Nokia’s outgoing chief executive officer Jorma Ollila says that strong demand for new mobile phones will continue well into 2006, effectively sticking two fingers up to analysts’ gloomy predictions for an imminent slowdown in growth. With increased levels of market saturation around the globe industry analysts are predicting a rapid deceleration in demand for new phones and forecast a halving of growth next year from 30% to 15%. However, in 2005 shipments have remained steady at a level 20% higher than those of 2004 as weak demand in mature wireless markets has been more than offset by strong growth in emerging nations. Moreover, robust demand for handset replacements has defied industry predictions with Ollila saying there is more good news to come. ‘The buzz that there is in the Middle East, the Gulf and Africa is the same we saw in China seven or eight years ago, the same we saw a couple of years ago in Latin America,’ he said. Nokia last month raised guidance for its third-quarter earnings, citing a combination of unexpectedly strong sales, good cost control and one-off items.
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