FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia has reported a second successive net loss of €68m, which was not as bad as expected after higher sales of its low-end feature phones.
The surprising increase in sales of feature phones was due to strong sales of Nokia's dual SIM handsets. The firm shipped 8 per cent more feature phones in the third quarter at 90 million, and 18 million were dual SIM phones.
Nokia's €68m loss beat Wall Street's estimate of a €321m loss. Meanwhile, the firm's sales dropped 13 per cent to €8.98bn. Smartphone sales slumped by 38 per cent to 16.8 million units in the quarter, while average selling prices fell 21.5 per cent to €51.
Overall, Nokia's mobile shipments fell three per cent to 106.6 million units in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said he was "encouraged by the progress we made during Q3", while noting that "there are still many important steps ahead in our journey of transformation".
He added, "Additionally, I am encouraged by our progress around the first Nokia experience with Windows Phone, and we look forward to bringing the experience to consumers in select countries later this quarter. We then intend to systematically increase the number of countries and launch partners during the course of 2012."
Nokia has been targeting emerging markets such as India in recent times, accounting for the surge in feature phone sales, arguably at the expense of its smartphone portfolio.
The former (and perhaps future) maker of rubber boots will launch its first Windows Phone 7.5 (WP7.5) Mango smartphone(s) along with Microsoft at Nokia World next week. µ