The move by Samsung highlights the huge changes that have taken place in the mobile phone industry in recent years, with Nokia – once the market leader – supplanted by the likes of Samsung and Apple. Only a few weeks ago, the Finnish phone maker was dealt another blow when data showed Samsung had for the first time replaced it as the biggest seller of handsets in the Finnish market.
Samsung said recently that its decision to establish an R&D presence in Northern Europe “reflects the importance we place on the European market.”
According to a Reuters report Thursday, many tech firms – including, for example, Huawei and Intel – have recently been setting up in the Nordic country, attracted by the abundance of talent in areas of engineering and software development, with many of these people having previously worked at Nokia or companies connected to the mobile maker.
Globally, Samsung claims to have just over 40,000 people involved in research and development, which actually makes it sound a little understaffed when you consider the huge number and wide range of electronics it’s constantly pumping out. With the opening of its Finnish facility today, its R&D network now comprises 26 centers in 11 countries throughout the world.
The opening of the Korean tech giant’s latest facility right on Nokia’s doorstep must be a tough one to swallow for workers at the once mighty mobile maker, which in recent years has been seeking to reestablish itself with its range of Windows Phone Lumia-branded handsets.
According to IDC data released at the end of May, Nokia had a 33.6 percent share of the handset market in Finland for the first three months of 2013, compared to Samsung’s 36.1 percent, putting the Korean company in the number one spot for the first time.
This time last year Nokia had 48 percent of its home market, while Samsung had just 28 percent.