Nokia Corp., the world's largest mobile phone maker, said Wednesday it has sold more than 1 billion handsets and estimated that more than 2 billion people use mobile phones worldwide.
The Finnish company sold its billionth handset in Nigeria this summer, according to Kai Oistamo, a senior vice president in the mobile phones unit.
"It will be new growth markets like Nigeria that will fuel the growth towards 3 billion subscribers by 2010," Oistamo said.
Nokia says the billionth handset sold was a Nokia 1100, a basic model that retails for less than Ђ50 (US$60). The company's top-tier cell phones, with high-quality digital cameras, videocams, recorders and music download features, fetch up to Ђ900 (US$195).
The announcement came a week after Nokia said its third-quarter performance would be better than expected, with net sales between Ђ8.4 billion and Ђ8.5 billion (US$10.3 billion to US$10.4 billion) and earnings per share at 18 euro cents to 19 euro cents (22 U.S. cents to 23 U.S. cents). It cited greater demand for mobile devices and a smaller-than-expected decline in the average sales price of its handsets.
Nokia shares fell about 1 percent on the Helsinki Stock Exchange to Ђ13.45 (US$16.50).
Based in Espoo, outside the Finnish capital, Nokia has sales in 130 countries. It became the world's biggest mobile phone maker in 1998, having sold its 100 millionth handset. Last year, it sold 207 million mobile devices.