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Nokia Sees Mobile Rebound In 2010

The world's largest handset maker said the mobile market is stabilizing and should see 10% growth next year.

After a rough year for many phone makers, Nokia said Wednesday it expects the mobile market to rebound in 2010.

During its annual Capital Markets Day event, the world's largest handset maker said it expects mobile device shipments to rise about 10% next year from 2009 volumes. The global economic recession greatly impacted the mobile industry in 2009, as many consumers held off upgrading their handsets. High-end smartphone vendors like Apple and Research In Motion still had banner years, but the crunch was really felt by companies that specialize in feature phones like Sony Ericsson.

Nokia still has about 38% of the global handset market, and it expects its share to remain flat through 2010. The company also said it expects a lower average selling price of its mobile devices in 2010, which could erode margins.

The company still sees some room for growth, particularly in emerging markets like China and India. At the high end, Nokia leads the smartphone market but it is facing stiff challenges from the iPhone, BlackBerry, and various Android devices. The company's relatively minor presence in the North American market is also hurting it in the high-end space.

The handset maker said it remains committed to the Symbian mobile operating system as its platform of choice for most of its smartphones. There had been some question about Nokia's platform strategy because it recently introduced the N900 smartphone and it was powered by the Linux-based Maemo OS.

"In 2010, we will drive user experience improvements, and the progress we make will take the Symbian user interface to a new level," said Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo in a statement. "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."

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