Mobile phone maker Nokia Corp. on Thursday posted a fourth-quarter net loss of €1.07 billion ($1.38 billion) as sales slumped 21 percent even as the company’s first Windows smartphones hit markets in Europe and Asia. The loss compares with a profit of (euro) 745 million in the same period a year earlier. Nokia said net revenue fell to (euro) 10 billion, from (euro) 12.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, with smartphone sales plunging 23 percent.
Nokia has lost its once-dominant position in the global cell phone market, with Android phones and iPhones overtaking it in the growing smartphone segment. The Finnish company is attempting a comeback with smartphones using Microsoft’s Windows software, a struggle that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop characterized as a “war of ecosystems.” He said Nokia has sold “well over” 1 million such devices since the launch of the Lumia line in the fourth quarter, in line with expectations.
Nokia sold 19.6 million smartphones in the last quarter, down from 28 million a year earlier. By comparison, Apple sold 37 million iPhones. The Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 hit stores in Europe and Asia in November, while T-Mobile started offering the 710 in the U.S. in January. Nokia hopes to boost its poor presence in the U.S. with the higher-end Lumia 900, which AT&T will offer later this year. Elop said Nokia would be shipping Lumia phones to Canada next month and China and South America during the first half of this year.
Nokia proposed a 2011 divided of 0.20 euros per share, slightly more than expected. Nokia is not out of the woods yet but as per analysts, its quarterly result was in line with expectations.