updated 08:30 am EST, Wed February 8, 2012
Nokia moves smartphones to Asia to cut costs
Nokia showed the toughening conditions of the smartphone field on Wednesday after it detailed plans to cut 4,000 manufacturing jobs. Positions both in its home territory factory in Salo, Finland, as well as in Komarom, Hungary and Reynosa, Mexico, would be eliminated by the end of 2012. Smartphone production would be moving more towards Asia, where it wouldn't just be cheaper to make devices, but faster.
"Shifting device assembly to Asia is targeted at improving our time to market," executive markets VP Niklas Savander said. "By working more closely with our suppliers, we believe that we will be able to introduce innovations into the market more quickly and ultimately be more competitive."
The swap makes Nokia's production closer to those of competitors like Apple, HTC, and Samsung, and is also an admission that its shrinking smartphone base could necessitate consolidating its production. Nokia has often been accused of unnecessarily long delays between announcing and shipping smartphones, in some cases not delivering until several months later. The Lumia 800 arrived within weeks of being ready at relatively low prices, and the Lumia 900 should be both on US shelves within two months and possibly one of the most affordable LTE phones in the country.
The move is still likely to raise complaints about the reduction of manufacturing and the middle class in the West, where Nokia was a rare exception.