Nokia reported a fourth-quarter profit of
As the average price of phones declined from the year earlier, however, sales of
Nokia sold 126.9 million units, a 12 percent improvement over the fourth quarter in 2008 and up 17 percent compared to the previous quarter.
The key to the growth was better performance in the smartphone segment, according to a statement. Nokia sold a total of 10.7 million units of its Nseries and Eseries, an increase of 1.8 million units over the third quarter, which helped expand its market share in the smartphone segment to 40 percent, it said.
Nokia's overall market share grew to 39 percent, up from 37 percent a year ago. Compared to the fourth quarter 2008 Nokia grew its unit share in all markets, except for the U.S., where the Finnish phone manufacturer still struggles.
Selling more smartphones also increased Nokia's average sales price compared to the third quarter, but only by
The improved smartphone sales is good news for Nokia, according to Francisco Jeronimo, research manager for European Mobile Devices at IDC. One of the devices that boosted smartphone sales was the N97 mini, he said.
However, Nokia has to continue to evolve its smartphone portfolio, including improving the user interface on its devices, according to Jeronimo. The competition in the smartphone segment is already tough, and will get even more intense in 2010, he said.
Nokia was also helped by sales in emerging markets, which continues to be an important segment for Nokia, according to Jeronimo.
In 2010, Nokia expects that unit sales will grow by 10 percent, compared to last year, it said.