Nokia's Q3 device shipments in North America fall to 300,000

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) reported shipping 2.9 million Lumia smartphones worldwide during its third quarter, down significantly from the 4 million the company shipped during the previous quarter. In the North American market, Nokia reported shipping 300,000 devices, down from 600,000 in the previous quarter.

Since Nokia's Lumia phones are the only devices the company is pushing in the North American market, it's reasonable to assume that Nokia sold around 300,000 Lumia smartphones in the United States and Canada during the third quarter.

"The sequential decreases in net sales and volumes in North America were primarily due to lower operator and distributor demand for Lumia as well as our efforts to prepare the distribution channel for the upcoming sales start of new devices," Nokia said in its earnings statement.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop acknowledged Nokia's continuing troubles:  "As we expected, Q3 was a difficult quarter in our Devices & Services business," he said. "In Q3, we continued to manage through a tough transitional quarter for our smart devices business as we shared the exciting innovation ahead with our new line of Lumia products."

Overall, Nokia said it shipped 82.9 million phones in the third quarter, down slightly from the 83.7 million phones it sold in the previous quarter. The bulk of Nokia's sales are low-end phones in emerging markets.

Elop said Nokia is hoping its newest line of Lumia phones, including the 820 and 920, juice its shipments. The smartphones are set to sell exclusively through AT&T Mobility in the United States starting in November. AT&T has not announced pricing for the gadgets yet, but the carrier launched Nokia's Lumia 900 for $99 earlier this year. Elop is betting Nokia's smartphone future on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, but continues to face significant challenges from Android smartphone vendors and Apple's iPhone.

As for the company's financials, Nokia reported a net loss of $1.27 billion, wider than the net loss the company reported a year ago but down slightly from the net loss in the second quarter. The net loss was more than analysts had expected, according to Bloomberg.

"This is probably the first time that I have started to doubt the Nokia comeback story," Pete Cunningham, an analyst at Canalys, told the New York Times. "These numbers were poor and worse than I expected."

Others sounded a more positive note: "It's encouraging the losses aren't widening, but they still need to reverse the handset plunge," Ilkka Rauvola, an analyst at Danske Bank A/S, told Bloomberg. "The handset business is not out of the woods."

Nokia's third-quarter earnings report also included figures from Nokia Siemens Networks, the network equipment supplier that is a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens. Nokia Siemens Networks net sales increased quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year to $4.6 billion, a stronger result than some analysts had expected.

"Nokia Siemens Networks had a remarkable quarter in which we achieved record profitability on a non-IFRS basis and the Nokia Siemens Networks cash balance increased for the fourth quarter in a row," Elop said.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this NYT article
- see this Reuters article
- see this GigaOM article

Special Report: Wireless in the third quarter of 2012

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