Nokia still has a smartphone mountain to climb

There was a glimmer of hope for Nokia when the phone company announced its 2012 results last month.

While the headline figure – a loss of €2.3 billion – is shocking, the company made a €439 million profit in the fourth quarter. In the same quarter a year earlier the company lost €954 million.

Remember phone makers usually have a good quarter as sales take off in the run-up to Christmas. And some of the improved profit is due to the company dumping 25% of its staff during 2012. Nokia’s figures also include revenue from the network division, Nokia Siemens Networks, which had a strong quarter.

Even so, there’s talk that Nokia may have turned a corner. That’s premature. According to research from Canaccord Genuity, Nokia’s smartphone business made a loss for the 2012 year and only broke even in the fourth quarter. The same report also shows every smartphone maker except Apple and Samsung lost money during the year.

So can we say Nokia is on the comeback trail? Not yet. It is too soon.

The Lumia 920 is a great phone – dammit, the best smartphone on the market at the moment yet that’s not enough. All it has done is buy Nokia breathing room. Nokia needs to sustain the Windows Phone 8 momentum and pick up sales lower down the market with the Lumia 620.

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