Nokia will reshuffle its management for the second time in less than a year, underscoring the struggles the world’s largest handset maker has to gain ground from rivals in the high-end smartphone sector.
The Finnish company said its mobile business will be split into three units — Mobile Solutions, Mobile Phones and Markets — down from the current five. The changes take effect July 1.
The Mobile solutions division will be responsible for the high-end devices, running its MeeGo and Symbian mobile operating systems. The Mobile Phone group will focus on its Series 40 phones. And the Markets unit will concentrate on sales and marketing, supply chains and sourcing.
“Nokia’s new organizational structure is designed to speed up execution and accelerate innovation,” said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia’s chief executive. “We believe that this will allow us to build stronger mobile solutions.”
Although Nokia is still the worldwide leader in mobile phones — shipping more devices than its three main rivals combined — the company has been struggling for market share in the lucrative high-end smartphone arena.
Last month, it posted weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings, amid fierce competition from Apple’s iPhone, Blackberry maker Research in Motion and several companies releasing products running Google’s Android platform.
Nokia hasn’t been able to make a serious challenge to the iPhone in the three years since it was introduced, leaving analysts concerned that the company isn’t getting new products to stores fast enough to take market share away from rivals.
In recent months, the company has begun offering Internet services ranging from free navigation software to unlimited music downloads, but these have so far drawn few paying consumers.