Nokia: 40 Million Smart Phones Sold in 2006

Nokia sold 40 million smart phones in 2006 and more than 850 million people worldwide now use its mobile handsets, the Finnish company said Monday.

CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said that last year 90 million smart phones -- also known as "converged devices" that include cameras and enable fast access to the Internet and downloads of music and videos -- were sold worldwide.

He said he expects the market for smart phones to hit 250 million by 2008.

"Single purpose devices are becoming less attractive. And the converged devices taking their place are increasingly powerful and easy to use," Kallasvuo said at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The world's largest mobile phone maker also announced the launch of new models, including a light, slim handset with a 2-megapixel camera and 2 gigabytes of expandable memory. Analysts had seen Nokia as losing ground on slim models to its chief rival, U.S.-based Motorola, and Samsung, of South Korea, which introduced the devices more than a year earlier.

Nokia also said it will cooperate with eBay Skype to enable cell phone users to make calls over the Internet, particularly with its new N800 model, which allows wireless Skype connections.

In Helsinki, Nokia shares opened almost unchanged from Friday's closing rate. Nokia, based in Espoo, has operations in 130 countries with 65,000 employees.