Nokia has once again managed to improve its Lumia sales figures worldwide. The latest Q3 earnings show another improvement, up to 8.8 million in the latest quarter. That's an increase on the record high of 7.4 million in the last quarter, and up over 200 percent from just 2.9 million in the same quarter last year. Through September 30th, Nokia sold 36.1 million Lumias in total since the company shipped its first Windows Phone device, the Lumia 800, in November 2011.

North American device sales improved significantly from the previous quarter, reaching 1.4 million shipped in total during Q3, a 366 percent increase year over year and double the previous record of 700,000. Nokia shipped 500,000 devices in North America during the previous quarter. Lumia shipments have improved dramatically this time around as part of Nokia's "rolling thunder" approach to the US. While its been a slow and bumpy project so far, with dips and increases over the lifetime of North American Lumia sales, the 1.4 million shipments show that budget handsets like the Lumia 521 and Lumia 520 are working to push volumes in the US. Nokia also released its Verizon flagship, the Lumia 928, on May 16th, so we've now had a full quarter of both the Lumia 521 and 928.

Nokia's Lumia 520 is leading the growth

Average selling price (ASP) for Nokia's smart devices comes in at €143, a 7 percent decrease from the same quarter last year, when it was €155. Nokia is only counting Lumia sales rather than a mix of Symbian and Lumia previously, but it's clear that Nokia's low-end Windows Phones are starting to sell and push the ASP down. "On a sequential basis, the increase in our Smart Devices volumes in the third quarter 2013 was primarily due to the Lumia 520," says Nokia. Adduplex, a firm that measures the usage statistics of Windows Phones, backs up the popularity of Nokia's Lumia 520. Adduplex claims Nokia's Lumia 520 is the most popular Windows Phone worldwide with a 23 percent market share.

Looking ahead, Nokia's phone business will soon be owned by Microsoft providing a deal is approved in early 2014. The Finnish smartphone maker just introduced a new 6-inch Lumia 1520 Windows Phone alongside a low-cost Lumia 1320 with a 6-inch display. Both devices are expected to go on sale in mid-November so they'll impact next quarter's earnings slightly. Nokia is also expected to launch a Lumia 929 on Verizon shortly with an aluminum frame and 20-megapixel camera. Rumors suggest that Nokia is also preparing to launch a Lumia 525 that may replace the popular Lumia 520 handset at the low-end.