most advanced handset was the 3G-enabled A820, which has a video camera and Bluetooth wireless technology. It is the first 3G phone Motorola has put into mass production. Another high-end unit, the T720, has a candy-bar shape and a colour icon-driven display. On the fashion side, and filling the demand for lower-tier phones, the C330 series allows users to customise exterior covers and ring tones. The V60i, Motorola V66i and Motorola T280i are upgrades of existing products, adding improved text messaging and games. The handsets, all featuring Java-based J2ME technology, should be available by the third quarter of the year. Prices were not immediately available. Shiv Putcha, a Yankee Group analyst specialising in the Asia-Pacific wireless mobile sector, said it was significant to see Motorola's commitment to GPRS and getting advanced handsets into widespread use. He said: 'This is the first time I've seen them making such a strong statement on GPRS. This is a good sign. They are saying that this year they are going to ship advanced handsets in volume and that was what I wanted to hear.' Mr Putcha said a lack of handsets had held back the advance of 3G networks. Motorola is the leading maker of GPRS phones, having shipped 4.1 million units. As it tries to recreate itself with new styles and technology, Motorola is fighting to catch market leader Nokia and stave off challenges from companies such as Samsung, Sony and Ericsson. A study released this week by research firm Strategy Analytics showed Nokia increased its market share to 36 per cent last year, up five points from 2000. It showed Samsung boosted its share to 7 per cent, while Motorola maintained a 15 per cent share. Motorola claimed its market share was about 17 per cent last year, up three points from 2000. Strategy Analytics predicted Motorola would post modest market gains this year, while Nokia would increase its lead, driving handset sales with imaging and colour display features. Motorola has forecast it will ship 420 million handsets this year, up from 400 million last year. The company also introduced a line of accessories, including an MP3 player, Bluetooth headset, Bluetooth car kit, desktop speaker phone, hands-free car kit, a wind-up power source, desktop charger, retractable headset and one-touch headset.