Nokia smartphone sales drop 39%

The struggling handset manufacturer reports Q2 sales of €7.5bn, showing a 19% drop since last year

Nokia shipped 10.2 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2012 – 39% less than the same period last year.

The company reported its results for Q2 today, which revealed only four million of the 10 million handsets sold were part of its flagship Nokia Lumia range, based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system. This meant the company was still selling more of its legacy Symbian smartphones than the portfolio that was supposed to “signal a new smartphone dawn” for the Finnish firm.  

As well as low shipments of its high-end devices, Nokia announced a 19% drop in net sales year on year to €7.5bn.

However, feature phone sales remained steady, with a 2% year-on-year rise – equating to shipments of 73.5 million handsets in three months – and the company’s network arm, Nokia Siemens Networks, returned to operating profitability after completing the integration process of the Motorola assets it bought last year.

Nokia also has a lot of cash stowed away, confirming it has a net sum of €4.2bn – higher than the €3.7bn most analysts had been touting.

Stephen Elop, the company’s CEO, admitted it had been “a difficult quarter” and seemed to pin his hopes on updates from Microsoft to boost Nokia’s own profits.

“We plan to provide updates to current Lumia products over time, well beyond the launch of Windows Phone 8, [but] we believe the Windows Phone 8 launch will be an important catalyst for Lumia,” he said.

Elop also said his firm was “executing with urgency” the restructuring programme announced in June, which will see 10,000 job losses and the closure of Nokia’s Ulm R&D centre and its factory in Salo, Finland.

“While Q3 will remain difficult, it is a critical priority to return our devices and services business to positive operating cash flow as quickly as possible," he concluded.

Earlier this year, Samsung took over from Nokia as the manufacturer with the highest shipments of smartphones.

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