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Nokia strengthens handset lead

Nokia, the world’s leading handset vendor, said Thursday that its share of the global handset market had extended to 36 per cent, following record unit shipments in the fourth quarter of 2006.

The Finnish vendor shifted 106 million units in the final quarter of 2006, an increase of 26 per cent year on year. Nokia estimates that it own converged device volumes for the fourth quarter grew to 11.1 million units, against a total industry volume of 24.6 million units.

Almost 6 million Nokia Nseries devices were shipped in the fourth quarter, helping the Finnish company to keep pace ahead of nearest rival Motorola. Last week Moto announced that its global handset market share had increased to 22.2 per cent but fourth quarter performance was still disappointing.

Nokia on the other hand increased fourth quarter net profit by 19 per cent to Eur1.27bn. Full year 2006 profits also increased 19 per cent to hit Eur4.3bn against revenues of Eur41bn, up 20 per cent on 2005.

According to the latest forecast from IDC, shipments of mobile phones in EMEA, encompassing both traditional mobile phones and converged devices, are expected to reach over 400 million units in 2007, representing year on year growth of 12 per cent and constituting over a third of global mobile phone shipments.

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