The tough times continue for Finnish phone giant Nokia, which has struggled to keep up with Apple and Android in the smartphone era. On Thursday, the company announced its results for the first quarter of 2012. Net sales fell sharply year over year, from US$13,6bn to $9,7bn. The company took a $1,7bn loss on those sales, and Colin Giles, the head of sales, stepped down after 20 years at the company.
CEO Stephen Elop argued that much of that loss was due to one-time restructuring costs. It chalked up nearly three quarters of a billion in costs to the massive restructuring it did within its Nokia Siemens division, where it laid off 17 000 people earlier this year. Other big costs include axing 4 000 jobs as Nokia ditched its factories in Europe and South America to focus on production in Asia.
Nokia has been touting bullish sales figures for its new Lumia line, and Microsoft is also heavily invested in the company’s success. But Europe, traditionally Nokia’s stronghold, is no longer giving them a warm welcome. A recent report in Reuters quoted the major telecommunications operators saying that Nokia’s Lumia line isn’t good enough to compete with Apple and Android.
“No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” an anonymous European mobile executive told Reuters. “Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market.” — Ben Popper, VentureBeat