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Samsung opens new R&D facility in Nokia's backyard

A man walks behind a logo of Samsung Electronics at the company's headquarters in Seoul April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak
A man walks behind a logo of Samsung Electronics at the company's headquarters in Seoul April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is set to open a new research and development center in Nokia's home town on Thursday, highlighting the Korean company's ascendancy over its once dominant Finnish rival.

Samsung's newest R&D facility, its first in the Nordic region, is located in Espoo, Finland, where Nokia has its headquarters. Details on staffing and investment plans are due to be unveiled later in the day.

The move follows the opening of R&D facilities in Finland by other technology firms including Huawei and Intel, which have sought to take advantage of the country's high concentration of engineers and software developers - many of whom previously worked at Nokia or its related businesses.

Nokia has had to cut back on its own resources in recent years, laying off thousands of employees and selling its glass and steel waterfront office building in Espoo and leasing it back to conserve cash.

Market data shows Samsung is now the leader in the global mobile phone market, a position previously held by Nokia. It has been particularly dominant in highly-profitable smartphones, shipping more units in the first quarter than the next four vendors combined.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer and Greg Mahlich)

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