Nokia’s smartphone sales figures may have been vague, but what it did reveal wasn’t good

Nokia’s smartphone sales figures may have been vague, but what it did reveal wasn’t good

Nokia released its fourth quarter and full year financials for 2013 today, but chose not to disclose how many Lumia or Asha handsets it sold.

The results report indicates though that overall, fewer devices were flying off store shelves. Nokia admitted that compared to the same period in 2012, the combined number of Lumia and Asha devices that it sold dropped in the fourth quarter of 2013. While ‘smart devices’ (Lumia) rose somewhat, it wasn’t enough to counter the drop in ‘mobile phone’ (Asha) sales.

From the third to the fourth quarter, the total number of handsets sold increased. Nokia didn’t disclose how much, but revealed that the growth was from mobile phone sales – it actually sold fewer smartphones and tablets compared to the previous quarter.

Net sales also dropped for both mobile phones and smart devices – which includes both Lumia smartphones and its new Lumia 2520 tablet – for the fourth quarter in comparison to the same three-month period in 2012.

The Finnish firm said.

“Our Mobile Phones net sales were 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.

Our Smart Devices net sales were affected by competitive industry dynamics including the strong momentum of competing smartphone platforms, as well as our portfolio transition from Symbian products to Lumia products.”

When comparing the fourth quarter to the third quarter of 2013, net sales for mobile phones fell flat, while smartphones and tablets dropped.

In short, it’s a mixed picture. While the number of Lumia devices sold grew from the same quarter last year, they were down compared to the third quarter. While Asha device sales grew in the last three months, they’re still down from the same period in 2012, which is arguably more representative of the public’s slowly evolving spending habits.

Nokia’s net sales, meanwhile, dropped both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter. When Microsoft eventually picks up the company’s handset business, it’ll no doubt have some serious work to do.

Nokia Results (PDF)

Headline image via Volker Hartmann/AFP/Getty Images

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