Nokia’s attempt to work a rebound in the lucrative North American market showed few signs of success during the second quarter.
The faltering handset maker shipped just 600,000 devices in North America as sales of its Symbian devices continued to decline and demand remained tepid for the Windows Phone-based Lumia smartphones sold through AT&T and T-Mobile.
Last year, it sold 1.5 million devices in North America. It sold less than half that this year. Nokia’s device shipments also declined all other global markets except the Asia-Pacific region.
Interestingly, North America was the only region where device revenue actually increased as sales of its pricier Lumia devices more than made up for declines in its older handset models.
“All regions showed a significant year-on-year decline in the second quarter 2012 except for North America, where the sharp decline in sales of Symbian devices was more than offset by sales of our Lumia devices including the Lumia 900 with AT&T and the Lumia 710 with T-Mobile,” Nokia said in its earnings report today.
Nokia has said it will soon launch a Lumia phone with Verizon Wireless, filling a gap in its U.S. smartphone distribution. It has yet to announce any plans to offer its Windows Phone smartphones through Sprint, the country’s third-largest operator behind AT&T and Verizon.
Nokia’s Symbian devices are still selling better than its Lumia smartphones, which have been on the market for less than a year. Of the 10.2 million smartphones it shipped last quarter, 4 million were Lumia phones and the remaining 6.2 million were Symbian.
Just 330,000 Lumia phones sold in North America, TechCrunch reported. Global smartphone shipments declined nearly 40 percent year-over-year.
Shipments of lower-tier feature phones ticked up two percentage points to 73.5 million, but brought in less money than last year because of a decline in average selling price. Overall, Nokia’s device shipments dipped 5 percent to 83.7 million during the second quarter, contributing to a 26 percent decline in device revenue.
Including results from its location and commerce division and its Nokia Siemens Networks infrastructure joint venture, Nokia’s losses widened to about $1 billion on sales of $9.3 billion, a 19 percent year-over-year decline.
By comparison, rival smartphone maker Samsung expects to post operating profits of up to $6.1 billion when it reports its earnings later this month.
CEO Stephen Elop said in a statement that Nokia would continue to trim non-core assets like its Vertu luxury brand while working to conserve its cash reserves, which increased 8 percent over last year.
“We are executing with urgency on our restructuring program,” he said.
Elop made it clear the company was not out of the weeds just yet.
“While (the third quarter) will remain difficult, it is a critical priority to return our Devices & Services business to positive operating cash flow as quickly as possible,” he said.
Nokia warned that the third quarter would be “challenging” for smartphone sales “due to product transitions.” It forecast third quarter losses in its device business to hold steady, plus or minus four percentage points.