Nokia phone sales figures drop 30 percent, 'intense competition' to blame

The Finnish firm says lower-priced smartphones and more competition for low-end mobiles has caused the drop in sales for its phone business, which has just been bought by Microsoft.


Nokia's phone sales figures have dropped 30 percent since last year -- a dip that the company blames on 'intense competition'.

The ailing Nokia, which has just seen its phone-making business purchased by Microsoft, overall saw a net loss of €239 million in the January-to-March period, compared with €272 million in the same stretch of time in 2013. Nokia's Devices and Services business, which is the unit that makes phones, made a loss of €326 million in the same period.

The latest earnings report marks the last time that Nokia (the company) will report on the sales of Nokia phones, which from now on will be made and sold by Microsoft. The latest figures at the time of the handover are not particularly encouraging however, and the Finnish firm says the drop in net sales for its now-sold devices unit was caused by fierce price competition in the smartphone world.

"On both a year-on-year and sequential basis, our Mobile Phones net sales were affected by competitive industry dynamics," Nokia wrote in its latest earnings report, "Including intense smartphone competition at increasingly lower price points and intense competition at the low end of our product portfolio."

Nokia says its smartphone sales were hampered by the "strong momentum of competing smartphone platforms" -- confirmation that Nokia is still living in the shadow of Apple and Android.

Nokia's Stephen Elop said yesterday that, following the Microsoft sale, the Nokia brand would soon be going away, suggesting we won't see the familiar logo adorning new mobiles for long.

What should Microsoft and Nokia do next? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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