Nokia said recently it had seen no evidence that the global economic downturn was affecting demand for mobile phones in emerging markets, as it outlined plans for new handsets for developing countries, as reported in the Financial Times.
Alex Lambeek, a Nokia vice-president responsible for the Finnish company’s strategy in emerging markets, said 2008 should be the first year in which the number of handsets sold in developing countries to customers replacing their existing mobiles would surpass those to first-time buyers–particularly in India, China and Indonesia.
Asked whether Nokia had seen any evidence of slowing demand in emerging markets because of the economic downturn, Mr Lambeek told the Financial Times: â€œThe simple answer is no. We see a very strong underlying trend of mobility taking root in emerging markets, and the growth drivers for that are still very much in place.â€
Mr Lambeek said Nokia was looking at how to tailor its services strategy for emerging markets, and highlighted Wednesday’s announcement that it is linking with Webmail International, a South African telecoms company, to provide email services on its mobiles in the country. He added that Nokia was interested in developing mobile banking services for emerging markets, as well as informamtion services to aid productivity in industries such as agriculture.
Nokia’s emergence as the dominant player in developing markets comes at a time when Motorola’s handset business is ailing, and has been split off from Motorola’s other operations.