Nokia's overall handset business reported a drop in sales for the fourth quarter and the company posted weaker smartphones sales in the period than it did in the third quarter, a troubling sign since the holiday season is typically the strongest for smartphone makers. The earnings, which likely will be the last in which Nokia reports handset sales, come just as Microsoft is finalizing a $7.4 billion deal to take over Nokia's devices business and underscore the challenges Microsoft will face as a hardware maker.
LAS VEGAS-- Nokia hopes at some point to have a single flagship Lumia Windows Phone smartphone across all the major U.S. carriers, as Samsung Electronics has done with its recent Galaxy S phones. However, as Microsoft prepares to acquire Nokia's devices business, a senior Nokia executive acknowledged that the company is not there yet.
Apps for Instagram and Vine are now available on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, giving the OS a needed boost in the app market. The apps, especially Instagram, have been missing from Windows Phone and long coveted by Microsoft.
Nokia said its shareholders approved the sale of the Finnish company's devices and services business to Microsoft after 99 per cent of the votes cast at this week's extraordinary general meeting were in favour of the proposal.
Nokia shareholders approved the $7.35 billion sale of the company's devices and services unit to partner Microsoft, according to multiple reports.
Nokia reported record sales in the third quarter of its Lumia smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone software, and saw a sharp jump in its shipments in the North American market, signs that the company's strategy may be starting to take hold.
N okia unveiled a bevy of new devices, including its first Windows Phone Lumia products since partner Microsoft announced plans last month to acquire Nokia's hardware business for $7.2 billion. At its Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi, as expected, Nokia announced its Lumia 1520 phablet device and its first tablet, the Lumia 2520, which runs Microsoft's Windows RT operating system.
Nokia sold at least 8 million Lumia Windows Phone smartphones in the third quarter, up from 7.4 million in the second quarter and far more than the 2.9 million it sold in the year-ago period, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Nokia is hoping a promotion to bundle free Netflix service with its Lumia smartphones in the UK, along with other promotions and deals, will help boost sales of its smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone software.
Microsoft is making several advancements to its Windows Phone 8 platform, including the ability to support larger screen sizes, which will open the door to new Windows Phone "phablet devices" of between 5 and 7 inches.