Nokia ( NOK) fans say the mobile phone giant has awoken from its deep sleep.

Signs that the Finnish wireless shop has been roused came early Thursday, when the company released its fourth-quarter results. Unlike rival Motorola's ( MOT) disappointing report last week, Nokia nailed its fourth-quarter targets while expanding margins and maintaining market share.

Strong fourth-quarter phone sales in Europe, Asia and Latin America helped offset paltry results in the U.S. and China. The improvements came despite the cutthroat pricing effort of Motorola as it scrambled to keep the sales shipments flowing. Shares soared 5% in early trading Thursday.

The fact that Nokia managed to expand its margins in the face of Motorola's steep discounts suggests that Nokia has a stronger hand to play. On a conference call with analysts, Nokia executives said there was "no price war on our part."

That said, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo signaled that Nokia will be getting aggressive as it introduces a strong set of medium- and high-priced phones along with a new lower-cost tier of phones using fewer components and requiring lower production costs.

"This is definitely the time to turn up the heat," said Kallasvuo, adding that Nokia will "take the benefit of the situation."

But some observers say they have already seen some early benefits.

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