Nokia posts disappointing Lumia sales as Microsoft deal nears completion

Next quarter, Nokia will be a very different company. Without a Devices division dragging it down, the Finnish company can finally refocus on its NSN division and leave the handset sales to a company familiar with disappointment, Microsoft.

Lumping its handset sales into “Discontinued Operations,” Nokia was less than forthcoming about the fact that this holiday quarter saw Lumia sales drop to 8.2 million devices from 8.8 million the previous quarter. The fourth quarter is often a boom time for handset manufacturers as companies promote their wares during the holiday period, but Nokia failed to convince buyers the latest crop of Lumias were worth investing in.

The company also saw lower ASP, or average sales price, which means that the average Lumia buyer was looking at inexpensive hardware like the Lumia 520, 525, 620 and 625, not the flagship Lumia 1020 and, in the States, 1520.

Overall, Nokia clearly wasn’t happy with its final quarter of Lumia sales, trying to downplay the results as much as possible. There were some high notes, though: overall Lumia sales for Q4 were up 86% from a year ago, so the quarter isolated looks far better when not compared to the previous one.

With Microsoft inheriting the Lumia brand and the majority of Nokia’s employees, the Redmond-based company has even more incentive to bundle Windows Phone — and use the Lumia brand — with its other products, such as Windows 8, Office, Xbox and SkyDrive.

[source]Nokia (PDF)[/source]