Nokia earnings are out, and the contrast with Apple’s blow-out quarter results is astonishing. The Finnish phone maker, still the largest in the world by volume, reported a Q4 net loss of 1.07 billion euro, down from a 745 million euro profit in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The company’s smartphone sales decline paints an even bleaker picture: Nokia sold 19.6 million units in Q4 2011, down a whopping 31 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago (even though it’s up 17 percent from Q3 2011 thanks to somewhat decent Lumia sales).
Nokia says it sold “well over” 1 million Lumia devices to date (not just in Q4) and that it plans to bring the Lumia series to additional markets – including China and Latin America – in the first half of 2012. The billion dollar question: is this good enough for Nokia’s future to start looking bright?
Nokia needs it line of Windows Phone-powered smartphones to perform exceptionally well to turn the tide – right now they’re getting crushed by Apple and Android device makers in this particular, crucial game. As a Lumia 800 owner, I know Nokia can still make great devices, and that Windows Phone is in a good position to start competing. But that’s not enough to turn the Nokia ship around.
The company will need to kick up sales and marketing efforts a notch or two, enter more markets more quickly, attract more developers (to get more high-quality apps) and continue to improve the quality and appeal of its smartphone products more rapidly. To have a fighting chance, that is.
Reminder: Apple sold 37 million iPhones last quarter.
Nokia chose not to provide targets for 2012, saying this will be a ‘transition year’, “during which our devices-and-services business will be subject to risks and uncertainties”. Well, quite.
NOKIA is a Finnish multinational communications corporation. It is primarily engaged in the manufacturing of mobile devices and in converging Internet and communications industries. They make a wide range of mobile devices with services and software that enable people to experience music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games, business mobility and more. Nokia is the owner of Symbian operation system and partially owns MeeGo operating system.