Nokia reports €1.3 billion loss in Q1 2012, sells 600,000 devices in North America

Daniel Bader

April 19, 2012 8:06 am


Nokia’s comeback position, while almost certainly through its roughest patch, is still tentative. The company released it’s Q1 2012 financial report and dealt with a €1.3 billion loss ($1.7 billion Canadian) over declining handset sales, especially in the smartphone department.

While it’s re-entry into North America has been successful from a marketing perspective — the Lumia series has a far bigger emblematic presence than any Symbian device ever had — it hasn’t translated into actual sales just yet. For the period ending March 31st 2012, the company sold 600,000 devices in North America, which takes into account both smartphones and feature handsets. The T-Mobile Lumia 710 equated for the majority of those sales, with the Lumia 710 on Rogers and the Lumia 800 on TELUS likely selling quite well on a smaller Canadian scale. Previously Nokia had confirmed that, worldwide, the company had crossed over the two million units sold mark for the Lumia series.

With the release of the Lumia 900 on AT&T and Rogers, there is plenty of reason for North American optimism going into Q2. The company’s overall sales of smart devices dropped by 52% from the same quarter last year, though the overall number of devices sold was 82.7 million, 11.9 million of which were smartphones.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was cautiously optimistic:

“We are navigating through a significant company transition in an industry environment that continues to evolve and shift quickly. Over the last year we have made progress on our new strategy, but we have faced greater than expected  competitive challenges. We have launched four Lumia devices ahead of schedule to encouraging awards and popular acclaim. The actual sales results have been mixed. We exceeded expectations in markets including the United States, but establishing momentum in certain markets including the UK has been more challenging.”

The company’s outlook is predictably gloomy for Q2 as well, with expected sales levels in North America to rise sharply, but declines are expected in Europe and the UK where Lumia sales are not replacing existing Symbian sales quickly enough.

Source: Nokia
Via: Engadget

  • Carl Q

    If they want to succeed in North America, they need to start selling the Lumia outright, unlocked and not tied to any carriers.

    There are so many people want this phone and they don’t want to go with Rogers. Of course, there is always eBay to get this unlocked but why making us jumping through the hoops?

    • Keith

      There were hardly any Lumia’s available in the 1st quarter so that 600k figure is pretty–they must be almost all 710 sales on T-Mobile.

      But there is no denying that by far Windows Phone is experiencing its biggest launch ever with the Lumia 900s on AT&T. For the first time ever, many frontline employees are using and pushing Windows Phones in their stores. The Lumia 900 reviews on AT & T and Amazon are off-the-charts good and the Lumia 900 positions on the Amazon best seller charts has been far beyond what any Windows Phone has done previously.

      Don’t much buzz in Canada though. I am seeing more Windows Phones at kiosks than ever before but there are not selling many. I did see my first Lumia 900 in the wild at a client site I was on last week. He just swtiched from Android and while there a few apps he misses he is not looking back.

    • Keith

      Oops, I didn’t mean for my first message to be a reply to your message.

      I intended to reply to your message with the following though. I agree that unlocked options would cetainly help. I had ordered an unlocked Lumia 900 in cyan from expansys.ca but cancelled it a few minutes later when I realized that it was AT&T branded. So I want those unlocked phones to also be unbranded.

    • OneYrL8

      They better get ready because TELUS KILLED the Lumia 800 at $530!!
      Or if we get more positive, TELUS is greatly contributing to Nokia losses, by doing their part and pulling their weight.

    • OneYrL8

      We have to remember that NOKIA PAID AT&T $20 Million to make the Lumia 900 the AT&T employee phone (every employee onthe floor has it, to increase visibility) So we have to take that with one grain of salt.

  • Reggie Noble

    Nokia+Android = Partnership in 2013

  • TelusGuy

    The TELUS dealership I work at hasn’t sold a single Lumia since launch. No idea if that’s common across the board but for the most part nobody wants to buy this thing.

    • Keith

      Maybe Telus should try and sell the 800 for less than Rogers sells the 900 for. Also, how does Telus expect to sell them if they don’t put any on display? Put those georgeos cyan models out front instead of keeping them in the boxes under the counter and they will market themselves–though the price is still a barrier.

    • DaRazorback

      I have been to three Bell stores, and watched in each store, as an older person walks in looking for their first smart phone. I have watched every rep. stear them to the iphone and then to android, never mentioned the Limia sitting right next to some Androids that they are referring to them. Why, it is a great phone for older people. It is easy to use with big icons, that can help them out quite a bit too.

  • Alex Perrier

    Aww. :'(

    Three reasons that can explain this:
    • Bell, the country’s second largest carrier, has no Windows Phone whatsoever. i remember their ads boasting the Quantum as “the only Windows Phone with a physical keyboard.”. No more. They were apparently put on prepaid for under $100. Here’s a lesson, Bell: people DON’T like one-sided three-year contracts! Back to Nokia, none of their devices (except maybe ONE old school flip phone and another Symbian smartphone) were sold throughout last year. Maybe Virgin selling a Windows Phone would make sense. Which leads me to…
    • No MVNOs get Lumias. Virgin and Fido have Androids, BlackBerries and even iPhones, but no Windows Phone around $300 or at any price, let alone Lumias. At one point, i hoped Chatr would get one, but they are going down with the ship like Solo. Fido (and previously Virgin) LOVES Nokia, so you would think Lumias sell like dog food at Fido. Maybe we’ll have to wait until Q3 before they smarten up.
    • Price. Rogers has the cheapest 710, but it’s not rare to see people unlock it, cut their WIND/Mobilicity SIM card and use it on those networks. WIND will get the Lumia, Mobi *MAY* get it according to Lyons. Rogers’ 900 costs roughly the same as TELUS’ 800, which makes absolutely no sense. Microsoft and Nokia should tell carriers what to sell these phones for instead of letting such silly pricing happen.

    The good news is WIND getting the Lumia 710! :-)

  • TouchMyBox

    Microsoft’s Trojan Horse is working as expected.

    Send your exec to Nokia to be CEO, destroy all Nokia platform development, focus squarely on Microsoft platforms, sell nothing, wait for stock prices to fall, buy Nokia up at discount and bring them into the fold.

    • BB King

      You are dead on in your thinking! Microsoft is riding this Trojan Horse right into the ground to grab marketshare. Nokia is proving that RIM is no longer the “Market Originator” with the poorest strategic vision. At least RIM doesn’t post negative earnings!

  • stylinred

    WOW -52% WOW

    can’t be too surprised i guess considering the even greater negative association with Symbian after Feb 11 and the fact that there hasn’t been a heavy hitting Symbian device since 2010

    actually considering that -52% doesn’t seem too bad lol

    How well do you think Apple would do if Steve Jobs said “after i die Apple won’t be making anymore iOS devices” and after his passing Apple only released a couple of alternate Iphone3GS devices with iOS and then came out with an Iphone5 featuring Bada?

    but what made up the bulk of the 1.3bn loss was almost 900 million in restructuring costs for their network side of the business

  • Rhettimus

    Maybe they should have considered an Android platform instead of taking a gamble on Windows? They will turn the ship around I think? They are Nokia after all..

    • ILikeMyNokia900

      I doubt Nokia’s sales would be any better if they were yet another Android phone. Go to any phone seller and there’s literally dozens of Android phones. They would be yet another one with a pretty case. At least with the MS agreement they get money from MS (Google wouldn’t give them anything) and are the premiere handset maker for this phone OS.

      Sure it’s a gamble but if they kept doing Symbian only like people are whining about then they would of filed for bankruptcy already. If people really liked Symbian then they wouldn’t of lost marketplace to Samsung and Apple like they have.

  • mark

    Strange, every TELUS store i go to has a live lumia 800 on display to play with. I like the OS but it has shortcomings which need to be fixed.

    – Browser text needs to be at the correct size if not zoomed for easy reading or, include a text wrap feature like the android browsers which makes it so easy to read without having to constantly swipe back and forth. While the iPhone lacks text reflow, i rarely have to zoom text because it is adequate size already to be read easily and the high ppi helps too. Reading a news site was annoying on the lumia 800.

    – Video playback. Even iOS now has apps which can run anything from wmv to avi to mkv video files. The last time i had to transcode a video for iPhone was 2 years ago. Android phones already come with built in video playback ability for almost all formats. But WP7 again lacks in this category.

    – Decent PDF reader. The adobe reader on WP7 seems a joke to me after using it.

    – Ability to open common file types from browser. Android lets you choose an app to open the pdf, zip, video, audio, doc, excel, ppt, text, etc etc or download it from browser. Mobile Safari on iOS also can detect installed apps on the device and usually prompts for the application to open those formats. Mobile IE on the other hand again lacks here.

    – No offline reader like instapaper or pocket. I use those quite often because of subway travels.

    – Lack of some really good heavy hitter games on iOS and android. Sure it’s just games, but it is the most popular app category on both mobile OS. It wouldn’t hurt MS to hurry up and upgrade the required specs for WP7 to allow all that. Not everyone likes to stare at tiles or animations all day.

    Unless they can fix all that, i cannot replace my iPhone or android for a WP7 as daily driver. Maybe people who use only facebook have no issue with it, but then i would hardly pay even $200 for a device for just that.

  • SkyDome

    “… successful from a marketing perspective … it hasn’t translated into actual sales just yet.”

    I guess “New Coke” was a great marketing success too.

  • tigger

    For a company that makes really nice cell phones with decent hardware specs and, importantly, usability.. it’s sad to see it go this way. I agree, some of the decision making has been suspect at best.
    Why oh why kill off Symbian so fast when you can transition it out? (via lower end devices)
    Why not keep selling the hit that was the N9?
    Why not use the two to help keep sales going, though you may be losing market share, till you feel confident to fully move on to Windows OS.
    I’m not saying I agreed with the decision to move to Windows OS as the main OS of choice, I’m just questioning their strategy after that decision was made.
    The news isn’t surprising. It’s what you’d expect when you choose an OS that hasn’t come into it’s own yet. There is a painful ‘wait and see’ period where you hope momentum picks up and hope that interest doesn’t disappear.
    Sorry, just had to vent.
    Wish Nokia well.

  • tigger

    ..And I agree, they may want to pick on or two vendors in Canada and the US to sell their phones independently, unlocked and gauge interest that way.

  • casper

    I love windows phone interface and integration. Would have no problem making the switch from android. Dont get me wrong I love my android and HTC Amaze. Best phone I have ever used and I still think the best all round device out currently in my opinion however, for me to go to Windows I need to wait for Windows 8 with support for dual core processors. Additionally more ram. Front facing camera is also important to me as I have allot of family and friends abroad and do use this regularly. Once they offer around same hardware as android I will switch. Im also hopeful for amazing integration of windows when it comes to everything MS has to offer. Xbox, PC, Tablet and Phone. If all of these can easily work together it would be the ideal home solution for me. Especially with TELUS TV since it run MS Mediaroom and I use my Xbox as a STB. Heres to hoping the next Nokia device runs equivalent hardware as I wont pay same price for something with less. Just my view.

  • bob

    If they want to sell them they should price them like this:

    Nokia 710: $200 (free on 3 years with any monthly plan)
    Nokia 800: $275 (free on 2 years $50+/month)
    Nokia 900: $350 (free on 3 years $50+/month)

    • Anthony

      bob: that’s less than production cost + marketing cost, how do you think they will make Q3 profitable with that kind of strategy?

      sounds like you just want your cake and eat it too.

    • OneYrL8

      Almost there bob; if they REALLY want to sell in Canada, they are SCREWED!! because Canada is the only country in the world where 3yr contracts are not ILEGAL (Can you name another country?)

      Nokia is feeling this thing. How many people per month do you think that come out of a 3yr contract and are free to move??Out of those only about 20% ( if) would move to the Windows acosystem) Therefore the best fastest and better way to enter the market is to stop considering themselves “premium” (Are you listening RIM?) and price agressively ouright:
      Nokia 710: $199 $0 2yr contract any plan
      Nokia 800: $250 $0 2yr contract any plan
      (800 competes with Virgin Samsung W $200 and Koodo LG optimus black at $250)
      Nokia 900: $350 $0 2yr contract $50/mos
      The 900 is the flagship, but so what, they are new entrants in Canada and they had software flaws, they have to pay the re-entry price.

    • bob

      @Anthony
      Then their production and marketing costs are too high. They will continue to loose money and compete with Bada in market share.

  • Jesse

    In the words of AT&T:

    “Look at your Lumia marketing, now back to ours. Sadly, yours isn’t our crazy huge approach towards Lumia devices that might actually work, but if you use our marketing strategies, you may sell like us. What’s in your hands? Back at us, look, it’s a stub saying all of our 900s are sold out, something you love. Look, the stub is now profit! Anything is possible when you use actual marketing. *whistle*”

  • mark

    @DEVO, Have you ever played with AVPlayer or Goodplayer apps on the iPhone 4/4S? They can now play HD mkv files with no issue. And those apps are quite popular too, for a reason.

    WP7 cannot do that yet…