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Nokia posts huge $692 million loss, confirms 2011 Windows Phone release

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nokia announced today a massive loss of €487 — about $692 million — in the second quarter, on revenues of €9.275 billion ($13.2 billion). Sales of the Finnish company’s handsets from April through June were 11 percent less than that of the previous quarter, and down 7 percent — about a billion dollars — from the same time last year.

Total Nokia handset shipments fell 20 percent year-to-year in the second quarter to 88.5 million units. The company’s smartphone segment took the largest hit, with shipment volume of those devices falling by 34 percent to just 16.7 million. The drop in smartphone shipments was large enough that Apple now sells more iPhone units — 20.34 million during the same time period — than all of Nokia’s smartphone sales put together.

Despite the poor earnings results, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop remains optimistic about the direction of the company.

“While our Q2 results were clearly disappointing, we are executing well on the initiatives that are the most important to our longer term competitiveness,” said Elop in the quarterly earnings statement. “Some progress is already evident… we firmly believe that our deliberate and unwavering commitment to making the changes necessary at Nokia is the right way to deal with the disruptive forces in our industry.”

Elop also provided words of encouragement to investors about its transition to the Windows Phone operating system from its now-defunct Symbian OS. He also confirmed that the first Windows Phone-based smartphones will be released this year.

“Those who already have viewed our early Windows Phone work are very optimistic about the devices Nokia will bring to market and about the long-term opportunities,” he said. “Step by step, beginning this year, we plan to have a sequence of concentrated product launches in specific countries, systematically increasing the number of countries and launch partners.”

Nokia is expected to launch its first Windows Phone handset in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK before widening the release to other countries, including the US.

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