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Nokia Predicts Fall in Q1 Sales

Even as the latest Gartner research shows a decline in worldwide sales of wireless phones 2001, market leader Nokia said it remained on track to meet or exceed first quarter profit targets this year.

Nokia, which strengthened its worldwide sales lead over Motorola, Siemens and Samsung however said first quarter sales will fall more than expected.

"Net sales for the first quarter are expected to be slightly lower than anticipated, but higher than expected profitability is being driven by Nokia's core strengths," the Finland cell phone maker said in a statement.

The company did not provide outlook for first quarter sales this year. Sales had been projected to slip by 6 to 10 percent in the quarter.

The Nokia news comes as new research from tech consultants Gartner Dataquest show a drop in worldwide cell phone sales for the first time ever. Gartner said the dip in sales come at a time when wireless carriers have reduced subsidies for new phones and consumers have held off on upgrades.

The study, which also found that sales of GPRS terminals were well below expectations, said sales of mobile phones worldwide totaled just under 400 million in 2001. This compares to a compound annual growth rate of close to 60 percent between 1996 and 2000, according to Gartner.

Separately, Nokia and Norwegian tech firm Opera Software announced at the CeBIT computer show that a full-functioning version the Opera Web browser would be included on the 9210i mobile phone.

Other Nokia announcement from CeBIT include:

  • A partnership with to integrate digital media technology from RealNetworks on Nokia's mobile devices and mobile operator network services. Under the alliance, Nokia said it would include the mobile version of the RealOne Player as a standard feature on all its mobile devices that use the Symbian operating system, which is Nokia's operating system for 2.5G and 3G mobile devices.

    The RealOne Player, with support for 3GPP media formats (RealAudio and RealVideo) would be included as a standard feature on the Nokia Series 60 Platform. It said Nokia Networks would provide integrated media software to mobile operators as a reseller of RealSystem Mobile, RealNetworks' standards-based media delivery platform.

  • The release of the new Nokia 9210i Communicator which is packed with a full set of new applications and enlarged internal memory capacity. It is hyped as the first Nokia device to feature a Web browser supporting JavaScripts, a Flash Player for the playback of Macromedia flash animations, and a RealOne Player enabling real-time video and audio streaming in HSCSD networks.

    Nokie said the new features of the www-browser includes HTML 4.01 compatibility, JavaScript support, and Cascade Style Sheet.

  • A deal to supply 3G radio access networks to T-Mobile International, a mobile communications firm in Europe. Nokia would serve as a major network infrastructure supplier for its 3G WCDMA network. "Deliveries based on the first phase of the frame agreement will start in the near future," the company said.