Nokia Warns on Lowered Sales Estimates

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Nokia warned that a “rapid change” in consumer spending over past few weeks has resulted in significantly lowered estimates for mobile device sales for the fourth quarter of 2008 and into 2009, according to RCR Wireless News.

Nokia is currently the number one mobile device manufacturer in the world (although it’s just number four in the U.S.), and currently accounts for about 40 percent of all device sales.

The report said that the warning was fairly mild compared to, say, what Intel and Qualcomm have been saying lately, but analysts were still unsettled by the news. “The timing of the warning is unusually early for a handset vendor,” said analyst Tero Kuittinen at Global Crown Capital L.L.C., in a note to investors. “The second half of the quarter has not yet begun and we rarely see November warnings in the cellphone business.”

Nokia has launched a number of mobile content-related initiatives over the past 18 months, such as its Comes With Music program and its Ovi media brand in the U.K. Earlier in the month, the company laid off about 600 people in a gingerly worded announcement.