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Nokia commits to launching first Windows Phone device in 2011 amidst 'greater than expected' challenges (update: €430m likely from Apple patent licensing fees)

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First there was guarded optimism, then there was hope. Now Nokia has committed to delivering its first Windows Phone device in 2011. Talking about Nokia's early Windows Phone work, Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, said, "step by step, beginning this year, we plan to have a sequence of concentrated product launches in specific countries, systematically increasing the number of countries and launch partners." Ray Haddow, Senior Manager for Nokia communications, confirmed that the rather vague comment does mean that we should expect the first Nokia-branded Windows Phone later this year. In June, Nokia VP Victor Saeijs, reportedly said that France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK would be the first launch markets.

Unfortunately, that's pretty much the only good news we can find in Nokia's quarterly financial results. According to Stephen Elop, "The challenges we are facing during our strategic transformation manifested in a greater than expected way in Q2 2011." The results are a net loss of 368 million euros ($521 million) compared to a profit of 227 million euros a year earlier, far greater than the 1.4 million euro net loss predicted by analysts. The fact that Nokia only sold 16.7 million of its high-margin Symbian smartphones (that's down 31% QoQ) didn't help. For reference, Apple sold 20.3 million iPhones during the same quarter. Nevertheless, Nokia stock is up on word that the company is accelerating plans to cut costs in its handset divisions.

Update: Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit: Nokia's reporting some €430m ($616m) in patent-related licensing revenue this quarter, which factors in the one-time fee Apple agreed to pay as part of its lawsuit settlement with Espoo. Exactly how much of that €430m is from Apple is unclear, but we'd note that Nokia didn’t explicitly report any licensing revenue at all last quarter, so we'd guess the one-time Apple payment makes up the bulk of it. We'll have to see how much Nokia makes off the ongoing royalty Apple's agreed to pay in future quarters -- until Elop launches those WP7 devices, it could very well turn out that Nokia makes more profit from the iPhone than any other handset in its lineup.

Source Nokia, via Bloomberg