Nokia Lumia sales top 1m but overall losses are still huge

Nokia Lumia sales top 1m but overall losses are still hugeThe numbers are in, and Nokia has announced better than expected Lumia 800 sales of “more than a million” units over the last three months of the 2011.

Overall, though, the picture remains bleak for the once-dominant phone maker, with overall losses hitting €954m for the quarter – despite receiving a $250m payment from Microsoft to use the Windows Phone OS.

A few days ago we said we'd be surprised if Nokia Windows Phone sales had topped a million by the end of 2011, expressing a widely held view that the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 handsets had underperformed.

Well, that may still be the case, but the total number sold did at least get into seven figures, though Nokia's not saying by much. The downside, though, is that Symbian sales have been directly impacted as a result.

“In certain markets, there has been an acceleration of the anticipated trend towards lower-priced smartphones with specifications that are different from Symbian's traditional strengths,” Nokia boss Stephen Elop revealed in a statement accompanying the earnings report of (check out the PDF here).

“As a result of the changing market conditions, combined with our increased focus on Lumia, we now believe that we will sell fewer Symbian devices than we previously anticipated.”

We'll leave the pleasure of dissecting Elop's words to the comments section below – there shouldn't be any shortage of takers – and instead take a look at some more numbers.

Overall, Nokia recorded net sales of €10bn, which was 11% higher than the trainsmash that was Q3 but 21% down on the equivalent period in 2010 (or 29% down if you're looking at handset numbers).

The near-billion euro overall loss remains the real worry, though – especially when compared to Q4 of 2011's €745m profit – the status quo, let's not forget, that Elop's drastic decision to switch to Windows Phone took place in.

On the plus side, Microsoft paid Nokia $250m as part of their “broad strategic agreement” to bring Nokia smartphones and Windows Phone operating software together. Seems to have made a real difference...

Read more about: Nokia Lumia 710Nokia Lumia 800SymbianWindows Phone

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6 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 26, 2012 at 13:36

Even bleaker if you consider that Nokia don't say who they sold the phones to ;)
I would assume the figure relates to units sold to networks and retailers. Not actual endusers.

I agree though: the fact that they managed to deliver 2 decent handsets in a relatively short time, is impressive. Sadly the chosen OS is just not popular enough and the pricing is way off...

Stelph  Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:27

Do they actually "sell" phones to networks or retailers, or do the manufactureres provide them on a sale or return type arrangement? I did wonder this the other day and not sure if it varies between manufacturers (which would make it even more difficult to compare how each manufacturer is doing)

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:32

I believe that varies, stelph - strength of supplier's position, discounts etc etc... But: even those taken on a sell or return basis count as "sold", even if they then become unsold... on the same basis do bestseller lists for, say, books or DVDs work. They only reflect what retailers order (and then return 95% of)...
I know of some franchises here for Vodafone Ireland: they get most devices through Vf, but to stay competitive they also source some non-Vf handsets directly. Buying them!

Stelph  Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:34

I believe that varies, stelph - strength of supplier's position, discounts etc etc... But: even those taken on a sell or return basis count as "sold", even if they then become unsold... on the same basis do bestseller lists for, say, books or DVDs work. They only reflect what retailers order (and then return 95% of)...

yes thats what I thought, however its a different thing (in my mind anyway) to have a device sold and the money yours rather than a sale and return where they could have, for example, all the one million phones returned becuase the shops did not sell

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:42

I believe that varies, stelph - strength of supplier's position, discounts etc etc... But: even those taken on a sell or return basis count as "sold", even if they then become unsold... on the same basis do bestseller lists for, say, books or DVDs work. They only reflect what retailers order (and then return 95% of)...

yes thats what I thought, however its a different thing (in my mind anyway) to have a device sold and the money yours rather than a sale and return where they could have, for example, all the one million phones returned becuase the shops did not sell

True...
Like that first Galaxy tab - shipped x 20,000,000 times, sold what? A million according to most estimates.

You'd think after the 'events' of the last 3-4 years, they'd stop trying to impress investors and shareholders with make-belief numbers ;)

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:43

I believe that varies, stelph - strength of supplier's position, discounts etc etc... But: even those taken on a sell or return basis count as "sold", even if they then become unsold... on the same basis do bestseller lists for, say, books or DVDs work. They only reflect what retailers order (and then return 95% of)...

yes thats what I thought, however its a different thing (in my mind anyway) to have a device sold and the money yours rather than a sale and return where they could have, for example, all the one million phones returned becuase the shops did not sell

True...
Like that first Galaxy tab - shipped x 20,000,000 times, sold what? A million according to most estimates.

You'd think after the 'events' of the last 3-4 years, they'd stop trying to impress investors and shareholders with make-belief numbers ;)

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