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Friday, April 22, 2005
Nokia bumps up 2005 cellphone forecast to 740m

The market leader in cellphone handsets now says that 740 million units will sell in 2005, up from a previous estimate of 705 million.

Number-one cellphone manufacturer Nokia has revised its forecast for the 2005 cellphone market upwards following a strong start to the year.

The Finland-based company, which had a market share of around 31% in 2004, is now expecting 15% growth this year, despite seeing some weakness in the market for 3G devices.

If correct, that would see the overall market grow from 643 million last year to 740 million units in 2005. Nokia was previously expecting global unit volumes to rise by only 10%.

Nokia itself is seeing fastest growth in China, which has now become its number-one single market for mobile devices.

On the down side, Nokia saw shipments slide in the Americas, with North American volumes down 33% annually. Nokia says that the operator migration from TDMA, traditionally a strong Nokia sector, to GSM and CDMA protocols, has been the chief reason for this.

In the first quarter of 2005, Nokia sold 53.8 million mobile devices, representing a year-on-year rise of 20%. As would be expected in the extremely seasonal mobile device market, that volume was down 19% on the prior quarter.

Sales in China alone surged 69% compared with the equivalent period in 2004 to reach 7.1 million units.

On the financial side, Nokia's revenue from mobile phone sales in the first quarter of 2005 increased 11% compared with the same period last year to reach ?4.5 billion ($5.9 billion). However, operating profit for the division dropped 16% to ?869 million.

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