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Nokia Retrenches In South Korea

Last week The Korea Times reported that Nokia was pulling out of the Korean CDMA handset market due to tough local competition. The Times’ national pride seems to have gotten ahead of itself. Today Nokia clarified the situation and said it remained committed to the South Korean handset market but is cutting of ties with local partner Telson Electronics. Telson designed handsets compatible with Korean networks and middleware which were sold under Nokia’s brand. Nokia has decided that rather than focusing on the specialized products for South Korea it would be smarter to wait for Korean operators to adopt the Open Mobile Alliance middleware standards and transition to WCDMA. Knowing Nokia’s focus on building mass market products it sounds like making products exclusively for the Korean didn’t meet their minimum scale requirements. Good thing China is a lot bigger because that market will likely require highly localized products and also have tough local competition.

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