Nokia issues a new market warning

Nokia issued a market warning for the second time in less than a month, cutting its outlook for global handset sales, as the world's largest handset maker braces for a slowdown in the coming year.

The Finnish giant now expects global handset sales to drop below the 330 million units for the fourth quarter it estimated on Nov. 14, and also said its estimate of 1.24 billion units for 2008 would have to be revised down. Those numbers were cuts from previous estimates. The company also said it expects growth to slow in 2009, with the market contracting 5 percent from its 2008 levels. 

"2009 will be challenging for our industry, however we have a strong, enviable base to build on and I believe we will continue to strengthen our position on many fronts," Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in a statement.

The news comes amid a week of profit warnings from other handset makers, including Research In Motion and Palm, as the handset market faces declining demand in the midst of a global economic slowdown. The research firm Gartner also released statistics about the smartphone market, which saw its weakest year-on-year growth since the firm started tracking the industry, and Nokia saw its share of the smartphone market fall to 42.4 percent, down from the 48.7 percent share it had a year earlier.

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