Nokia posts somewhat disappointing Q4 2013 results, avoids revealing Lumia sales
Nokia releases its financial report for Q4 2013, showing a decline in Lumia sales before passing the baton to Microsoft
While both the media and consumers wait patiently for Microsoft to inevitably absorb Nokia's devices and services division, the Finnish company today published its Q4 2013 financial report. This latest report paints a rather bleak image of its Lumia family of Windows Phones. Simply put, Nokia (and Microsoft as both the operating system developer and financial partner) had a bad period to close off 2013. That said, it's not all negative and the Nokia we should see after the Microsoft deal will be a profitable company.
Unfortunately, the report doesn't share the exact number of Windows Phone units sold worldwide, joining Lumia hardware with other mobile devices sold with the Nokia brand (hello, Asha). Nokia does – however – note that smart device sales were up from the same quarter back in 2012, but suffered a fall compared to Q3 2013. Looking back at last year's Q4 report, Nokia shipped 4.4 million Lumia Windows Phones, while 8.8 million were shipped in the previous quarter of 2013. You can attempt to draw your own estimate from those two values.
How ever many Windows Phones Nokia managed to sell last quarter (we're back to Q4 2013), the company managed to more than double its results from 2012 – a positive outlook on progress made with Microsoft and its mobile platform, but this fails to mask the slight dip Nokia has experienced over the important holiday period. Fancy some figures? 2012 saw Nokia sell 13.3 million mobile devices running Windows Phone, while annual sales for 2013 would be at least 27.8 million. It's an improvement, but the division still sits as a loss and burden on Nokia as a whole.
The combined total of both feature phones and smartphones sold in 2013 plummeted, resulting in a 29 percent drop in revenue to 2.63 billion euros ($3.57 billion) compared to the previous year. It would be difficult to point the finger at just what may be the root cause of this turn of events rounding off 2013 since we're looking at both feature and smartphones. Nokia announced the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320, the first two phablet devices running the Windows Phone OS. Not only that, but we also saw Nokia's first Windows tablet, the Lumia 2520 hit stores.
What we can take from this report is that Microsoft has some way to go to simply maintain the growth Nokia brought to the mobile platform – 2014 will be an interesting year for Windows Phone.
HERE, there, everywhere
Honestly, it's not all doom and gloom. As well as the "discontinued operations", how Nokia now chooses to refer to its hardware division, the company has other properties up and running. These include HERE, NSN (Nokia Solutions & Networks), as well as healthy portfolio management and Advanced Technologies (innovation and development). We're certainly going to see a different Nokia post-Microsoft acquisition, but if recent reports are anything to go by, Nokia should remain profitable with operations and licensing.
Today, the company also confirmed that an extension to a patent license has been signed with Samsung for a further five years.
NSN and HERE are both providing a solid turnaround for Nokia, leaving its handsets side of the business as the rotten apple. NSN itself achieved underlying operating profitability with a Q4 2013 non-IFRS operating margin of 11.2 percent, compared to 8.4 percent in Q3 of the same year. Nokia's HERE platform and services is where the growth is at, however. External net sales grew to 225 million euros ($306 million), an increase of 10 percent year-on-year and 28 percent sequentially.
Looking forward, not only is Nokia working with Microsoft to further integrate its HERE services and snatch up important licensing fees, but the Finnish company has also partnered up with numerous automobile companies and manufacturers. We've covered the progress made with the likes of Continental and are excited to see just how Nokia can work with said companies to further advance the overall driving experience. While the sales of Nokia Lumia hardware certainly isn't going to turn heads, it would be wise to keep an eye on HERE, NSN and other Nokia ventures.
Check out the full report over on the Nokia website.
Update: Nokia has gone on record to confirm that 8.2 million Lumia Windows Phones were sold in Q4 2013, down from 8.8 million in Q3.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
By Jez Corden
in order to realize that they're not doing something right. It's been over 2 years since
Windows phone had a major update ( ie. Mango). Once in a while they come up if small incremental updates
amidst fanfare and chest thumbing .. they need to wake up !!
Nevertheless, I can see blaming 4th quarter Lumia sales on not launching enough new devices, with new software, around Christmas time.. I'm sure Microkia knew what they were doing, and like MS said,, once they release WP8.1 they will return back to the regular update cycle.. So, to me that sounds like we might see two major updates in 2014.. Well, that's what it sounds like, at least..
There were regressions, I miss Zune and wireless sync as much as anyone else. Blue needs to set many things straight for me as well, but summing up Mango or 8.0 as steps backwards is just not right.
Your design preferences have nothing to do with improvements. Because in actuallity, the 925 addressed something that (way too many crybaby) people were "compaining" about... the size and weight of the 920.
Personally I would have LOVED for the 920 to come to T-Mobile
Also, when I'm travelling I use my phone as a camera a lot of the time... so when it gets full it's easier to swap out a microSD card, instead of taking my laptop with me on holiday. I can easily buy new ones, and I don't have to hang around the hotel waiting for my files to transfer.
AT$T seems not to really care about training their sales staff to understand the subtle differences in devices, as they can provide an educated sales experience - which seems odd considering they claim to hold sway to device manufacturing specs. Gutting the 1520, and opting away from QI (oh, and where are these cases and chargers you are so explicitly behind, huh?!?) were TERRIBLE ideas! All they seem to care about are strategic product sales numbers, not providing solid devices for their consumers.
Now picture those same people going into a store and saying, "Well I can't switch apps, nor is there a notification center so I thinnk I better look elsewhere.
You can attempt to argue it all you want, but most people don't know nor do they care about that stuff. If it mattered there wouldn't be so many shitty, buggy, laggy android devicesin so many people's pockets right now.
2) some of those are out of Microsoft's hands
3) I don't think you realize how commercials work. Even adding small details costs money.
4) they do. A couple of months ago, I bought a sweet tea from mcdonalds and they were advertising The Wolverine movie and the only thing it said was "now on Xbox video" with no mention of iTunes or Google Play.
2 - The Nokia L2520 is nowhere to be seen in Europe or the rest of the World except for 2 countries.
3 - The announced devices are as niche as you can get: the L1350 and the L1520 with their monstrous screens are most definitely a no-no for many buyers. 4 - and most importantly: the deal with MS. As I've said over and over, people DON'T buy a "Windows Phone". They buy "a Nokia". Well, thanks to the lack of jornalistic accuracy seen accross the web (WPCentral included) and traditional media, the message that got out was "Microsoft buys Nokia".
You know what that tells people? That Nokia is gone and Microsoft bought them. And you know what? People don't really LIKE Microsoft. We've been over the brand problem of MS over and over again.
So, obviously, people will avoid buying Nokia phones. Because they feel they're not buying a Nokia anymore, even if the phones currently on the market are still true Nokias. This is also a nice wake-up call for those who believe that people will flock to buy "Surface phones" or "MicroPhones". As a Nokia fan and an opposer to the stupid deal with MS, I am very happy to see this decline in sales. And I'll be equaly happy to see the sales of WP continue to drop as Nokia slowly moves away from the mobile market. That ought to teach the idiots at Redmond a lesson. And hopefully Microsoft's next CEO won't be a moron like Ballmer and will either whip into shape the WP team (firing slobs like Belfiore and friends would be a good start) or refocus the company in what they're good at: software. Windows and Office. And maybe Xbox.
The music player is terrible its layout is barren and misses many features that where standard in 2007 for example why can't we create or edit playlists on the phone! this is so basic as to beggar belief likewise why can't we just touch the progress bar to get to a particular point on a song instead of long pressing the fwd button and hoping ditto the video player.
What about the gallery this is the first camera phone that I have ever owned where I cannot at least view some basic info on the photo ie size and date and time.
And then it gets nonsensical If I move videos from my computer to my phone they end up in Xbox videos but the ones taken with my phone end up in the gallery the ones downloaded via an app eg Metrotube stay within the confines of the app. Which means I have three different places on my phone for videos with no easy way to merge them.
Like I said some things should be basic and have been Standard within other OS for yearsI
Finally upgrading to 1520, the first mistake they made was the pricing of the Lumia 1020 was RIDICULOUS!!, the release of ip6,galaxy note 3 and the availability of the Lumia phones to one carrier alone on release dates,I'm talking about USA.. This is expected,the 2014 will be a positive number for msft/nokia..
EDIT: 8.2 million. A small decrease in sales. Not horrible but not good either. I'm so sick of this. I feel we give 100% to Nokia and they only give 50% because of Microsoft. Where's my other 50%????