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Nokia sold 8.8 million Lumia phones in Q3

The wallet-friendly Lumia 520 drove the 19 percent quarter-on-quarter increase.

Nokia sold 8.8 million Lumia phones in the past three months, a 19 percent increase over previous numbers, driven in large part by the success of the wallet-friendly Lumia 520.

The company also appears to be gaining ground in North America. Although Nokia only sold 1.4 million phones in North America this past summer, that's nearly four times as many as this time last year.

Nokia revealed the numbers Tuesday in its third-quarter results for the three months from July to September. Net sales for the third quarter totaled $7.85 billion, as the total number of units sold, including both smartphones and feature phones, rose by 4 percent to 55.8 million. Operating profit was $162.4 million.

Nokia sold 7.4 million Lumia phones in the second quarter, but still suffered a loss of $150 million.

Over the whole of 2013 so far, from January to September, Nokia's total sales have fallen 22 percent.

It's been a tumultuous few months for what was once the biggest phone manufacturer in the world. Nokia's Windows Phone partner Microsoft is to cement its relationship with the ailing Finnish firm by buying Nokia's device and services division for $7 billion -- but the Finnish government has criticized Nokia CEO Stephen Elop over his "quite outrageous" bonus.

The deal is expected to be finalized at a shareholder meeting on November 19 in Helsinki.

Nokia is forging ahead with new devices, launching its first tablet, the Lumia 2520, alongside the Lumia 1520 and 1320 smartphones last week. CNET met Elop at the launch of the new phones, where he told us "our challenge is to get you to try (Windows Phone and Windows RT) in the first place."

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