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Nokia ships 4.4 million Lumia smartphones in Christmas rush

10 Jan 2013

Nokia has announced it shipped 4.4 million Lumia smartphones in the last quarter of 2012, exceeding expectations, in a preliminary earnings announcement on Thursday.

The former mobile phone giant had a tough 2012, as it shed cash and saw sales plummet. But its backing of the Windows Phone platform from Microsoft appears to be slowly turning things around.

Overall for the fourth quarter of 2012 the firm made €3.9bn from sales of smart devices, shipping a total of 86.3 million units, including basic feature phones and its mid-range Asha smartphones, to markets across the world.

This has helped it predict it will break even or maybe record a two percent operating profit from its fourth quarter, vastly improved on a prior warning of a six percent slide in profits.

"We are pleased that Q4 2012 was a solid quarter where we exceeded expectations and delivered underlying profitability in Devices & Services and record underlying profitability in Nokia Siemens Networks," said Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop.

"We focused on our priorities and as a result we sold a total of 14 million Asha smartphones and Lumia smartphones while managing our costs efficiently."

Nokia didn't clarify if the 4.4 million "net sales" of Lumia devices were end-user sales or just shipments into the market. V3 contacted Nokia for clarification but had received no reply at the time of publication.

The firm also saw better-than-expected cost savings from its job cuts.

However, the boost is unlikely to continue into 2013 as the firm expects the next quarter to see a return to negative figures.

This is due to the first period after Christmas traditionally being a slower quarter and its continued efforts to move to a full Asha and Lumia range, while competition from the likes of Samsung, Apple and even Research in Motion (RIM) will also continue to create tough tradition conditions.

Ovum analyst Nick Dillon told V3 any growth in Lumia sales and income for Nokia was good news for firm but it was still in a tough position.

"With the amount of pressure the company is under, it clearly feels the need to shout about any positive news it does have, as soon as it can," he added.

The full Q4 results for 2012 will be confirmed on 24 January.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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