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Nokia cuts UK service centres

Finnish mobile giant Nokia is attempting to shore up its defences against smartphone rivals such as Apple with a cost-cutting programme that will see the number of UK service centres cut by a third.

Currently, the company licenses 78 service centres around the UK to carry out warranty repairs on its handsets, but that number is set to go down to 50 by March 2011, as the company tries to save money and fend up competition in the smartphone sector from Android-based devices and Apple's iPhone.

Following a three-month review programme, the company has reportedly made the decision to axe certain service centres from its ranks - specifically, those that also provide warranty service to other manufacturers and those that do not have a high-street presence, instead relying on industrial premises that are not open to visits from the public.

Mobile News Online, which broke the news of Nokia's plans yesterday, was told by a spokesperson from one of the axed service centres that "Nokia hasn’t really given us an explanation other than it wanted us to move to the high street, which is ludicrous for us. We have no intention of that."

The spokesperson went on to claim that "Nokia is destroying the network of centres it has built up. It’s a huge error."

With Nokia's service centres having once numbered more than a hundred across the country, we can see the reduction either as a claim that either handsets are proving more reliable and require fewer repairs than they used to, or that sales aren't proving quite as brisk. Market data point towards the latter.