Nokia's double digit growth today bodes well for the Windows Phone platform

Today Nokia reported its most recent quarterly results. Lumia volumes were up 19% sequentially, hitting a new record of 8.8 million shipments.  As Daniel pointed out earlier, these aren’t anywhere near iPhone volumes.  Apple shipped almost 38 million iPhones, or 4.3x more phone than Nokia Lumia this past quarter.  But that shouldn’t take away from Nokia’s accomplishment. They are single-handedly responsible for making Windows Phone a viable competitor in the marketplace.

Make no mistake, there is still a lot of work to be done, and we can only hope that the integration of the handset business with Microsoft goes smoothly, but Windows Phone stands a chance.  Anytime a platform posts double digit sequential growth in shipments we’re bound to see more developers take it seriously, not less.

The Lumia 520 steals the show

The launch of the Lumia 520 is credited, by Nokia, for helping bring the volumes up. After initially focusing much of its efforts on the high end of the market, it seems Nokia has realized that there is a ton of opportunity lower down. For those who have decided they don’t want to buy an Android phone, there isn’t a whole lot of choice at the low end.   Not too many people are interested in a legacy BlackBerry, which pretty much leaves you with Windows Phone as the only logical choice. 

Nokia has been given a free pass at this market driven by BlackBerry’s failure to go there.  Some might argue that the BlackBerry Q5 is a competitive entry level device powered by BlackBerry 10.  But I’d point out that most of the market wants pure touchscreen, not a physical keyboard.  Furthermore, Nokia Lumia average selling prices work out to US $197, which is significantly lower than any BlackBerry handset pricing estimates I’ve seen.  In other words, BlackBerry doesn’t even compete where Nokia competes, and their failure is Nokia’s (and soon Microsoft’s) opportunity.

Nokia stock today jumped on quarterly results

It won’t be long before Microsoft is running this business. Their biggest challenge, shared by BlackBerry, will be to develop a powerful app ecosystem for both phones and tablets. While Microsoft certainly has the cash to offer to developers to bring apps over, it doesn’t always work for the biggest names.  I had an interesting conversation with a serial technology startup CEO friend of mine in Silicon Valley who pointed out to me that a few hundred thousand bucks, which is all it really takes to build most apps, isn’t the real reason these developers won’t support a third place or fourth place platform.  It’s the commitment to ongoing maintenance that they aren’t interested in making (right now). 

Anyway, as things stand right now, Nokia has done a pretty good job of ramping up the Lumia (and therefore Windows Phone) user base.  If they can keep this up for the next year or so, I think they’ll be able to plug a lot of the app gaps, and be a real third place contender.

Nokia stock closed today at 7.45 a share (up +0.70 or 10.37%).

(Chris Umiastowski is a contributing financial writer to the Mobile Nations network. You can see the rest of his posts here at AndroidCentral, iMore and CrackBerry.)

172 Comments
  • Yay! Gokia! Now tell AT&T to back off with the feature skimming.
  • Att needs to stop that exclusivity nonsense. The sales would be even high if all carriers had the same WP, just like Samsung does.
  • It would be great if every phone wound up on every carrier. Coming from a Verizon customer, the selection is very bad beside the 928 which I have. They need to have all of em.
  • Soon you get the 929...the same with 4-core, 2GB RAM, 1080 screen, GDR3+Lumia Black
  • But that doesn't help then and people looking today.
  • Won't happen.. The only reason Nokia is on ATT is because ATT let them have a piece of the customer pie at the price of them having exclusive rights.
  • +1
  • And Nokia should offer a device on boost mobile a friend of mine loves my 1020 she has a crappy android on boost so if Nokia offered a Lumia device say the 520 or 620.
    She said she would love a WP and get fid of her lockiing up junk from android.
  • Nokia done great job covering entry level market with 520.
    Nokia is failing big time at top end market. Phones are either too big (1520), or screen too small (4.5' all), or chunky (920), massive bezel (all), overpriced (1020). Really, there isn't a single balanced phone that check all boxes (4.8-5' screen, HD display, slim body, no bezel, 20 mpx, extensible storage, sensible price point). Two years, still not a top-end phone to take on SG4/SG3 and latest LG/Motorola.
    Are they ever going to learn or listen?
  • They need a 5 inch phone designed like the 925, with other specs of 1520. Hope it comes soon.
  • Exactly, that's what many potential customers (including myself) have been waiting too.
  • Agree.
  • I like my 925, but boy it wants to jump out of my hands. Needs some rubber at the edge.
  • I love gokia.
  • How about buying phone off contract?
  • The high price of the contracts is only bearable because of the subsidized phone prices.
  • You pay the subsidy during your contract anyway so why not save the money, go with cheaper contract and buy an unlocked phone? I do it all the time (although I'm in EU) and I keep the phone for more than 5 years, no need for a new phone every two years. In the end I save huge money and have a phone of my own choice that I can use however I like.
  • There is no cheaper contract here if I go with Big Red or Ma Bell. They don't give you a better rate because you supplied your own phone.
  • Go Nokia..... Proud to be a share owner :-D
  • Same here. Especially today!
  • Will be soon!
  • Persistence gets rewarded in this market. Nokia has made significant inroads into the mindshare of people with their Lumia brand and this is starting to show in the market share.
  • Above We dont find any information regading the devices sold in the previous. Here is a detailed piechart where Lumia 520 ranks No:1 with above 30% market share its really amazing.If you like  see the piechart here http://bit.do/dh4P
  • I would not click any links posted by Kareena Kapoor or Manisha Foru.
  • Com on nokia
  • No developer wants to support ANY software. In this world of Agile and project-based IT, maintenance and support is less than an afterthought.
  • NO-K-IA! NO-K-IA! (chants!)
  • And yes, I LOVE my Lumia. I just might upgrade to the 929 from Verizon once it launches. Thank you, Nokia!
  • Shouldn't it be NO-KI-A! ???
  • Nókia
  • NO KIA
  • Pretty sure it should be NOK-IA :-)
  • Thank you...! In Finland it is pronounced "Knock-E-Ah" .... I'm getting sick to death of this "No-Kia" nonsense from Americans...
  • Nobody told us otherwise-in the US it's No-Kia and always will be.
  • its "Knock-iya"
    http://blogs.computerworld.com/17804/how_should_we_pronounce_nokia_anyway
  • :) I've always wondered about that! In official videos from Nokia, I've noticed the "knock-e-ah" pronunciation.
  • Elop himself says No kia
  • Yes... And he is American... Just because he was the CEO does not mean he was correct... ;)
  • Nokia marketing here says No-Kia.  Whether or not it is the original pronunciation is irrelevant.  It is the correct pronunciation to use when talking about Nokia in America.
  • Yeah, same here.
  • Cause Nokia sounds better.
  • Thing is, sweetheart - just writing 'Nokia' doesn't give us any clues as to how you are pronouncing it.
  • @paulomalley Exactly! (Swede here)
  • I was thinking there isn't much point in getting upset over the way Americans say Nokia, as even though every other country in the world pronounces it differently to them they will probably never change... Then I remembered, they will all start pronouncing it differently soon... They will all be saying Mike-Roah-Softe
  • Exactly. Americans always want to be different and that'll never change. Look at how they pronounce aluminium. Yes, there is supposed to be an extra i.
  • Actually it was originally called Alumium, and then it was changed to Aluminum. Then later it was changed again to Aluminium as the ium ending conformed with the other elements (potassium etc). It was decided in the early 90s that Aluminium was the correct international spelling and only the Americas retain the older Aluminum, but it is considered an acceptable alternative spelling.  
    Nokia on the other hand is just pronounced incorrectly in America for no reason at all, as its spelling doesn't invite the American pronounciation :-)
  • Hey, its not our fault they spelled it wrong :)
  • Nokia all day
  • $7.5 of share was predicted by wmpoweruser. It happens.
  • "and we can only hope that the integration of the handset business with Microsoft goes smoothly," And we can hope it doesn't. Actually, given the fact that Nokia's other divisions all reported loss, Nokia shareholders may want to rethink that stupid idea of selling out to Microsoft the division that still brings some money in.
    Of course, being the author of the article who it is, one wouldn't expect him to say anything but to take for granted that Microsoft is all mighty and that Nokia has absolutely no relevance.
     
    Well, I am starting to get tired of reading "opinions" coming 99% from Americans (and that's why I'm referring to americans and nothing else), that completely fail to see the power of Nokia just because Nokia was never powerful in the US, and believe that their disappearance will bring anything good to Microsoft. These American analysts are so smart that they completely underestimate the impact that the disappearance of Nokia as an independent brand will bring to Windows Phone just because they think there's no World outside the USA.
    Very well.
    Let the deal happen.
    Then we'll see where those WP user numbers will be. My opinion? They'll end up in the same place they were with Windows Mobile. I agree with the article in everything that doesn't concern these specific things that are perverted by a lack of understanding of Nokia as a brand, though.
  • "they'll end up in the same place they were with Windows Mobile" Uh... A 33% market share? Yeah, that would be terrible wouldn't it?
  • Lol.. DJ was always hurt about the acquisition of Nokia
  • Jas00555's Quote: "Uh... A 33% market share? Yeah, that would be terrible wouldn't it?"
    Where did you pluck that number from mate, 33%, eh?
    Year
    Marketshare
    in U.S.
    2004 11.3%[71]
    2005 17%[71]
    2006 37%[72]
    2007 42%[72]
    2008 27%[72]
    2009 15%[72]
    2010 7%[72]
    2011 3%[72]
  • Hey mate, we live on Planet Earth not Planet USA. You guys have some real problems thinking outside the box.
  • Are you chatting to me mate (dotcompt)? If so, I'm frigging British and I put them figures up to prove how Windows Mobile peaked in 2007, and nose dived after. Which is backing up DJCBS comment about Windows Mobile. Furthermore, the figures suggest that Microsoft can't sell shite without OEM's -- put that in pipe and smoke it lol
  • What was the market share Nov 2010??
  • 7% mate, read my figures. Yes they were shite, and that is the point I was getting across to the comment regarding 33% -- totally irrelevant.
  • Clearly in 2006 is when they had 33% at one point (from an spreadsheet that I found). Now, I realize that the USA isn't the world, a lesson you should take, but even going from your graph, between 2005 and 2006, it hit 33%... Unless you think these results just jump from year to year? Anyway, even under your assumption that the USA is the world, you've helped my point by a) showing that at one point, yes, they did have a 33% market share and b) taking it further by showing that it had 42% at one point (something I didn't know) which goes on to further counter DJCBS's point (you thought those statistics helped him??) by his statement of "Microsoft shouldn't buy Nokia because it'll end up like Windows Mobile" implying that Windows Mobile had a low market share. I wasn't lying. Not every statistic shows the same result and just because something has a certain popularity in the USA doesn't mean the entire world has that.
  • Of course they did, are you blind mate? Microsoft started out with over 50 OEM's and if I remember rightly, by 2008 they only had one left (HTC), and that shows in the figures -- so yes, DJCBS comment regarding Microsoft losing the Nokia name might hurt sales, just like when OEM's left Windows Mobile for Android and they was left with only HTC, until Nokia came on board -- the article states Nokia have done well with WP8, which suggests they put WP8 on the U.S map. Furthermore, shite sales of first generation surface tablets kinda back that up -- you can try twist figures all you want, but stats can never give you the full picture, without trying find out the causes -- which I've tried to do.
  • So let me get this straight. You told me I was lying because they never had a 33% market share... Then start off your counter argument with "of course they did"? Ok...? My argument was that he was implying that Windows Mobile wasn't doing good at all when they were pretty high up there in market share (the reason why doesn't matter, it was never my point). My only argument was that at one point, they had a nice slice of the pie, which they did. Stop trying to start arguments that aren't there.
  • No, are you a lawyer by any chance, because you seem to like twisting shite? No mate, when I said "of course they did" I meant Windows Mobile had a low market share (U.S) from 2007, as it dropped like a dead dog.
  • Are you old because you seem to have Alzheimer's. Never once did I say something about their low market share, just that it was high at some point. What the hell were you responding to then if not my post about how they had a large market share at one time?
  • Once again, trying to twist shite -- are you a troll or smoking some high grade weed? Where in my statement do you get I said, you said they had a low market share -- Jesus Christ, pmsl
  • Because you said "when I said 'of course they did' I meant Windows Mobile had a low market share" when I said nothing about low market share? The word low was literally not in my post.
  • Hello Jas00555, Welcome to 2013.
    33% of market share? I think you have an extra "3" in there. Unless of course you are referring to numbers of 2007 and prior? When there was no iPhone? No Android? No real smartphones as we know them, actually? Yeah. That's the thing. When you have almost no competition, it's easy to have a big market share. If we go that route...Symbian had over 70% market share. When? In 2006. And then over time OEM's started to drop Symbian in favour of Android (like they dropped WM). Guess what'll happen IF Microsoft becomes the WP OEM? Do you really expect Samsung or HTC to keep producing them? Yeah, right.
    HTC *may* be persuaded through the power of the All-Mighty-Money to keep releasing one or two Windows Phones. But Samsung? They'll drop it like it's hot. Why bother with an OS that was taken over by the creator of that very same OS, when they're thriving and dominating on an alternate OS?
    It's exactly the same as if Apple would start allowing OEM's to put iOS on their devices. Some could at first do it...but soon they'd drop it. It's stupid to compete against the OS-designers. Unless you have an open-platform, like Android, that allows OEM's to actually compete with the OEM's offers. But Microsoft will very hardly turn WP into an open-source OS.
  • You said Windows MOBILE. Windows Mobile had, apparently, a 42% market share at one point. The 3% is windows PHONE. Completely different. Honesty, half the time I think you're just trolling.
  • Wow, pot calling kettle black, eh? You still arguing when the figures are in front of you, and worst thing is you have tried to twist everything I've said. Hence why I asked if you're lawyer -- blind fanboyism at it's best. I can't talk to people who always move goal posts, to win a debate -- unbelievable!
  • What the hell are you talking about ? My argument that I have repeated continually was that at one point, Windows Mobile had a large market share. That's it. That's all I've ever said. I've never talked about Windows Phone market share or OEMS or anything else. If being a lawyer means using facts to win an argument, then yes, I could be a lawyer.
  • Quote: "Anyway, even under your assumption that the USA is the world, you've helped my point by..." -- then show me proof that Windows Mobile had 33% market share (worldwide) in 2006, if not then stop trolling.
  • What?!?!? YOU showed proof right here in the comments. If it was 17% in 2005 and 37% in 2006, then it HAD TO HAVE BEEN 33% AT ONE POINT. What cocaine are you smoking? Market share numbers don't just jump instantaneously between years, they literally have to slowly grow. I can clearly see I'm dealing with either a stoner or a 10 year old, so unless you have something good to say, I bid you a good day.
  • If you think I smoke crack, then that's your business, but you do realise it's 2:30a.m here and I'm knackered mate -- you have really done my head with all your shite, end of the day market share plummeted to 3%, so your first comment about 33% was irrelevant (worldwide or USA). Good night
  • The marketshare you are reffering to is only US marketshare.
    And though I agree that at some point it was definately 33% but only in US and it was when symbian was only its competetor, You would be dreaming if you expect WP to reach that stage.
    WP is forever playing catchup and it not helping the marketshare that currently MS/Nokia priorities seem to be a market where they are still struggling and in markets where they had some success they have ignored those markets and now marketshare is falling in those markets.(search google or past WPcentral posts for teh reference :) )
    The sales figures are going to be more or less remain the same as above, they'll only grow slowly and probably might expect a fall if they dont sort out their strategy. China & India are one of the biggest markets where WP has been making quite a progress becuase apple has not been able to crack the code and understand the dynamics of this market but we cant expect it to be forever like this, I'm happy that they messed up with 5C giving more breathing space but believe me if they launch a new phone under 400$ in these markets WP would be dead, you may see single digit sales back.
  • Am I the only one who hears Russell Brand while reading Dazzi's comments? Also, Nokia was HUGE in the USA in the late 1990's. I'm not sure where the original commented got the idea that "...Nokia was never powerful in the US,". They were the largest manufacturer in the world at one point and everyone looked at Nokia first in the US. Not all Americans are ignorant, btw.
  • Psml -- that comment made me laugh, and apparently Russell Brand smokes crack too mate -- Jas00555 has proper done my noggin in. Bedtime for me ha ha ha
  • Hahaha, yeah, don't take it too seriously. Good night.
  • At least I never went back after my argument and added a bunch of stuff to my comments.
  • We you are right just for this statement that "Nokia was HUGE in the USA in the late 1990's.", but in 2000s Nokia was almost wiped out of US despite being going strong in ROW and yes when Elop sent that burning platform mail, Symbian still had a very strong marketshare (though declining) but I think it could have cushioned Nokia's efforts towards android or even meego, but that email from elop was really a deathblow to symbian and the decline got accelerated.
  • @DJCBS "Well, I am