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Nokia’s gamble on Windows Phone finally pays off as mobile sales ‘exceed expectations’

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After announcing a “broad strategic partnership” with Microsoft that saw Nokia producing Windows Phone devices exclusively, the Finnish company is finally seeing it bear fruit. On Thursday, Nokia announced fourth-quarter mobile sales that “exceed expectations,” causing its stock to soar more than 18 percent.

Things weren’t always so rosy in Windows Phone land. Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft got off to a turbulent start with the initial launch of Windows Phone 7. The first iteration of the operating system was not what the world wanted, and sales reflected that for the last two years. However, it seems that’s beginning to change with the release of Windows Phone 8 in conjunction with Nokia’s powerful and affordable hardware. The Lumia 920 sold out in less than 20 minutes when it launched a few months ago, which gave a hint that we were going to see some interesting numbers from Nokia in the fourth quarter.

While the fourth quarter of 2012 will be in the black for Nokia, it won’t likely last. Nokia has already said it expects to slide back into the red due to industry dynamics – Samsung and Apple outselling them in the stores. Regardless, this is welcome news for the manufacturer, and it may be a sign of future good to come for the company, as long as Microsoft doesn’t start selling its own phone.