A timely Nokia snapshot; see the full article
AT FIRST glance, Nokia, the world’s biggest handset-maker, seems to be lurching about. On November 27th it announced that it would withdraw from the Japanese market because of lack of demand. Five days later the Finnish firm said it would make a big push into two other markets: maps and e-mail on mobile phones. Both moves, although not directly related, show where the firm is heading: it is no longer pursuing growth just in handsets, but also in services delivered on them.
It is easy to see why Nokia wants to move into services. The handset market is maturing. In many rich countries there are more mobile subscriptions than people. Rapid growth is limited to emerging markets. Handsets are becoming a commodity with shrinking margins. Nokia could focus on increasing its market share, which stands at nearly 40% worldwide. The more promising bet, however, is mobile services, a market that is finally taking off.