Nokia Fumbles WinPhone Bid, Q2 Loss Soars, U.S. Sales Stall to 600K
July 19, 2012 2:07 PM
Nokia still has a lot of cash, but does it have the drive to get out of this slump?
Nokia Oyj. (
) took way too long to release its first Windows Phones. But the results -- like the
Lumia 900 LTE
-- looked distinctive, lending hope that the phonemaker's approach was merely meticulousness, not sloth. Initial sales of the Lumia 900
I. Nokia's Recovery Stalls in Q2
But the wheels
the train somewhat in the last quarter.
to 600,000 units in the U.S., including 330,000 Lumia 900s. That's down 60 percent in unit sales since last year. And it's way off the roughly 6 million units Nokia moved per quarter in 2006.
One factor slowing sales may be the recent announcement that there will be
no full upgrade path
for Windows Phone 7 devices to Windows Phone 8.
Revenue wasn't quite so bad for the North American region, as the higher revenue from the Lumia 900 and other models offset lower sales. But globally the financials were quite bad as well. Writes Nokia, "All regions showed a significant year-on-year decline in the second quarter 2012 except for North America where the sharp decline in sales of Symbian devices was more than offset by sales of our Lumia devices."
Globally, Nokia sold 4 million Lumia Windows Phones. That means that roughly 40 percent of Nokia's 10.2 million smartphones sold are Windows Phones. The rest are the soon-to-be defunct Symbian.
Nokia's stylish Lumia Windows Phones have been unable to right Nokia's ship, thus far.
Those numbers reflect on
just how lackadaisical
Nokia's transition pace remains. It's been nearly a year and a half since Nokia announced that it would be
moving entirely to Windows Phone
. A year and a half later it's not even halfway there.
Overall feature phone sales did manage to grow slightly jumping from 71.8 million units last year to 73.5 million units. Still, Nokia now
Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) in feature phone sales.
Losses for the quarter tucked in at €826M ($1.01B USD) on revenue of €7.52B ($9.22B USD). Sales were down nearly 20 percent since last year, while the loss almost doubled. Nokia has
committed to big layoffs
to try to offset the sinking sales.
money losses mounting
and the Windows Phone transition
far from over
, all three major credit agencies
credit to "junk" status
. Nokia is only fortunate that it is sitting on a pile of cash -- €3.5B ($4.29B USD), to be precise. That's slightly more of a cushion than some struggling rivals like Research in Motion, Ltd. (
All of this is the same old story for Nokia and none of it is terribly surprising. The company is still lingering around, but the concern is that after
a couple of intriguing device announcements
, it seems back to its old ways, continuing its slow slide down the hill.
Released iPhone, iPad Look-Alikes in 2000
About the most interesting thing to come out of the earnings hoopla was
The Wall Street Journal
, which released details of an iPhone and iPad-like device developed by Nokia researchers in the 1990s, but never released. The smartphone had a color touch-screen at a time when most phones were keyboard-driven units with tiny black-and-white pixel displays. And most notably it had a single round button beneath the touch-screen -- just like the iPhone.
Nokia reportedly was testing a device nearly identical to the iPhone, seven years before Apple. [Source:
David Paul Morris/Getty Images
Likewise Nokia had a tablet computer that was built around a large touch screen and a wireless connection. Unlike many other Windows tablets of the time it lacked buttons.
Nokia may deserve some credit for conceiving the iPad and iPhone designs over seven years before the original iPhone, but it has no profits to show for that creativity. About the only positive value to come from the innovation was a $6B USD trove of patented ideas, most of which Nokia never succeeded in bringing to market.
Comments CEO Stephen Elop, "If only they had been landed in products. I think Nokia would have been in a different place."
Instead he's left to ponder
selling some of those memories
of past innovation squandered to try to stay afloat. Nokia is also actively suing rivals to try to generate revenue.
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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