Samsung readies first R&D center in Finland as it outsells Nokia in its home market for first time

Samsung readies first R&D center in Finland as it outsells Nokia in its home market for first time ...

Samsung is going all out to best Nokia in its home market of Finland. Fresh from an IDC report claiming that Samsung outsold Nokia in Finland during Q1 2013 — a notable first — the Korean phone maker has outed plans to open an R&D base in the country next month.

According to an invitation sent to Android Beat, Samsung will be open “a Research & Development facility with a focus on advanced technologies” in Finland, Nokia’s home turf, on June 13. The base will be the company’s first in the Nordics.

The invitation is light on specific details, but it is clearly symbolic of the global ambition that the world’s biggest seller of smartphones has. The Korea electronics giant is the driving force behind Android. The Google-owned platform was responsible for 43 percent of smartphone profits in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics, which determined that Samsung accounted for a dominant 95 percent share of all Android revenue itself.

Samsung is booming in places where it has traditionally been weak. For example, its Q1 2013 China sales were a record 12.5 million, which represents nearly half of its sales in 2012 (which itself was a record, and 3X growth on 2011 sales). Likewise, in Finland, its new-found dominance is telling.

While not a huge market in itself, Finland is strategic since it has always been Nokia’s stronghold. Finns diligently fork out for its latest devices and rally behind the company; Finland is so Nokia-focused that Jolla, the startup that is picking up Nokia’s discarded Meego project, is based in the country.

Yet, according to IDC, Samsung took 36 percent of the overall handset market (both smartphones and feature phones) in the first quarter of 2013, as Nokia’s share declined to 33 percent. That’s a clear sign of both Android’ dominance and Nokia’s regression.

Headline image via popculturegeek / Flickr

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