Nokia confirms more than 1 million Lumia Windows Phones sold, posts $1.4 billion loss


By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Nokia’s holiday quarter results confirmed what many analysts had forecast — the company has sold more than 1 million Lumia Windows Phones. However, even with a growing Windows Phone market and a quarterly platform support payment of more than $250 million from Microsoft, the company still posted a $1.4 billion loss for the fourth quarter.

Although we know that many members of our community develop mostly for Android or iOS, we’re following the Nokia-Microsoft partnership closely in 2012 because this it the make-or-break year when a third notable platform might emerge. The newest Lumia devices have come out with favorable reviews and there could be more pick-up, particularly in the emerging markets where Nokia has a strong presence.

In the fourth quarter, Nokia sold 19.6 million smartphones, a drop of 31 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, when the device maker shifted 28.6 million smartphones. Year-over-year, the company’s operating profit was down 81 percent and the company’s operating margin dropped from 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 to just 3.4 percent in the same period in 2011. Feature phone volume was down only slightly, with the company reporting fourth quarters sales of 93.9 million units, a one percent drop over 2010’s numbers.

What Nokia did emphasize was sales of Windows Phone devices. The company has sold more than 1 million Lumia 710 and 800 devices, which bodes well for the sales prospects of its highly anticipated Lumia 900 handset. On Jan. 25 Nokia announced it would be pricing the 4G handset at $99, an aggressive strategy that will make it one of the most affordable LTE smartphones on the market.

The move will make the Lumia 900 significantly cheaper than Apple’s iPhone 4S and new Android phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S, both of which cost typically $199 with a two year agreement. Nokia also revealed it will be making Windows Phone devices available in the fast growing Chinese and Latin American markets in the first half of 2012.

By comparison, in its holiday quarter, Apple reported it has sold 37.04 million iPhones, helping to propel the company to a record setting $46.3 billion in revenues.