Nokia expects 10% growth in handset shipments next year

Robert Clark
03 Dec 2009

Nokia expects to boost handset shipments by 10% next year, but expects the average selling price (ASP) to fall.

Nokia execs also admitted at the company’s annual analysts’ day yesterday that it needs to overhaul its Symbian operating system.

Loss-making infrastructure outfit Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is aiming for an operating margin of “break-even or 2%” in what it forecasts will be a flat market in 2010.

Nokia’s handset sales fell this year for the first time since 2001, a result of the recession and the company’s weakness in the smartphone segment.

It expects its share of handsets sold will be flat in 2010, although it is aiming to increase its share of total revenue. The company is targeting an operating margin of 12% to 14% in its core handset business, compared with 11.3% in the first nine months of 2009.

CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said the company would focus on “user experience improvements” in Symbian in 2010.

The handset vendor plans to re-engineer the Symbian user interface and issue a “major product” by the middle of next year, he said.

“As an operating system, Symbian has reach and flexibility like no other platform, and we have measures in place to push smartphones down to new price points globally, while growing margins,” he said.

He said Nokia would ship its first Maemo 6-powered device in the second half of 2010.

The focus for NSN would be to cut operating expenses by €500 million ($735m) annually by the end of 2011. Nokia expects the market to be flat, but is targeting a sales growth ahead of the market for its JV.

Following the announcements, Nokia’s share price finished 2.1% lower at $12.94 on the NYSE.

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