Nokia to resume some assembly outsourcing in 2010

HELSINKI, May 18 (Reuters) - Top mobile phone maker Nokia NOK1V.HE will restart the use of subcontractors in assembly this year as phone market recovers, after ending all outsourcing of assembly work last year, the firm said on Tuesday.

“Last year, the situation was completely different, meaning to some extent ... we can (this year) outsource work to external parties,” Nokia spokeswoman Eija-Riitta Huovinen told Reuters.

She did not quantify how much the firm would use subcontractors.

“Our own network is still the priority,” Huovinen said, adding typically such outsourcing was related to seasonality. Handset market volumes are expected to grow 10 percent or more this year after contracting last year amid recession.

Nokia last year stopped all assembly outsourcing, while in 2008 it outsourced around 17 percent of manufacturing volume of cellphones. The pullback is estimated to have cost subcontractors -- like Foxconn 2038.HK, Jabil Circuit JBL.N, China's BYD and Elcoteq ELQAV.HE -- more than $5 billion. (Reporting by Eva Lamppu; Editing by Hans Peters)