Nokia handset sales drop 19%; smartphone sales down 34%


Nokia has posted worse than expected Q2 results, including a drop in smartphone sales of 34% as the number of devices sold fell 39% year-on-year.

The firm, which was until recently the world's biggest mobile phone maker, posted a net loss of 1.41 billion euros - about four times the 368 million euro loss posted during the same period a year ago, and more than double the loss anticipated by analysts.

The Finnish company's continued strong cash position was meanwhile met with relief by investors, sending its stock soaring more than 16% after the announcement.

Nokia's chief executive, Stephen Elop, acknowledged in the earnings statement on Thursday that the April-June period had been "a difficult quarter".

Shipments of new smartphones failed to make up for dwindling overall sales, which fell 19% from the second quarter of 2011 to 7.54 billion euros, but nonetheless beat analyst expectations of 7.24 billion euros.

The Finnish company's latest strategy involved phasing out its Symbian smartphones in favour of a partnership with Microsoft.

That alliance has produced a first line of Lumia smartphones, which Nokia is counting on to help it survive in a rapidly changing landscape marked by stiff competition from RiM's BlackBerry, Apple's iPhone and handsets running Google's Android platform.

The company said it had shipped four million Lumia phones during the quarter, surpassing its expectations in the US.

This did not stop Nokia earlier this month from halving the price of its Lumia 900 to just $50 after only three months in stores.

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