Nokia: 28% drop in Lumia sales in Q3, $754 million operating loss, and a rough Q4 ahead

Nokia have fallen on some hard times of late. The Finnish handset maker just announced a Q3 net operating loss of $754 million on $9.4 billion in revenue, propelled by declining Symbian sales and a 28% drop in the number of Windows Phone-based Lumia devices sold compared to Q2. Nokia sold just 2.9 million Lumia devices in the quarter, including just 300,000 Lumia devices in the U.S., down from 4 million total and 600,000 in the US last quarter. A down quarter was expected for Nokia, however, as consumers interested in Windows Phone devices are likely holding off until Q4, when Microsoft releases the Windows Phone 8 platform, which represents a significant feature bump over WP7. Lumia sales were also further harmed once Microsoft made it known that no legacy devices would be upgraded to Windows Phone 8.

That said, Nokia projects Q4 will likely be soft as well, with projected operating losses around 6% (+/- 4%) due to product transitions and the continued transition from Symbian to Windows Phone. The company expects strong sales from its Lumia 820 and 920 devices when they launch in November, though Nokia notes that with all new devices come significant operating expenses which are likely to be especially costly with the worldwide Lumia 820 and 920 launches. Q4 2012 and Q1 2013 will be trying times for Nokia as the company has bet its future on the success of the Windows Phone platform. If Windows Phone 8 fails to gain traction in the same way Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 did, there may be few painful quarters left for the juggernaut that once ruled the mobile airwaves.

[via Slashgear, The Verge (1), (2), Nokia]

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