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  (Source: Nokia)
Signs of recovery raise hope among investors

From large layoffs to mortgaging its headquarters, Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) is clearly has been in trouble in the consumer market, and the company appears well aware of that.  Seeing the writing on the wall of its aging Symbian operating system, Nokia made a bold move adopting Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone operating system, becoming the first major OEM to throw its weight squarely behind the new platform.

And while the transition has been painful, it is finally showing signs of paying off with Nokia announcing the sale of 4.4 million Lumia (Windows Phone) handsets in Q4 2012. Sales were boosted by high end handsets like the slick Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset, and by expanding its reach to three of America's top four carriers.

At last the Symbian phaseout is almost complete.  Only 2.2 million Symbian handsets were sold in the quarter.  The rest of smartphone sales (9.6 million units) consisted of Asha full touch phones.  Asha is a popular low-cost option in developing markets and uses its own proprietary bare-bones operating smartphone operating system.

Nokia Lumia 920

While smartphone sales are down almost 20 percent from the 19.6 million units Nokia moved last year, the drop off was less severe than analysts were expecting.  And the fact that roughly two-thirds of Nokia high-end smartphones are now Windows Phone indicates that the transition is almost finished.

As a result of the cost cutting coupled with stronger sales, Nokia says it has achieved underlying profitability again.  That's a huge development for the OEM who endured several painful quarters of large losses.  Nokia estimates it pocketed €30M ($39.8M USD) in non-recurring IPR income on total sales of €3.9B ($5.2B USD).

Overall Nokia sales of all mobile devices fell to 79.6 million units -- from a volume of 113 million units last year.  Nokia recently lost its global lead in handset (including non-smartphone sales) to South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930).

Overall mobile phones brought in €2.5B, smatphone sales were €1.2B, and services sales (which include patent settlements with Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and others) pulled in €0.2B.

Nokia stock jumped up over 20 percent in early trading on the hopeful news.

Gartner, Inc. (IT), a top mobile research firm, has estimated that by 2015 that Windows Phone will be the #2 smartphone platform in the world, bumping Apple and its increasingly-dated Palm-style user interface to third place.

Sources: Nokia [Q4 2012], [Q4 2011]

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By p05esto on 1/10/2013 4:39:07 PM , Rating: 2
I hope they hurry up and get a Lumina 920 phone over at Verizon. I'm sick of waiting for my Windows Phone. BLows the socks off of Android and Apple, but how long does a guy have to wait?

RE: wait
By Chadder007 on 1/10/2013 4:56:38 PM , Rating: 2
Ive waited until my phone finally died...I didn't like the currently selection of Windows phones for Verizon (I wanted the larger screen of the 920) and went with Android again. Nokia lost a sale by waiting so long and I'm sure a lot more.

RE: wait
By kleinma on 1/10/2013 5:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
You can't really blame Nokia on that. AT&T offered them a really good deal to do a 6 month exclusive on it. That means featured product promotion, advertising, employee training, etc..

AT&T was the first with the iPhone, so that is an old dog to them now (even the 5). I don't mean its not popular, it is just a staple of AT&T service. Everyone knows what an iPhone is and if they want one, they know they can get it on AT&T. Verizon has not had the iPhone as long, so they are still trying to push that a lot more. Verizon was not as willing to make the push AT&T is for Windows Phone, so Nokia went with who wanted them most. I think we will see some good Windows phones on Verizon in the coming year though. Not just from Nokia, but from Samsung and others as well.

RE: wait
By tayb on 1/11/2013 10:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
Nokia lost a sale because they are refusing to cave to Verizon demands to install spyware/spamware on your phone. Good on nokia. Crappy on Verizon.

This is the same reason AT&T had the iPhone exclusively for so long. It's also the same reason most (all?) Android phones from Verizon come with bullshit apps that can't be easily deleted.

In closing - Verizon is a shitty company and I wish people would stop doing business with them.

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