Nokia has posted its quarterly results for the first quarter of 2013, and just like the quarters that came before, there’s not a whole lot of good news in there. The rise in Lumia sales still can’t even dream of making up for the sales drop in Symbian phones, and when broken down in versions, the sales figures for Windows Phone 8 Lumias in particular are very disappointing. In North America, Nokia is getting slaughtered.
In the first quarter of 2013, Nokia sold a total of 6.1 million smart devices. Of those, 0.5 million were Symbian devices (fist-bump), leaving a total of 5.6 million Lumias. While that’s considerably more than the 2 million Lumias Nokia sold in the same quarter in 2012, Nokia still saw a 49% drop in total smartphone sales compared the year-ago quarter, because Symbian sales dropped considerably. Nokia sold 11.9 smartphones in Q1 2012, but only 6.1 million in Q1 2013.
Symbian sales dropped from around 10 million to 0.5 million in a year, while Lumia sales only grew from 2 million to 5.6 million in the same timeframe. Nokia is bleeding market share in smartphones, and there’s no end in sight. It’s even worse in the US – Nokia sold 700,000 devices in North America in Q1 2012, but only 400,000 in Q1 2013. Since virtually all of those sales are Lumias (Symbian never played much of a role in North America), we can conclude that Windows Phone 8 is, so far, a total dud in the US.
If we dive into the fine print, there’s more bad news for Nokia, Microsoft. Nokia reveals that only 66 percent of its Lumia sales are Windows Phone 8 devices, meaning Nokia only sold about 3.7 million Windows Phone 8 Lumias. Since I doubt HTC sold more than 0.5-1 million WP8 devices, we’re looking at 4.7 million Windows Phone 8 devices sold last quarter, tops – in addition to several million Windows Phone 7 devices. In other words, Nokia is propping up its sales with outdated, non-upgradeable devices – terrible news for Windows Phone developers.
People, Nokia isn’t doing well. As much as I like Windows Phone, Nokia made the wrong choice by going into bed with Microsoft; the below chart by Asymco illustrates this perfectly. The gap is the moment Nokia announced the switch to Windows Phone. No explanation necessary.
Feature phones aren’t doing well, either. Year over year, sales of Nokia’s feature phones dropped 21% from 70.8 million to 55.8 million. “On a year-on-year basis, our Mobile Phones volumes in the first quarter 2013 were negatively affected by competitive industry dynamics, including intense smartphone competition at increasingly lower price points and intense competition at the low end of our product portfolio as well as an estimated higher than normal seasonal decline in the market addressable by Mobile Phones”, Nokia explains.
The only positive point among all this dreariness is the Nokia Siemens Networks division, which turned a â‚¬1 billion loss into a â‚¬3 million profit – so basically, they managed to stop the bleeding there. Lastly, the HERE maps division posted a â‚¬42 million loss. Add all this up, and Nokia lost â‚¬150 million in revenue in Q1 2013 (on â‚¬5.85 billion). And remember, Nokia still gets $250 million from Microsoft.
While there’s some positive points here and there, the overall picture is pretty grim, specifically for the consumer-facing side of Nokia. Feature phones sales are decreasing rapidly, smartphone sales have collapsed, and Windows Phone has – so far – proven to be the wrong bet. Ponder on this figure: in total WP7 and WP8 combined, Nokia only sold 19.9 million Lumia phones. That’s it. To put this into perspective: in the first quarter Nokia sold Lumia devices (Q3 2011), Nokia still sold close to 20 million Symbian devices. In other words, Nokia was pumping out more Symbian phones per quarter in 2011 than it has sold Lumia phones in total to date.
There is simply no way to spin this.
This is also terrible news for Microsoft. If Nokia only sold 19.9 million WP7/8 devices in total, that means the total sales for Windows Phone will be round and about 25 million tops, and even in the last quarter, 1/3 of WP sales were old, outdated and non-upgradeable Windows Phone 7 devices. As much as I like Windows Phone, we simply have to face the music, be honest, and just come out and say it: Windows Phone is a dud.