Nokia identifies gap in product line

Nokia’s designs have been singled out ahead of its shareholders meeting this week, as the company anticipates lower than expected sales for the first quarter of 2004.

In a preliminary statement, which sent its share price tumbling by more than 15 per cent last week, Nokia chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila admitted that a gap in its product range is partly to blame. The company lacks attractive higher-priced products, in particular clam shell phones, he says, and its product range is ‘weighted towards the low end’.

Freelance designer Mark Delaney, previously head of design at Samsung Europe, believes the company has ‘bigger problems than clam shell phones’.

‘The company hasn’t delivered a landmark phone in the past two or three years. It has stuck with its very expressive design language, but that now looks dated,’ he says.

The company is now playing catch-up with Asian competitors Sony and Samsung and its German rival Siemens, adds Delaney.

Nokia claims its sales for the first quater of 2004 are expected to be €6.6 billion, a decline of 2 per cent against the first quarter of 2003. The company’s detailed first quarter results are out tomorrow.

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