Nokia Blames Low Handset Demand for New Layoffs

Nokia Corp. (NOK), the world’s largest phone maker, is blaming declining mobile handset demand for its latest round of layoffs.

The Finland-based company said Tuesday it will cut 1,700 jobs worldwide this year, mainly in the devices and markets units, and corporate development and support. Seven hundred of the cuts will take place in Finland.

Some of the positions are being eliminated because they’re redundant thanks to the Symbian acquisition; otherwise, Nokia executives said they’ll trim sales, marketing, technology management and R&D to save money.

Nokia aims to reduce expenses by $907 million by the end of next year. It’s already frozen hiring, employees’ pay and nonessential travel, and offered voluntary buyouts to about 1,000 workers.

Still, analysts say they expect Nokia to implement more drastic measures throughout 2009 and 2010 as the economic slowdown takes its global toll.

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