Nokia admits Brits just aren't that into Windows Phone

The Finnish phone flinger also reveals it made a loss of €1.3bn in the first quarter of 2012. Ouch!

Nokia has confirmed it's struggling to get Brits interested in Window Phones , but apparently the once-mighty Finn is having more luck flogging Lumias across the pond -- presumably because Microsoft has a pretty sizeable fan-base in its home country.

In a statement, accompanying its first quarter results for 2012, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said, "We have launched four Lumia devices ahead of schedule to encouraging awards and popular acclaim . The actual sales results have been mixed. We exceeded expectations in markets including the United States, but establishing momentum in certain markets including the UK has been more challenging."

Nokia revealed it sold 11.9 million smart phones in the quarter, down 51 per cent on the same period a year ago, and 70.8 million feature phones, down 16 per cent on the same quarter last year.

The transition to Windows Phone continues to bite chunks out of the Finnish giant's bottom line. Nokia made a whopping loss of €1.3bn in Q1, on revenue of €7.4bn -- 3 billion fewer euros than it had pouring into its coffers a year ago.

"We are navigating through a significant company transition in an industry environment that continues to evolve and shift quickly," said Elop, putting himself forward for 'Understatement of the Year award 2012'.

"Over the last year we have made progress on our new strategy, but we have faced greater than expected competitive challenges."

The former Microsoft exec turned Nokia head honcho also conceded that times are tough at the budget end of Nokia's mobile portfolio -- doubtless because Android continues to batter down the price of budget phones, even as its ups their specs.

"The lower price tiers of our industry are undergoing a structural change, and traditional feature phones are challenged by full touch devices," said Elop -- for 'full touch devices' read 'Android phones'.

Elop said Nokia will continue to invest in its Series 40 platform -- which is used on its Asha range of not-entirely-smart-phones. Expect some new Ashas to arrive in Q2, Elop added.

Commenting on the results via Twitter, Adam Leach, analyst at Ovum, said: "Nokia is continuing to be burnt at both ends of the candle, losing share at the low-end as well as the high-end."

Leach anticipates "still worse to come through this year before Lumia starts picking up momentum".

"Nokia needs Lumia to build serious momentum this year," he added.

Nokia's results also reveal it was paid $250m by Microsoft in Q1 in "platform support payments". Nokia said it expects to get "billions of US dollars" in payments from Microsoft for platform support and software royalties over the lifetime of the pair's alliance.

Nokia also revealed that Colin Giles, its executive vice president of sales who has been with the company for two decades, will leave at the end of June -- to be "closer to his family".

Is a Lumia lighting up your life? If not, why hasn't it grabbed your attention? Is the hardware not up to scratch, or the software too new and unproven? Illuminate the comments below, or shine a light in the dark cave of our Facebook page.

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About the author

Natasha Lomas is the Mobile Phones Editor for CNET UK, where she writes reviews, news and features. Previously she was Senior Reporter at Silicon.com, covering mobile technology in the business sphere. She's been covering tech online since 2005.

 

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