Nokia said today that it expects strong growth in the mobile phone industry over the coming years, and has vowed to change its strategy to suit these upbeat market predictions.
Nokia's chief technology officer Pertti Korhonen told vnunet.com that he expected the number of worldwide mobile subscribers to reach two billion by the end of the year, before rocketing to three billion by 2010.
The company itself expects a 15 per cent increase in subscriptions this year, and to see a rise of 23 per cent in revenues from data services.
Nokia's recent WiMax deal with Intel is part of a larger strategy to support all radio technologies in the future to encourage internet use on the move.
"Mobile internet has been a learning experience for the whole industry," said Korhonen.
"We overestimate growth in the short term and underestimate it in the long term. We are now moving from a gadget-driven approach to the next level of user experience where the device is always connected to the internet."
Nokia has decided to adopt WiMax only in its 802.16e incarnation and expects the standard to be ratified by the end of the year.
Wi-Fi will also be built into future Nokia phones, especially those aimed at business users. But Korhonen explained that, as wireless penetrates the home, consumer phones will also begin to incorporate the technology.
However, Korhonen refused to be drawn on the extent to which the technologies will affect handset battery life.
He also confirmed Nokia's contention that the price point for miniature hard drives has reached a sufficiently low level that they could be introduced into phones.
The company has promised to launch a 4GB hard drive-based music phone by the end of the year.
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