Nokia's President and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo has said the emergence of Apple in the mobile phone space has done the industry a big favour.

Speaking at a speakers' forum for Silicon Valley civic leaders, Kallasvuo said the iPhone and the emergence of other major players has helped to accelerate the development and use of the internet on mobile devices.

"Suddenly you have the mightiest companies in the world there as your competitors. That is a little mind-boggling," he said, according to Reuters.

Credible

"We have a new, credible competitor in this business. You know I need to take my hat off [in respect to the iPhone]".

He added: "Of course we need to be able to respond to any competitor and we will."

Kallasvuo also promised to beat RIM's subscriber base of 19 million e-mail users in the near future, thanks largely to the decision to add Exchange support to its entire range of S60-enabled mobile phones.

"We will exceed the RIM client (BlackBerry) in some months with a very good e-mail system," he said.