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Samsung plans new R&D centre in Finland

Mountains so lofty, treetops so tall, it's where mobe-makers want to be

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Samsung has confirmed that it’s opening an R&D facility in Nokia’s home country of Finland.

A brief statement from the Korean electronics giant sent to The Reg offered the following information:

On June 13, 2013, we plan to open a new R&D centre in Finland, which will be a branch of the Samsung Electronics R&D Institute UK (SRUK). This decision to establish our R&D presence in Northern Europe reflects the importance we place on the European market.

Some reports have even speculated that the facility would be located in Espoo, the city in which Nokia is headquartered.

This would rub extra salt into the wounds for Europe’s largest technology firm, especially as it announced in December it was selling its global HQ in a bid to plug its financial losses.

The move from Samsung follows news last December that Chinese handset maker Huawei is also planning a new R&D centre in Finland, as Asia’s rising tigers compete to snap up the best engineering talent from Europe.

In the latest round of job cuts Nokia shed a whopping 10,000 staff in 2012 in a bid to balance the books – an effort which left the company with its smallest workforce since 1998.

Its Elop-led Windows Phone/Lumia gamble, while producing some critically-acclaimed handsets, has still yet to win over the public at large and break the iPhone/Android hegemony.

Nokia's global sales in Q1 2013 were down 24 per cent year-on-year and its market share shrank from 19.7 per cent to 14.8 per cent, according to Gartner.

What may be even more troubling for the firm is that the same report revealed handset growth from Q1 2012 had remained essentially flat, at just +0.7 per cent.

Samsung, on the other hand, continues to go from strength to strength at the top of the global smartphone charts, capturing a third of all handset shipments in the first quarter and an impressive 94.7 per cent of all Android profits, according to market watcher Strategy Analytics. ®

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