BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
Finland-based Nokia is growing its sales in Latin America, although its market share is being eroded slightly. Last year, the company sold 41.3 million wireless units to the region, an increase of 7.0 percent. Its market reached 29.8 percent at the end of 2007, which represents a decline from the 31.3 percent it had in 2006, according to Strategy Analytics. However, Nokia remains the market leader and has been able to widen the gap with the second-largest wireless phone vendor in Latin America, Motorola.
"In Latin America, we've been able to strengthen our number one position across geographically," says Olivier Puech, the French native who runs Nokia's Latin America operations.
Nokia does not break down its regional sales, but Latin America accounts for 8 to 10 percent of global revenues, Puech says. That translates to between 408.5 million euro (US$642.4 million) and 510.6 million euro, according to a Latin Business Chronicle calculation.
As penetration rates in Latin America have grown, Nokia's focus has been on getting more value out of many existing customers that replace their handsets. Last year, top-selling models included the 5200, 5300 and 6130, which all feature music players and built-in cameras. "Our focus has been not only on the low-end, but also the mid- to high- segment," Puech says. “Brazil and Mexico very focused on music.”
Another driver behind Nokia's growth is the economic growth in the region and improved credit and purchasing power, Puech says. Latin America's economies grew by 5.0 percent last year and will likely expand by another 43 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Brazil and Mexico are the top markets, accounting for...
Keywords: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela. 3G