Nokia announced that it hopes to launch up to a dozen new handsets in the North American market this year. This compares to only three for 2007. Although Nokia is the largest handset manufacturer in the world by a considerable margin, it only ranked No. 4 in the United States, according to research firm Strategy Analytics’ Q3 report.
Mark Louison, president of Nokia North America, told Reuters in an interview at CES, that “it’s not unreasonable” to expect to see the company launch between six and 12 new carrier-specific handsets this year. Previously Nokia has announced that it expected to see its North American business pick up starting in 2008.
Nokia phones primarily are carried in the United States by GSM operators AT&T and T-Mobile, but the handset maker also has said that this year it plans to customize phones for Verizon Wireless, a CDMA-based carrier.
LG Electronics also has made announcements about plans for the North American market, saying it plans to sell $13 billion worth of products in the area this year. Michael Ahn, president and CEO of LG Electronics North America, has said that the company plans to achieve this by introducing more high-end products. LG’s sales in North American were $11.5 in 2007.
The company has said that it hopes to become one of the top three manufacturers of flat panel TVs in North America and that it wants second place in the U.S. mobile phone market. In the third quarter of last year, LG ranked third for North America, not too far behind second-place Samsung.
LG said it plans to introduce more music- and multimedia-capable handsets this year, and that more of its phones will feature 3G networking technologies.