Cellphone maker Nokia Corp. said Tuesday it expects the global market for mobile devices to grow 10 per cent in 2008 to more than 1.2 billion, and that its market share will increase.

Nokia also slightly increased its operating margin targets, but the Finnish company's share price dropped more than three per cent to 26.68 eurosin early trading in Helsinki.

The highest growth next year— more than 15 per cent— will be in the Asia-Pacific region, China, the Middle East and Africa, the world's largest mobile phone maker said. The lowest growth— below 10 per cent— will be in North America, Europe and Latin America, it added.

Nokia predicted that globally there will be four billion mobile subscriptions by 2009, bringing forward its earlier prediction that that number would be reached in 2010.

Nokia, which in October reported a global market share of 39 per cent— up from 36 per cent in the third quarter of 2006— said it aims to further increase its market share in 2008, but gave no further details.

The Finnish company also said it aims to reach an operating margin of 16 to 17 per cent within the next two years, revising an earlier target of 15 per cent.

Nokia, based in Espoo, just outside the Finnish capital, has sales in 130 countries. It employs 130,000 people worldwide.