India now more important than U.S. for Nokia

India is now more important to Nokia than the United States in terms of sales, says the head of the world's largest mobile manufacturer.
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

India is now more important to Nokia than the United States in terms of sales, the head of the world's largest mobile manufacturer has revealed.

Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said that for the first time, during the quarter ended June 2007, Nokia shifted more units in India than it did in the United States--making it the second most important market for the company after China.

Analyst firm Wireless Intelligence now believes that China will soon pass the 500 million mobile connections mark, while a separate report by the industry watchers found that India's active subscriptions are likely to reach 211 million this year.

India's mobile market has exploded in recent years. According to figures from Nokia, India has moved from being the fourth biggest purchaser of Nokia phones in 2005--behind China, the United States and the United Kingdom. India overtook the United Kingdom earlier this year.

According to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Nokia expects growth of around 10 percent in phone sales during 2007, with 15 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.

Nokia has a number of manufacturing facilities in India, with a plant in Chennai exporting half of the 60 million devices it creates to 58 countries around the world.

Its infrastructure joint venture, Nokia Siemens Networks, is expected to invest US$100 million in the country over the coming three years, Nokia said, and will open a new facility in the country next year.

Nokia Siemens Networks CEO recently said he expects developing and developed markets to move at different rhythms when it comes to mobile standards. "We think here in Europe the predominant mobile carriage will be the HSDPA/ LTE path. In countries like India, that's not necessarily the case--where operators are spectrum constrained, there probably will be demand for WiMax."

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