Nokia cuts Q4 forecast amid market slump

Nokia has reduced its Q4 sales forecast by 6% in expectation of a slump in the global handset market.

The handset industry is on par to ship roughly 330 million devices over the quarter, the company announced, 20 million fewer than Nokia's forecast from just a month ago.

Nokia expects to maintain or slightly increase its roughly 38% market share, which would translate to Q4 sales of at least 125 million devices.

Weaker consumer spending, unprecedented currency volatility and the limited availability of credit have together caused a marked reduction in wholesale sales, the company announced.

Nokia is now expecting industry sales of 1.24 billion for 2008, compared to the earlier estimate of 1.24 billion.

And Nokia also expects the mobile and fixed infrastructure markets to be affected by the crisis.

In response to the market slump, which is expected to worsen in 2009, Nokia intends to curtail the use of external contractors and consultants, and embark on a cost-cutting drive.

The company plans to focus on its competitive advantages such as economies of scale to weather what CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo expects to be 'a challenging 2009.'