Nokia (NYSE:NOK) 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. The report, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, noted that Nokia's improving smartphone sales come just as the firm is expected to announce six new devices at a media event in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. As The Verge notes, that announcement will likely include the Lumia 1520 phablet, 2520 tablet with LTE, a range of lower-end devices and perhaps a music accessory.
Since stepping down as Nokia's CEO and running the company's devices and services business, Stephen Elop has kept a low profile. The WSJ report said Elop, a former Microsoft executive who is in the running to succeed Steve Ballmer as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO, has been visiting employees on several continents and meeting with board members. Microsoft is in the process of buying Nokia's hardware business for $7.2 billion, a move that will return Elop to Microsoft. The Journal noted that Microsoft executives and board members have hesitated about spending vast sums on marketing for Windows Pone because Microsoft would not see much of a profit in higher phone sales; the Nokia purchase is changing that equation, which makes Nokia's new device announcements even more critical. Article (sub. req.)