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Things still aren't great, but Nokia appears to be head in the right direction

Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) has been on a wild ride.  For a time it was the largest maker of both smartphones (via its Symbian platform) and feature phones.  Then came its struggles to compete with Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Android, and the decision to embrace Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone.  The bold move seemed to only hasten Nokia's fall from grace on the market.

But while it's true that the Nokia of today is much smaller and less profitable than the Nokia of yore, it also appears to be returning from the brink and returning to growth.

In Q1 2013 it sold [PDF] a humble 5.6 million Lumia phones, up from 4.4m during the holiday quarter and 2 million a year ago.  To put that in context, rival Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) sold around 68 million smartphones in the quarter, while the low estimate for Apple's sales is around 34 million.

In other words, Nokia is still a small player, but it's seeing steady growth in its core Windows Phone platform.  True, 2 million sales is pathetic, but doubling your sales is still doubling your sales.

And Nokia's balance sheet is also improving.  A year ago it made €7.4B ($9.7B USD), but lost €1.34B ($1.70B USD).  This quarter it only made €5.9B ($7.7B USD), but trimmed the losses down to €150M ($196M USD).  That red may be troubling given that it made €202M ($269.0M USD) in total profit after tax last quarter.  But it's not as bad considering that this wasn't a key launch quarter for Nokia smartphone-wise and the holiday quarter tends to be more profitable for all OEMs.
 

Nokia Lumia 920
 
The phonemaker did miss analyst targets -- the consensus target for revenue was €6.5B ($8.5B USD), while the loss was roughly in line with the ~€160M ($209M USD) estimate [source].

Shares in the Finnish phonemaker traded lower on the revenue miss, but that will inevitably turn around if the company continues to grow its Windows Phone sales.  Looking ahead, this fall's Windows Phone Blue will be a critical launch for Nokia. 

In the meantime the company reportedly has a few devices up its sleeve.  It's planning a July refresh to the Lumia 920 that's thinner and lighter, and planning a more affordable version of the 920 for the autumn.  Also slated for July will be the long-awaited 41-megapixel Windows Phone version of the PureView device.  
Nokia PureView
The Nokia PureView 808 [Image Source: Nokia; Modifications: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

Financial Times reports that a phablet is also in the works, writing:

The device that can work as a phone and a tablet – known as a “phablet” – similar in size but with more advanced specifications to Samsung’s popular Galaxy Note.

This is a key emerging category -- Samsung is leading the way with the Galaxy Mega.  Nokia is likely eager to take a piece of the jumbo phone pie as well.

Sources: Nokia, FT [analyst estimates], FT [phablet details]



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RE: Growth is good for everyone
By Tony Swash on 4/18/2013 7:15:00 PM , Rating: -1
Digging a bit deeper into the Nokia figures reveals that only 66 percent of its Lumia sales are Windows Phone 8 devices, meaning Nokia only sold about 3.7 million Windows Phone 8 Lumias. It's even worse in the US - Nokia sold 700,000 devices in North America in Q1 2012, but only 400,000 in Q1 2013. I think it's safe to say that Windows 8 phones are going nowhere in the market.

Microsoft made a series of strategic blunders, it decided to undermine it's existing PC businesses with Windows 8 in a failed bid to get traction on mobile devices, it went into partnership with Nokia a company in a seeming death spiral, and most seriously it it decided that it should sacrifice the opportunity to become a major software player on iOS and Android (by offering a decent touch version of Office on those platforms) in a failed attempt to defend it's Windows everywhere strategy. Windows does not need to be everywhere for Microsoft to be a big successful software company, it could still become a big player in apps (but not operating systems) on iOS and Android but the window of opportunity to do that is rapidly closing.


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By GulWestfale on 4/18/2013 7:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
well, i'll be... tony swash made a post i can gree with.
and now i gotta go outside, i'm shootin' me one o'dem flyin' pigs, y'all.


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By retrospooty on 4/18/2013 7:26:10 PM , Rating: 5
Be realistic... This is ONLY because WP8's low sales makes Apple look good. IF it doesn't serve his agenda, he wouldn't post it.


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By Tony Swash on 4/18/13, Rating: -1
RE: Growth is good for everyone
By retrospooty on 4/18/2013 10:51:18 PM , Rating: 3
I agree. MS is irrelevant 2 apple at this point, you're right. But you're only saying it because it makes Apple look good. You only made that reply because your reply that ms is irrelevant also makes Apple look good. If it didn't make Apple look good you wouldn't bother to mention it like the stock, and lower sales #s and expected declines, lowered forecasts etc.

The problem with being 100 percent full of s**t all the time is that everyone sees you coming and you don't fool anyone.


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By Tony Swash on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Growth is good for everyone
By retrospooty on 4/19/2013 8:42:30 AM , Rating: 5
"I tend to prefer commenting on what is rather than what may be."
Right... You just left out the part about what "is" positive about any competitor and what "is" negative about Apple.

"You seem very paranoid. I am not trying to fool anyone"

LOL... Funny. Like I say, you tend to tell "The Truth" and "Nothing But The Truth" but ALWAYS leave out "The Whole Truth" ... Meaning, you paint a false picture. You are a smart bloke, and its not by accident. Your posts are generally well thought out, and cleverly worded to bend facts and obscure information, done with the skill of a seasoned politician. You arent here to see what is going on in the tech world, or to learn what products may be coming. You are here on an agenda to try and change minds... For whatever reason. I will leave that reason to others. Whether a paid shill, or an obsessed fanboy is irrelevant, neither is acceptable.


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By StormyKnight on 4/18/2013 11:00:24 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I think it would be great for Microsoft and for lots of iOS and Android users if they made a good touch version of Office for those platforms.

The problem here is, what would the price point be? Would they charge an obscene amount like they do for the desktop? If so, who would actually buy a version for i0S or Android??


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 7:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
It would be in MS's best interest to make it real cheap or even free. The point is not making money off Office, it is gaining marketshare from generating interest in the phone. Then they will make money per phone sold and apps store.


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By tayb on 4/18/2013 7:31:46 PM , Rating: 3
Android fanboys and Apple fanboys can occasionally get together to bash Microsoft, it seems.


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By ATrigo on 4/18/2013 8:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
My enemies' enemy is my friend, right?

Well to be honest any of the two always get together to bash on the other.


RE: Growth is good for everyone
By ResStellarum on 4/19/13, Rating: -1
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference














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