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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Nokia, the world's biggest seller of mobile telephones, expects China to soon overtake the United States as the company's biggest market. Sales in China account for 10 percent of Nokia's revenue, second only to the United States at 13 percent, but rapid growth in the coming years is likely to push China beyond that, Jorma Ollila, the chief executive, said during a visit to Beijing. "I would not be surprised to see China take up the No. 1 position in the next three years," he said.China was likely to account for a quarter of new mobile phone users worldwide over the next five years as its subscribers grow from 330 million to 700 million.Nokia executives said that India was likely to follow China's trajectory of booming mobile phone use. India's says that Nokia, Ericsson and Alcatel would invest as much as $800 million in India this year, and the country's telecommunications regulator estimated that the number of mobile phone users might grow fourfold to as many as 200 million by the end of 2007. Analysts said that while Nokia was well-positioned to take advantage of China's appetite for mobile phones, the country's expected introduction of a new, "third generation" mobile phone network soon was unlikely to be the bonanza that some investors and phone manufacturers expect. Customers entering China's mobile phone shops encounter a gaudy blizzard of choices; there are about 56 phone makers in China selling about 700 models. Many of these are made by ambitious local companies like TCL Communications Technology and Ningbo Bird, but in recent years, multinationals like Nokia and Motorola have been edging out their smaller domestic competitors.
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