Nokia, the embattled Finnish former leading mobile phone maker, surprised
markets on Thursday with
a report that sales of its new Lumia smartphones have
boosted fourth-quarter earnings, triggering a jump in its share price, following
six consecutive quarterly losses.
Nokia sold 4.4m Lumia devices in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing its
total smartphone shipments to 6.6m devices, the first rise in smartphone
shipment numbers in a year.
However, the firm expects its main handset unit to post a fall in net sales
in the fourth quarter of 2012, to €3.9bn from €6bn a year earlier, with total
unit shipments projected at 86.3m units, down from 113.5m.
IHS iSuppli tech research company said last month that
Samsung is expected to account for 29% of worldwide cellphone shipments, up from
24% in 2011
Nokia would fall to the runner-up spot, the first time since 1998 it was
peak position for overall cellphone shipments during a full calendar year.
“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in
2012 was ‘live by the smartphone;
die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless
communications at IHS. “Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the
cellphone market - - and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset
shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s
struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two
companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”
Global smartphone shipments were set to rise by 35.5%
in 2012, while overall cellphone
shipments would increase by approximately 1%. This rapid growth would propel
2012 smartphone penetration to 47%, up from 35% in 2011.
HS iSuppli said the Samsung and Apple duopoly
represents the dominant force in the smartphone market, with the two companies
accounting for 49% of shipments in 2012, up from 39% in 2011. While Nokia and
Canada’s Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry, also held
double-digit shares of the market in 2011, Samsung and Apple remain the only two
players that will each command a double-digit portion of the smartphone space in
Nokia's share price rose almost 18%.
Commenting on the preliminary Q4 financial information,
Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, said: "We are pleased that Q4 2012 was a solid
quarter where we exceeded expectations and delivered underlying profitability in
Devices & Services and record underlying profitability in Nokia Siemens
Networks. We focused on our priorities and as a result we sold a total of 14
million Asha smartphones and Lumia smartphones while managing our costs
efficiently, and Nokia Siemens Networks delivered yet another very good
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