Sales of Nokia phones in the Philippines

The Philippines continues to defy the global trend of declining sales in mobile phones in 2009 amid the economic downturn, according to an executive of Finnish phone manufacturer Nokia.
"The global phone market was down 10 percent this year.  In the Philippines, I have not seen any slowdown," Mr. William Hamilton-Whyte, general manager of Nokia Philippines said, although he refused to cite specific growth numbers.
Nokia accounts for more than 50 percent of total mobile phone sales in the Philippines, which continues to be a dynamic market.  However, Mr. Whyte said that because of the global economic downturn, mobile phone users in the Philippines may change their handsets less often.

"Before it was 24 months before they change phones.  But because of the global crisis, it would be longer at maybe 30 months," he said.

Sales of Nokia handsets would remain strong in the country, which is emerging strong in mobile Internet.

"The Philippines is going to become no. 1 in Asia. in terms of mobile email in three years.  It is on track towards that goal.  It is already now in the top five in the world in mobile email," Mr. Whyte said.

Mr. Whyte said the mobile phone industry is changing past, because consumer needs are changing and the landscape is evolving.

"Mobile telecom and personal computers converge. Mobile phone manufacturers come out with mobile phones that look like personal computers while computer manufacturers come out with computers that look like mobile phones," he said.

Mr. Whyte said an example of this merger of technologies is Nokia's latest product, the N-97, which has a 32-gigabyte internal memory, that is expandable to 48 gigabytes. 

"Electronic devices are getting smaller and more powerful," he said.  N-97 is retailed at P35,000 in the Philippines, he said.

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