Nokia Lumia sales up a mild 19% quarter-on-quarter to 8.8 million units in Q3

This morning, Nokia posted their Q3 results, detailing how well their Lumia line has been doing in addition to their other services. The bad news is overall, the company was flat quarter-on-quarter, with HERE sales down 9% due to seasonal variation. Likewise, NSN was also down 7%, again attributed to “seasonality”.

The good news though is regards to Nokia’s mobile phones, which includes Asha and Lumia. Generally, Q3 volumes were up 4% quarter-on-quarter to 55.8 million units, “demonstrating solid performance across the majority” of Nokia’s range of devices.

More specifically, Lumia Q3 volumes improved by 19% quarter-on-quarter to 8.8 million units, mostly attributed to the Lumia 520. While the percentage of growth overall is lower than the previous quarter (7.4 M at 32% growth), Nokia is still chipping away at the smartphone market:

As exemplified above, sales of Lumia devices have been steadily increasing since their inception in November 2011 with the Lumia 800. However, it looks like Lumia sales are overall either slowing down or not picking up much speed when compared to Android or iPhone sales. At this rate, it will take quite a few years for Microsoft to make significant inroads into the smartphone race.

Nokia also sells more Lumias (8.8 million) than Asha devices (5.9 million) with “normal” inventory range (4-6 weeks), meaning they are managing sales well without Lumias collecting dust on shelves.

Sales being driven by North America?

Broken down by region, we can see that in North America (Canada, United States and Mexico), year-over-year change is an impressive 494% for net sales.

Device volume is also update 367% for the same region, with all other areas, including Europe, Middle East & Africa, Greater China, Asia-Pacific and Latin America actually down year-over-year.

Microsoft / Nokia deal won’t devalue

Due to the Q3 results and projections for Q4, Nokia does not expect there to be a purchase price adjustment in the Microsoft acquisition. The EUR 5.44 billion amount will stand.

The deal is still expected to close in 2014. Interestingly, the division that Microsoft is buying (Devices and Services) from Nokia, accounted for 50% of Nokia’s net sales in 2012.

Nokia, the company that is left after the Microsoft deal, will focus on three areas:

  • NSN – Network infrastructure
  • HERE – Mapping technology
  • Advanced Technologies – “which will build on several of Nokia's current CTO and intellectual property rights activities”

That last area is perhaps the most interesting as we could see the company still release new hardware, just not smartphones.

The picture for Nokia for Q3 appears to be not great, but not terrible either. In hindsight, the Microsoft deal does look to have been the right decision if only because these numbers don’t represent the kind of growth Nokia would need to remain sustainable in the long run.

We’ll have more on Nokia’s numbers throughout the day.

Source: Nokia (PDF)

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

176 Comments
  • Rise!
  • They are rising... In stock value. Pre market trading right now, its up $0.52 a share or 7.7% right now. Incase anyone was wondering.
  • They are! Device business is still producing negative cash flow, but HERE and NSN are lookng to be really solid as Nokia moves out of Device business. 
    Investors are not looking at Lumia sales anymore when it comes to Nokia, but NSN and HERE. 
  • The only caveat there is that it is gaining back the losses it had over the last few days. It was hovering around $7.35/share last week.
  • Deshi deshi basara basara...
  • I see what you did there.. :D the dark knight RISES !!! :P
  • Good regrowth I guess. I'm sure its not the pace they was hoping. Thank God for the 520?
  • Yes and i believe the next growth might be coz of the 1320, if the price drops down slightly below $300 especially in Asia
  • Better than the decline the same quarter last year.
  • That was solely because of the imminent launch of Windows Phone 8
  • and now solely because of nokia world :p
  • This growth for Q3 was likely to be slowed by speculation on the future of the brand due to the MS/Nokia announcement at the start of September. Nobody expects volume device sales during July and August, so killing September with the news would have hit the quarter harder than any other month. When all is said and done, it was probably better to get it out of the way when they did and get a clean run at the 4th quarter.
     
    I predict a return to very high growth in Lumia volume sales for the 4th quarter, assuming no further 'bombshell' announcements from the merger talks.
  • Q4 and christmas regularly are quite a driver in device sales. Pity we won't say updated flagship hardware before Q1 with WP8.1. The 1020 and 1520 are more of a niche play.
  • Nearly 22 Million for the year so far. Need another 10 Million for the last quarter. Nokia should come up with a successor to 520 and perhaps a cheaper one below 520 with a 3.5 inch screen and lower resolution to compete with the cheaper Androids like the Galaxy Fame & Young, Sony E etc.
  • Lumia 525 should be out soon, though not too much is known about its release plan.
  • Any idea when the successor to 925 will be out ?
    I need to buy a new phone and the 925 seems to be the best choice for me but the internals are over a year old by now.
    They just need updated flagships (920, 925 etc) to see a real jump in sales. I was expecting them to come out Oct 22nd - was so disappointed.
  • My money will be alongside the release of Windows Phone 8.1 early in the new year. New software needs new hardware and the 1520 is already their device for GDR3. 
  • I'm in the same boat. 925 tempting, but probably better to wait. Hoping for a 5"-screen. You on T-Mo?
  • but the 512MB ram n 8gb doesnt help. I know this helps keep it cheap but there's a lot of negative publicity gng on regd limited apps due to 512mb ram & 8gb memory, A 725 with 1gb ram 16gb memory shhould also help,
    I think high end portfolio is really covered its the low-med that needs MS-Nokia attention now.
  • actually the high end is not covered, they do not have an alternative to iPhone. Believe it or not many people like the iPhone size and if you want a high end 4" device you won't find one in Nokia (or any Window Phone). Who know how many iPhone sufferers are out that wishing they could have an WP8 device if only they weren't all so big!! I'm being silly, kind of.
    Nokia - Please make the next phone announce be a killer 4"-4.2" device (:
  • +620
  • I don't think its silly, i agree. I found lumia 800 to be just abt perfect size but when i had to look for replacement I had 920/925 , I dint want such big phones and ended up taking 720, it still ffeels marginally big but I'm getting adjusted, i think 729 could fill that gap with same size but improved specs
  • TOTALY agree
    I move from 800 to 925
    and now I really realise that 800 is actully perfect size for a phone.
     
  • They have their Asha OS for that, I think it would be a bad thing for Nokia (and Microsoft) to tarnish a great union between hardware and software just to get more sales.
  • Going on right direction, imagine if Nokia went Google route; just like HTC, Motorola and LG it would be doomed. Samsung owns Android market, hopefully people will understand by this.
  • Nokias doing good then excellent
  • Poor Nokia, tie up with MS was the dumbest decision you ever took.. I always loved u Nokia...
  • No, their dumbest decision was the same one everyone else made: underestimate the iPhone. They lost their way years ago. To ignore that is to dismiss history.
  • this.
     
  • Underestimation is a team's worst enemy.
    Thats why Jordan will beat Uraguay in the World champinchip qualifier in Amman on 12 Nov. :P
    Just a Gag, any Jordanians around?
  • Michael Jordan retired years ago, and I doubt he could have beaten Uraguay by himself even in his prime. :-P
  • LOL..Even before I read your post I knew somebody would/had followed up with that snarky remark..LMAO..!
  • Agreed!
  • THIS! All everyone did was laugh at Apple. Nokia the biggest one poking fun at their lack of multitasking. I means its cool they still poke fun but all Apple gotta go is show them 0s for one product.
  • It's MS who is to be blamed, slow on updates,very much featureless compared to the competition,don't listen to Windows phone users demands,missing basic apps like opera mini that caters to the data saving community.
  • Although those could e.g. just use Nokia Xpress which pretty much does the same as Opera Mini.
  • Nokia Xpress totally shit....featureless like WP itself.., use it for few days and you will know why.
  • Do people really base their smartphone purchase decision on whether Opera Mini is available?
  • No.  But the general argument that Windows Phone is behind and falling further and further behind is absolutely spot on.  WP showed promise, three years ago.  Today, that promise has not been fulfilled and it is rightfully a laughing-stock on the Internet.
     
    There is simply no way to defend the pace of "progress" the OS has been making.  Overall, I think WP8 was in many ways a step back from 7 (wireless syncing, Zune, FM radio, etc.), and that is really, really shocking.
     
    MS needs to learn how to move forward, and then do it...fast.  That Blue is not coming out until after the holiday season may well be the death-knell for the platform.
  • Yeah, appsolutely...,that's what i was trying to say.
  • There arent that many apps missing. And for 2 guys who dont like WP, you sure spend a ton of time in the comments section :/
  • Right...because NO ONE is laughing at Blackberry
  • We already have fm radio. IPhone has no glance, double tap to wake, live updates, NFC,...
  • Not so exactly but here its one of the factors coz people are used to opera mini for browsing on other platforms and when they switch to Windows they are pretty disappointed not having such a basic browser.
  • Did others get disappointed when they couldn't find IE on their phones?
  • Why should they when they have good number of browsers to suit everyone's need.
  • I agree with most of what you said, but try UC Browser...much better than Opera.
  • UC browser is another Chinese crap...,pages don't render to the screen size often in speed mode and some websites look terrible.
  • Well said man, it's good to hear clear thinking. The fact is Nokia was already strained way before Elop appeared on the scene, in fact, we could say it was their crisis that opened the way for Elop's entry. They didn't stand a chance going the Android way because that would mean no funds from MS in the meantime and they would have had to compete head on against the giants like Samsung and HTC who had pretty much conquered the Android domain between them, with their extreme pace of hardware delivery and huge investment in software (even if it wasn't optimised, it still worked anyway). Nokia would have had to begin developing for Android from scratch while Samsung dumped release after release into the market. I think the MS deal was the best they could get -- they needed the cash support, that's business.
    The iPhone is to 'blame' for the upset of the mobile phone industry :-)
  • +920 @Daniel
  • If Nokia hadn't teamed up with Microsoft in the first place, I very much doubt they'd have lived to tell the tale.
  • Yup they would have been sold for parts and patents last year most likely.
  • This is GREAT news for Nokia. They sold 2.8 million Lumias in Q3 2012. They've sold 8.8 million in Q3 2013. That's more than 200% year-on-year growth. From Q2 2012 to Q3 2012 there was a 30% DECLINE. On the other hand, from Q2 2013 to Q3 2013 there has been a 19% GROWTH. Very impressive.
     
    I'm expecting even stronger Q4 with the holiday season coming up, and all the new Lumia devices.
  • That was due to the WP8 launch
  • I am not expecting a huge Christmas for Nokia this year.  That is not to say that it is going to be horrible, and they won't see growth, but I do not see the sales of the 1320 and the 1520 being much more than a nitche market devices, especially as they will have a limited launch at first and we are already one month into the quarter.
    The launch of the 929 however will be a different story.  All of the guts of the 1520 crammed into a 5" display?  That is what people are looking for!  I am assuming that VZW is getting it a bit early, and we will see a wider release of this device with WP8.1 later in the year as a Lumia 930.  If they were releasing those products right now then we would see an amazing quarter with lots of Christmas sales.  But the 1520 is just a little too big for most people, and while it will sell just fine, it is not going to sell in numbers like the 920 or the 520 devices which are so popular.
  • Well you can thank att for killing the Lumia 1520 sales. There what's holding Nokia back. Not there products themselves.
  • It seems there will be a 5" variant of the 1520 arriving on Verizon as 929. But that's US only and that's not really what makes and breaks their christmas sales.
  • Let's not forget.  A lot of people in the US hopped on board w/the Lumia 920, 820, and 822 signing up for 2 year contracts.  Unless they're willing to break their contracts to get new phones or pay outright for new ones, those sales are going to be missing this year.
  • And I'd argue that unless WP8.1 delivers some exciting new features, some of those users might be more excited about alternate offerings rather getting a new WP8 device when their contract expires.
  • Buy stock now, we may pull an Apple.
  • Funny how the best selling phone is not sold by AT&T. I guess exclusivity does not equal superb sales after all.
  • AT&T sells the Lumia 520. In fact, they're the only US carrier to do so (well, technically T-Mobile sells the Lumia 521). You're also missing the point of exclusivity. It's not just about sales but about offsetting costs to the carrier for advertisements and marketing. That's money Nokia can save and instead, focus on R&D for other devices. 
  • I bought one as a gift to my uncle. They are cheap enough for a good gift.
  • Let's hope we can get the 525 on Verizon as to have a 52x variant on the big three US carriers.
  • I would love to see some reports that compare the lost revenue of the smaller market that comes with carrier exclusivity with the small savings in marketing costs because I don't think it is worth it. Nokia's love affair with AT&T isn't working because 1) AT&T aren't promoting WP with very much zeal, 2) people don't switch carriers anymore. Most people are embedded in family plans with staggered contract dates; they aren't giving that up. Nokia has missed out on the majority of potential customers by having the majority of their devices locked to AT&T.
  • We could "SEE" the company...
  • Good. Let's see how the upcoming WP8.1 will help with this and the release of highly expected apps like Instagram.
  • Yayy! And to celebrate, I'm gonna get myself the L925! ;)
  • ...??? What makes you so sure they would have done better going Android? It's pretty obvious that Samsung is the only real profitable Android maker.
  • The only profitable there is google :)
  • And Microsoft, with their $15 cut for every handset :P
  • Correction: Google has yet to realize any profits from it's Mobile OS. They're even struggling to monitize the search on mobile.
  • There are many proftable Android manufacturers. At least with Android the OS would not have been a hindrance. WP does have future promise (market share -wise), but for Nokia WP8 needed to be ready when the deal was made.
  • all they need for the 525 is a front facing camera and it's golden.
  • That's how I feel too. Well, 1GB of RAM would be nice too. But WP8 runs just fine on the 520, and it's got the minimum features needed and leaves out the ones that low end purchasers can be without. 
  • Flash for the camera and clearblack display instead of sensitive display would be nice
  • Sure, but if you really want to keep the costs down you're not going to include things like that.
  • I'm not sure I agree with the analysis here.
     
    Growth, particularly in North America, is very good... especially when you look at year-over-year where last year they had a terrible Q3 and this year they surpassed it dramatically. They are doing better at having big announcements and releases every quarter to help keep momentum going, and the products they are releasing is top notch.
     
    In fact, in spite of some people's gloom and doom about the Microsoft acquisition, they're still UP as well as their stock price, so clearly investors (financial AND consumers) have a lot of faith in the company.
     
    I call that good news. If there's any fault at this point, it's probably more on the Microsoft side with slow update delivery (features) and carrier mismanagement of the platform.
  • It's good news, I don't contradict that. It's just not great news. Sure, sales are up dramatically in North America. But it's down everywhere else in the world. Growth, as a percentage is up, but by a smaller percentage. Revenue is also down due to lower margins. Like I said, it's still good, but it's not awesome either. Nokia accounts for nearly 90% of WP devices, they own the field.
  • Sales are normally down for almost everyone without a major launch in Q3. It's the weakest quarter seasonaly speaking. I rather wonder why it's that strong in the US this time. Will be up in Q4 again - then we'll have to wait and see.
  • Smartphone profits are down QoQ though (meaning even more losses), it's great for MS, but not for Nokia.
  • Daniel,
     
    You all seem to be able to talk with MS/Nokia..., any chance of a "528" coming to VZW?
  • I think this is better news than this article makes it out to be. Your android and iPhone lovers will tell you that WP and Lumia are dead in the water but there has been continued growth. I don't think we can expect it to be any better than it is considering how huge those phones already are. And does WP/Nokia/MS really need to sell as many as them? as long as they remain profitable and continue to make phones I'll be happy. I'd hate it if everyone owned a WP. my days would be boring having no one to argue with over which OS is better.
  • Sales are good, they're just not "explosive". At some point, either WIndows Phone/Lumias will have to take off. Middling and slowly increasing sales are "ok" but it won't win them significant market share.
  • sorry but it is Nokia against Apple, Samsung, all those Android OEMs, Microsoft slow update process and the carriers.
    This results are AMAZING!
  • That MSFT's shares are down this morning while NOK's are up tell me that these results aren't that "amazing".
  • Microsoft shares are down because they went on a rampage upwards over the past few days.
  • You don't think the market is too settled right now for WP to explode? I don't see WP exploding in terms of market share for a long time. Once the market share reaches decent numbers then I expect it to grow exponentially, but until then it'll be slow and steady I believe.
  • I think the combo of Samsung high-end and them and everyone else with low end Android phones was a death blow to other ecosystems' ability to "explode" on the market. They have simply saturated the easy-to-reach market for smartphones, and from now on it'll be a slow and steady climb for anyone that wants to compete. I think WP can do it though, at least enough to become an equal player to iOS in terms of market share. I wouldn't be surprised if we end up with a fairly settled OS market where Android has maybe 70% and iOS and WP about equal part of the rest.
  • I think we would be wrong if we expect Nokia to atleast reach half of the apple or android sales share, it will continue to grow marginally as currently till WP is able to iron out many (known)issues/ most wanted features.
    We may have to wait atleast till WP9(my best guess).
  • I totally agree bruh haha my days as a windows phone evangelist will be over..rightly said
  • Nokia is still losing money on smartphones.
  • nokia shares UP to 8% at NYSE in open market
  • Let us see the numbers of Q4, after the announcement of the stupid ruinous deal.
    From these numbers the only thing I take is: 1 - the D&S still represents Nokia's heart and lungs and without it they'll just close doors; 2 - growth is there although still dragging its feet; 3 - they should have gone with Android to stand a better chance. I would seriously like some market search to have on paper why people aren't still coming or returning to Nokia albeit the cheap well build options like the 520. There's only on reason left imo: the OS. As for Microsoft...IF they manage to buy the D&S division...they're gonna have a bad time (and I'm gonna love revengefully watching it).
  • You don't like WP?
  • I do, but it's still very undeveloped when compared with its rivals Android and iOS.
  • it's not the OS. it's Microsoft and slow update/feature process. They should go next year to Barcelona and just bring the best thing the could bring to market.... BTW, you read like an Android fan in disguise.
  • I'm not, actually. I am a Nokia fan. And I want what's best for Nokia. And this isn't clearly it.
    I don't hate Android nor Google unlike many people here though. But there's something that can't be denied: Android is years ahead of WP in terms of OS flexibility and development (and I'm obviously not talking about the App Store). If Microsoft would develop the OS way faster and at least bring it up to pair with Android and iOS, I would be head over heels with it. But unfortunately Microsoft clearly sees WP as a vanity project. And as such, it's hard to be enthusiastic about it when they, themselves, aren't.
  • Android is not ahead in flexibility. All the custom things that Android does were doable on Windows Mobile years ago but Windows Mobile just didn't take off because of poor MS execution. Their strategy with WP now is to not make it flexible like Android (that would be a step backwards) but focus on fluid design and ecosystem. If flexible and customisable with apps that have no standards are what you want then go to Android.
  • Then it is the OS?
  • Lol, from a business' perspective, The Android route won't work at all. First of all, the number of direct competitors is large. and not lacking in good device manufacturers (Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, Motorola). They are all producing amazing phones at the moment, each touting their own unique features (and some are really quite good), it would be very hard for Nokia to stand out. In WP however, they have little to no competitors, and everyone is starting at the same point. Their name is now equivalent to WP, something that would be impossible if they chose Andoid. 
    Second, Nokia just don't have the money. Sure Android is free, but the license fee is really minimum in terms of expense to gain market share. I remember MS was making 10 dollar per phone and Nokia making 40 dollar per phone in terms of profit, which means, 8.8mil sales last quarter gives MS 88 million in lincensing fee. But compare that expense, to the marketing spending by Samsung, who has so much more free cashflow to throw just to gain a bit of market share, its TINY! Nokia doesn't have the budget for it to make these advertising campaigns with Android, so they will lose out just like everyone else except Samsung. By teaming with MS however, they receive financial aid and the boost that MS makes lots of marketing campaigns themselves.(though effectiveness could be improved).
    Last but not least, profit. Few companies making Android phones are making money. Yes you might sell more phones and get higher revenue, but revenue means nothing if your margin is so low that you are losing money overall. Nokia cannot afford to lose any more money, they will bankrupt. They are making healthy profit (or much less loss) by choosing WP.
    So no, they would not have a better chance if they chose Android. While it might seem like a more successful platform on appearance, with any business strategy in mind you would realize how bad a decision it would be if Nokia went with Android.
  • I disagree. You're forgetting something that Americans always forget when talking about Nokia (I'm not sure you're American) and that is the brand power and proximity with consumers. Unlike HTC, Sony and LG (these last two are very attached to TVs and Multimedia devices more than with mobile), Nokia has a long tradition of mobile construction and has created a trust bond with its consumers (without which, WP wouldn't be selling at all). The advantage that Nokia would have with Android would be that they wouldn't have an OS manufacturer dragging