Handset market - Size of the mobile matters

It may be a matter of only 0.3mm, but to Nokia the distance is crucial.
At just 13.7mm across, the N76 - the new handset which the phone manufacturer launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas yesterday - will be one of the most slender handsets on the market.
It will also, importantly, be 0.3mm thinner than the RAZR, the hugely successful model sold by its rival Motorola.
"Thin is good" was the theme of the speech by Nokia chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo at the CES yesterday as he laid out the battleground for the next generation of handsets and sought to reassure investors that the company's sales would not suffer amid a difficult period for manufacturers.
Among the slimmer offerings with which Nokia hopes to take the fight to Motorola was the N93i - a new version of the N93, launched in 2005 - which will be 3mm thinner than its predecessor, as well as doubling as a digital video camera.
The company also announced plans to release a new "ultra-thin" phone, the Barracuda, later in the year, though declined to give measurements.
Nokia still makes one in three phones sold worldwide, thanks largely to high demand for its cheaper models in emerging markets, but has suffered from a lack of slimmer models in the wake of Motorola’s hugely popular RAZR flip-phone.
The launch of the RAZR in 2003 has in large part been responsible for Motorola’s market share climbing to an estimated 22 per cent.
It has been a difficult period for the handset manufacturing market, where strong price competition has forced down margins, analysts said.
Shares in Nokia fell by more than 4 per cent in Helsinki trading on Friday after Motorola gave warning that its fourth-quarter (Q4) revenues and profits would fall below expectations.
Both companies are due to release their Q4 results later this month.
"More than 850 million people have a Nokia mobile phone in their hands. No other consumer electronics company in the world has ever had such a customer base," Mr Kallasvuo said in a statement.
The company said it had sold 40 million multimedia phones, and that the market for such devices, which was 90 million in 2006, was expected to grow to 250 million units by 2008 - figures which reassured analysts.
"This news dispels suspicions that Nokia would have to follow Motorola and warn on the fourth quarter," Karri Rinta, an analyst at Handelbanken, said.

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