Nokia reported a 21% year on year increase for first quarter net profit to over €1bn (£690m). Sales were up 29% to €9.5bn in 2006. Nokia shifted 75.1m units during the quarter, around 40% more than a year ago, with the average price rising from €99 to €103. Nokia estimates its first Q1 market share was up three points to 35%.

It wasn’t all good news. The strong performance in handsets was offset by lower profits in Nokia’s networks division, despite a rise in revenues there.
Elsewhere in Nokia-land, the company opened its first  direct-to-consumer channel – a website at called the Nokia UK Online Shop. The site will feature regular exclusives – at launch it had the highly desirable black 8800, a new design that previously had not been available in the UK. A bargain at £799 SIMfree.
In addition to the latest products, the Online Shop will be used to promote “exciting new mobile experiences from games and music through to movie and photos”.
The Online Shop concept is also intended to allow Nokia to develop “a holistic customer experience” which in turn will allow the manufacturer to increase its understanding of the customer, support its product portfolio in new sales channels and use these learnings [sic] to further develop its offerings both on and off the High Street.
“There is clearly a growing market out there for SIM-free products especially as our customers now have more than one handset” said Mats Wolontis, Managing Director of Nokia UK. “The Online Shop
will help us meet these demands and further develop our business; it gives us a great opportunity to be in closer cont act with our customers and to understand their likes and dislikes.”
The UK site will be the first globally with more local Online Shops
planned for selected countries in Europe in the second half of 2006.

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