Nokia and Motorola Ready to Rumble in Emerging Markets
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
With mobile phone shipments expected to slow next year, Nokia and Motorola are set to slug it out in emerging markets with low-cost, ultraslim phones.
Nokia on Tuesday forecast 10% global unit sales growth for cell phones in 2007, about half the rate of this year’s growth. About 970 million cell phones will be sold in 2006, Nokia estimates.
Research firm Gartner says cell phone unit sales rose 21.5% worldwide in the third quarter.
Cell phone demand next year is expected to be strongest in emerging markets such as India and China. One question is whether No. 1 cell phone maker Nokia can continue its dominance as shipments slow.
Nokia has thrived in emerging markets by selling low-cost phones priced near $40. Motorola is betting it can make inroads with similarly priced phones that look much like its sleek and popular Razr handsets.
“Nokia’s emerging-markets strategy has been to focus on entry-level phones,” said Randy Giusto, an analyst with research firm IDC. “Motorola is trying to take the success of its Razr, the buzz factor around Razr, to gain share with ultrathin models at a lower price point.”
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