Nokia has announced its financial results for Q1 2013, and it's a mixed report card. After posting a modest profit in Q4 2012, the overall bottom line is back in the red, but Lumia smartphone sales continue to build, giving the company plenty of hope for the future.
A total of 5.6m Lumia Windows Phones were sold in the three months ending in March, but a significant drop in sales of the company's cheaper Asha feature phones meant an overall €150m (£128m) loss for the quarter.
In the greater scheme of things, though, Nokia will probably be quite pleased – even if the figures fell short of analyst estimates, a fact which saw Nokia's share price take a knock when the results were announced.
Feature phone sales were down 21% over last year, but in reality that's more a result of the Asha line doing better than expected a year ago rather than doing particularly badly now.
If anything, those higher-than-expected feature phone sales last year were a bonus that eased the pain of the transition between Symbian and Windows Phone on the smartphone side of things.
Selling 5.6m Lumias globally in three months is nothing to brag about, but it's a 27% increase in what is typically the softest quarter of the year for sales – Q1 – over what is typically the strongest, Q4.
In addition, Nokia's rapidly depleting cash reserves have now stabilised, and actually increased slightly from €4.4bn to €4.5bn over the three months.
That's the result of some pretty harsh cost-cutting measures, of course, and Nokia has made all the obvious moves it can to save money. From here, any more cuts will be painful ones.
Nokia says it expects Lumia sales to build again in Q2, which is vital to keep the ship afloat. But much of the company's strength beyond pure mobile hardware – the HERE maps platform, for instance – is a direct result of the global reach and influence it has in the feature phone market.
With Windows Phone still just a bit-part player in the smartphone game, Nokia needs its feature phone division to keep that influence alive – if that footprint crumbles so will Nokia's relevance as a serious mobile player.