Nokia shrugs off Apple iPhone, RIM BlackBerry threats

Oli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia, shrugged off competition from Apple’s iPhone  and RIM’s BlackBerry today, maintaining that his firm still held 40 percent of the smartphone market.

Kallasvuo was being interrogated by Alex Vieux, who is holding his 20th Etre conference here in Paris, France today.

Kallasvuo said: “Our market share in smartphones is about 40 percent, the same  market share that we’ve always had.”

He said that while some competitors such as Phillips, Siemens and Lucent have disappeared, others have emerged.  “We need to be able to compete with the new  people as well,” he said. He did not specify how Nokia will compete with the  Apple iPhone and with the BlackBerry.

He said: “You have traditional competitors like the Korean and Japanese companies and now we have new competitors like Apple and RIM. We are talking about  redefining what’s happening.”

He said that Nokia will work with regulatory authorities such as the FCC to make  sure that peoples’ privacy is maintained.

The Chinese market is open and fair, maintained Kallasvuo. Nokia has been there  for 25 years and holds the number one share and exports from China too. There is  new competition coming from China and Nokia will compete with that too.

He said Nokia is the number one brand in India and the market forces means Nokia  has to fight on a daily basis but the progress of his company in India is “quite  amazing”.

He said the PC market and the mobile markets are converging and it will be  impossible to tell whether a machine is a PC or a mobile phone. That means that  while HP has been strong in PCs it’s an opportunity for Nokia as well. Developing  markets will have their first internet experience not through a PC, but through a  mobile phone.

Nokia claims it is the biggest camera manufacturer in the world but what’s needed  now is more software applications. Nokia has come up with the concept “comes with  music” and that’s one of the ways to fight iTunes, Kallasvuo said.

Nokia has a plan and is acting on a plan to fight the Apple iPhone. He said Nokia  needs to understand the consumer better and better. The border lines of the  industry are being changed and his company will need to transform. There are 10s  and 10s of examples Nokia is developing to create services on the mobile. He didn’st say what they were.

Kallusvuo has been at Nokia for 30 years. He said: “It was love at first sight.  Do I have the ability to get excited? The company is not the same [as when I  started]. I am employee number one when it comes to length of service,” he said.

* Scottish company Wolfson reported not so brilliant results today. But the UK  Financial Times believes that while it failed to secure additional orders from  Apple for its iPhone, Nokia is all set to afford it a major design win which may  turn its fortunes round.