Nokia's fourth quarter stock update should put an end to the company's doom-sayers (for a while) as it sells nearly 4.5 million Lumia smartphones, suggesting Windows Phone 8 and Nokia are here to stay.
The Difference Engine
Windows Phone 8 devices are starting to sell, at least the Nokia ones, with the Lumia range doing sterling business for Nokia in its last quarter. Sure, that included the holiday sales season, but things are looking up for the whole ecosystem now Windows 8 is in full effect and users look for something different to the iOS/Android duopoly.
Overall, Nokia sold some 15.9 million units, broken down into 9.3 million Asha full-touch phones, 4.4 million Lumia devices and 2.2 million Symbian devices with over $5 billion in net sales and a . Those Asha users will be the ones that Nokia will hope to convert into full smartphone users and with the brand still popular in emerging markets, will have a decent stab at doing so in coming years.
With the Windows Phone 8 app store starting to boom (although some way behind Apple's behemoth numbers) and the increased interest as Windows 8 hardware starts to evolve, Microsoft and Nokia's partnership may yet bloom into a beautiful one. The arrival of the mid-range Lumia 620 (which may challenge Apple's budget iPhone if it launches ones) could be the key in unlocking bumper sales in 2013.
Action and Reaction
Nokia's earnings call will take place in a couple of weeks with the full year's figures up for analysis. We'll update with news and information from the event soon. The company's stock price jumped around 16% on the news, although the income figures were down on Q4 in 2011.
Sales could have been higher if Nokia had not been so cautious on the release of the 920 flagship edition, which saw supply issues, with sales now on the up, expect Nokia to be a little more bullish on shipments, without blowing up in a manner that will lead to embarrassing writedowns in future.
The decision to move the Asha phones into the smartphone category is a bit of a dubious one, but is easily enough removed by those doing in-depth analysis. Nokia is bringing out the Lumia 620 in countries like India as well as the west in February and should be able to continue its recovery if the market finds it an affordable and fulfilling device.