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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 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.


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