Nokia, the world's largest handset maker, said China provides the biggest growth opportunities for the company and the wireless industry in the years ahead, which is a sentiment in keeping with the company's strategy as outlined last month. China added nearly 49.7 million new mobile subscribers in the first nine months of 2006, bringing the country's subscriber base up to 443.2 million. Over the next three years, Nokia expects 160 million more subs in China. Current subscribers are going to want to replace their handsets: 55 percent of subs will do so this year and 80 percent will look for a replacement phone come 2010, according to Nokia.
"In China, the mobile phone is very much a substitute for a PC, meaning that people get their first Internet experience via mobile phones instead of PCs," Nokia's CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasuvuo said. "I think we can take value from the PC market in this domain--maybe more easily than in the markets that are dominated by traditional PCs."
For more on Nokia's perspective on China:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)