For all of its past successes, Nokia hasn't played an important role in the US cellphone market for a mighty long time. Having failed to make an impact on American consumers for the last few years, the company is now making the US a key target for its new Windows Phone push, and it's putting a name on the project: Rolling Thunder. The metaphor is one of a gradual progression and buildup toward a crescendo of awesome smartphones. Follow along here as we track Nokia's progress in this bold new venture.
Oct 29, 2013
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.Read Article >
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.
Jul 18, 2013
Nokia's Q2 2013 earnings are out — and it's clear that the company's road to recovery is nowhere near over. The Finnish manufacturer posted an operating loss of €115 million (roughly $151 million) from €5.695 billion ($7.46 billion) in revenue over the quarter, which is a little below expectations. Nokia expected its Devices & Services division, which has traditionally been its largest, to be in the red this quarter, but its small loss of €33 million ($43.25 million) is lower than its prediction.Read Article >
All-told, the company's profitability dramatically improved year-over-year (the company lost €826 million this time last year), and is pretty steady quarter-over-quarter. Anticipated poor results from both the Devices & Services and HERE mapping divisions were offset somewhat by yet another good quarter for the company's Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) arm — the data networking and telecommunications equipment division made €8 million ($10.5 million) over the quarter.
Jul 18, 2013
Nokia continues to improve on its Lumia sales figures worldwide. The latest Q2 earnings show another quarterly improvement, up to 7.4 million in the latest quarter. That's a bump on the record high of 5.6 million in the last quarter, and up from 4 million in the same quarter last year. Up to June 30th, Nokia has sold 27.3 million Lumias in total since shipping its first Windows Phone device, the Lumia 800, in November 2011.Read Article >
North American device sales improved from the previous quarter, but only reached 500,000 shipped in total during Q2, a 16 percent decrease year-on-year. Nokia previously shipped 400,000 devices in North America during the previous quarter. Although Lumia shipments are clearly improving in the rest of the world, the US sales are lagging behind. Nokia's "rolling thunder" approach to the US has been a slow and bumpy so far, with dips and increases over the lifetime of North American Lumia sales. Nokia introduced its budget Lumia 521 on April 27th in the US, and its Verizon flagship, the Lumia 928, on May 16th. Although neither device saw a full quarter of sales, it looks like initial demand hasn't helped boost Nokia's efforts in the US.
Jul 11, 2013
At a small, almost awkwardly intimate event at Pier 92 in New York CIty, Nokia just unveiled its latest PureView creation: the Lumia 1020. After a 45-minute buildup to the event that was nothing more than a slideshow of beautiful pictures "taken with a Nokia Lumia smartphone," we had to see the device for ourselves.Read Article >
At first blush, it's impressive. The 1020 is handsome and sleek, rounded and not quite so boxy and large as some of the other Lumia phones we've seen. It's not small, though: the 41-megapixel lens coming out the back is large enough that it props the phone up off a table when it's laid down flat, and the 1020 certainly doesn't match the sleekness of the 920. The device comes in black, yellow, and white – the yellow is as awesomely ostentatious as always, but we're smitten with the sleeker black model too.
Jul 4, 2013
An image of a new Nokia device purporting to be the long-awaited Windows Phone successor to the company’s 808 PureView phone just surfaced, appearing to confirm that the device is headed to AT&T. The image comes courtesy of EVLeaks, who has previously referred to the phone, codenamed EOS, as the Lumia 1020. In a Twitter post, EVLeaks notes that the phone will be available on AT&T, and the image, which features the carrier's branding, appears to support the claim.Read Article >
The phone is rumored to have a 41-megapixel PureView camera, and while we've previously seen detailed images of what's believed to be the phone's exterior, the leak confirms what we'd previously heard about its carrier destination. In terms of specs, the device will have a Xenon flash, a polycarbonate body, and 32GB of internal storage, according to earlier reports from WPCentral, but will not support removable SD card storage. It will also reportedly run Nokia's upcoming "Amber" Windows Phone software update, including support for the company's new Smart Camera application. There are still no details on availability, but we'll keep you up to date with new information as it comes in.
May 29, 2013
If a mobile operating system can go through a mid-life crisis, Windows Phone 8 might be there: Devices have been on the market since late last year, there’s no major revision in sight (yet), and OEMs — mainly Nokia — are now at the point where they’re ready to release another volley of hardware. So without a publicity boost from a new version of Windows Phone, that puts a lot of pressure on these new phones to be particularly good.Read Article >
And if Nokia has its way, that’s where the Nokia Lumia 928 could factor in. Verizon and Sprint have generally been soft on Windows Phone since version 7’s launch — the flagship hardware has mostly gone to GSM carriers, particularly AT&T — so the 928 fills a gap in Verizon’s lineup while warming over last year’s Lumia 920 with new audio hardware, a xenon flash, and a revised design.
May 13, 2013
Nokia finally launched its Lumia 928 for Verizon on Friday without the traditional fanfare of its typical flagship announcements. While we're expecting a new Lumia at the company's London event on May 14th, we got a chance to sit down with the Lumia 928 and see how it matches up with the existing Lumia 920 device that launched back in October.Read Article >
The look and feel of the Lumia 928 is greatly improved over the 920. Nokia has squared off the device and fitted a xenon flash at the rear for still photos. Other than the addition of an improved loudspeaker and microphone array, there's little change on the specs side. The camera sensor and lens are the same, and this really feels like a Lumia 920 for Verizon, with slightly improved camera capabilities. Comparing the two side-by-side, I noticed it feels a little lighter than the Lumia 920 and it's more comfortable to hold and navigate the Windows Phone UI. However, it's still a large and chunky device compared to competitors on the market — Nokia's design improvements have only gone so far here.
May 10, 2013
Following weeks of rumors, Nokia is finally unveiling its Lumia 928 handset today. Verizon will stock Nokia's latest flagship on May 16th, which includes a 4.5-inch OLED display, 8.7-megapixel camera, and wireless charging. Nokia's latest flagship also includes a xenon flash that the company has been teasing over the past few days.Read Article >
Most of the hardware is similar to Nokia's Lumia 920, but the company has also included a loudspeaker that, coupled with three microphones, will record sound up to 140dB and then play it back without distortion. Nokia's Lumia 928 xenon flash will be used exclusively for still images, with an LED included for video. The Lumia 928 will be available in white and black colors at Verizon stores and online from May 16th for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two year contract.
Apr 18, 2013
Nokia's latest quarterly earnings show that the Finnish smartphone maker continues to improve its Lumia sales. Following a jump in Lumia sales in Q4 2012, Nokia's first quarter of 2013 saw the company sell 5.6 million Lumias, another quarterly improvement and a record high — up from 4.4 million in the previous quarter. Nokia says two-thirds of all Lumias sold in Q1 were running Windows Phone 8. Nokia previously shipped two million Lumia smartphones in the same quarter a year ago. Up to March 31st, Nokia has sold 19.9 million Lumias in total since shipping its first Windows Phone device, the Lumia 800, in November 2011.Read Article >
Elsewhere, revenues have increased in Greater China, suggesting that Nokia is benefiting from high-priced Lumias in that particular region, but overall volumes are still down in all markets as the company continues its transition from Symbian. Data from Horace Dediu at Asymco (see chart above) suggests that Symbian unit sales are dropping faster than Windows Phone is increasing, suggesting that Nokia needs to continue to push its Lumia range to lower price points to increase overall sales.
Mar 12, 2013
Microsoft is gearing up to market Nokia's upcoming Verizon flagship heavily. Sources familiar with Nokia's plans have revealed to The Verge that the company plans to launch its Lumia 928 handset in April on Verizon. Known previously as Laser, the Lumia 920 variant will include some significant changes that make it a new standalone device. We're told that Nokia will switch to a xenon and LED flash combination for the 8-megapixel PureView camera on the 928.Read Article >
Nokia's new flagship will also reduce the weight and thickness compared to the Lumia 920. We're told the Lumia 928 is 10.2mm at its thinnest point with a slightly curved back. The Lumia 928 has a squared look that's similar to the Lumia 720 and is said to feel a lot lighter than the Lumia 920. Other specifications, including CPU and RAM, will be identical to the Lumia 920. The 928 will also launch with a 4.5-inch OLED display and support for simultaneous voice and LTE (SVLTE) — other Verizon devices support SVLTE, but the iPhone 5 notably does not.
Jan 24, 2013
Verizon is planning to stock a high-end Nokia Lumia phone this year. Sources familiar with Verizon's plans have revealed to The Verge that the US carrier will offer a device that has similar specifications to Nokia's current Lumia 920. We understand that the handset, codenamed Laser, will be a variant of the 920 that's set to debut alongside a Catwalk device.Read Article >
Sources have revealed that Microsoft is planning to back Verizon's Nokia Laser device heavily. We're told that the Laser will be a flagship device for Verizon, meaning the operator will market it alongside rival top tier devices. Microsoft is said to be investing marketing dollars to push the Laser when it debuts later this year. A Lumia 920 variant for Verizon has long been rumored, but Big Red customers will be happy to hear that it's almost here.
Dec 18, 2012Read Article >
When pressed by CNET as to whether that meant a flagship device was on its way to America's largest carrier, Elop coyly repeated "we are planning a lot of exciting things with Verizon as well." The full interview is an interesting read for any Nokia fan, as Elop discusses the company's current position in the market, its philosophy moving forward, and its recent move into the iOS maps field.
Oct 18, 2012
Nokia's had a challenging year transitioning to Windows Phone to power its range of smartphones, but Lumia sales have been slowly and steadily increasing quarter-on-quarter. Nokia has just announced its Q3 2012 financial results today, and the company has revealed that just 2.9 million Lumia devices were sold in its recent quarter. Nokia previously shipped 4 million Lumia devices in its last quarter, making this a sharp decrease of 28 precent and nearly 10 million sales to date.Read Article >
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is due to hold a conference call with analysts shortly, but he offered no direct comment on the decreased Lumia sales in the company's earnings release today. "Q3 was a difficult quarter in our Devices & Services business," says Elop. Nokia says volumes decreased "as we shared the exciting innovation ahead with our new line of Lumia products."
Nokia's Rolling Thunder strategy for reconquering the US smartphone market continues to struggle after only six months. In its bleak earnings report today, Nokia revealed it shipped just 600,000 handsets in North America during its latest Q2 2012, down from 1.5 million in the same period last year. The 60 percent drop year-on-year, coupled with an identical ship rate in Q1 2012, shows that the company's risky bet on Windows Phone is still a slow starter.Read Article >
Nokia's 600,000 figure encapsulates phones in general, rather than the specific smartphone segment, but it does show that analyst estimations of 330,000 Lumia sales in the US over a period of around four months may be accurate. The firm revealed four million Lumia sales in Q2 2012, double the previous quarter — but with the lack of phone sales growth and break down of individual device sales it's hard to say whether the Lumia 900 has had much impact in boosting Windows Phone's market share in the US. One thing that is clear from today's results is that, try as it might, the majority of Lumia sales are still outside the US — an important market that Nokia needs to succeed in.
Jul 19, 2012
Nokia has just posted its Q2 2012 financial report, revealing a total operating loss of €826 million (around $1 billion). The loss was offset by large licensing royalties and a regular quarterly cheque from Microsoft, resulting in a net cash rise of €102 million (around $125 million). The Finnish company previously warned investors that its Q2 results were likely to be "similar to or below" its enormous €1.3 billion (around $1.6 billion) operating loss in the first quarter, but performance this quarter is slightly above analysts' expectations.Read Article >
Nokia expects its performance in the third quarter to be similar to its Q1 and Q2 results. It predicts that "the third quarter 2012 to be a challenging quarter in Smart Devices due to product transitions." The company is continuing its transition away from Symbian and MeeGo to Windows Phone, and will also have to endure the wait for Windows Phone 8. The lack of a long-term upgrade path for its Lumia devices may hurt the company significantly in sales, although Nokia says the Windows Phone 8 announcement hasn't impacted sales yet. CEO Stephen Elop remains bullish on the company's long term prospects. In a prepared statement he says:
Nokia's previous quarter saw the company describe the UK market as a "more challenging" one than the US — where Lumia sales exceeded expectations. Nokia has just announced its Q2 2012 financial results today, and the company has revealed four million Lumia devices were sold in its recent quarter — beating analyst predictions by 200,000. After selling over one million Lumia devices during its final quarter of 2011, and two million in Q1 2012, the latest figure shows that Nokia's Rolling Thunder approach is working at a slow and steady pace with over 7 million units shipped to date.Read Article >
Nokia now faces the challenge of ensuring there's enough consumer interest in its Lumia range to see it through Q3 until Windows Phone 8 arrives later this year. The company recently introduced a pink variant of its Lumia 900 in the US and also dropped the price to $49.99 on AT&T, but a controversial decision by Microsoft to drop support for existing devices with Windows Phone 8 could hurt future sales. Nokia has promised to update its range of Lumia devices with Windows Phone 7.8, an update that brings the new Start Screen, to appease its current customers. The company's next quarter will be the most telling, shedding light on whether it can double Lumia sales once more while competing with new Android devices and the general expectation of Apple's next iPhone.
Jul 15, 2012
AT&T has slashed the price of the Nokia Lumia 900 in half. From this weekend onward you'll be able to pick up the flagship Windows Phone for an upfront price of $49.99 on top of the two year contract. AT&T.com is still displaying the old price of $99.99, but it should be updated any time now. The price will also immediately apply in AT&T stores.Read Article >
While the carrier has continued to support the device with new color variants and (admittedly late) firmware updates, we can't wholeheartedly recommend you buy it now in light of Windows Phone 8's impending arrival — the Lumia 900 will get Windows Phone 7.8, but it's unclear how well that'll hold up by the end of your contract. Still, the beautiful hardware is unlikely to go out of style any time soon, and it's hard to think of a better LTE phone for the price right now.
Apr 19, 2012
Nokia's US President Chris Weber called the launch of the Lumia 710 "day one" of the company's Rolling Thunder strategy for reconquering the US smartphone market. That day came in the middle of December and has since been followed by a big showing by the Finnish phone maker at CES 2012 in early January, the launch of the Lumia 800 as a contract-free phone in February, and the recent release of the Lumia 900 as an AT&T flagship phone.Read Article >
In light of all that activity, you'd hope things would be looking up for the company, but this morning's quarterly report shows that Nokia actually sold half as many phones in North America as last year: just 600,000 units. That's phones in general, broader than the smartphone category alone, which is what the new Windows Phone handsets are hoped to bolster. The Lumia 710, in particular, was priced aggressively at $49.99 with a T-Mobile contract and aimed to be a mass-market device.
Apr 13, 2012
Earlier this week Nokia admitted that AT&T's Lumia 900 was suffering from data dropouts apparently brought out by memory management issues, promising a firmware update by next Monday — but they've beat their goal, it seems, pushing the update out to Zune (for Windows) and Windows Phone Connector (for Mac) today. After the update, you should theoretically be able to connect consistently on HSPA, LTE, and Wi-FI, but don't worry: you'll still be getting your $100 bill credit for your trouble as long as you buy (or have bought) your phone prior to April 21st.Read Article >
Here's Nokia's full statement:
Apr 11, 2012
Nokia confirms Lumia 900 data problem, offering exchanges and $100 credit; firmware update around April 16th
Nokia has just confirmed the data connection problems that some early buyers (and reviewers like ourselves) have seen on the Lumia 900, describing it as a "memory management" issue. That's the bad news; the good news, however, is that the company claims that it's strictly a software bug, not a hardware issue or a problem with AT&T's LTE network. New phones with updated software are apparently already on their way to stores — Nokia expects them to arrive within a couple days — and if you don't want to exchange yours for a new one, you'll be able to update your current device using the Zune client on or around next Monday, April 16th.Read Article >
Regardless, anyone buying a Lumia 900 between launch and midnight on April 21st will qualify for a $100 credit on their AT&T bill, a nice "we're sorry" from Nokia for the trouble (even if the phone isn't in stock, you can get a rain check). If you didn't think this was an absolutely critical launch for these guys, you should now.
Apr 10, 2012
We knew AT&T was going big for the Lumia 900 launch, but now we may know just how big. While we had previously heard something in the neighborhood of $100 million, Ad Age is reporting the company will spend as much as $150 million to promote the new handset, even more than it spent on the launch of Apple's iPhone 4. The reason for dropping so much cash on the Windows Phone device is simple — having the hugely in-demand iPhone as an exclusive offering was a massive coup for the company, and it's determined to make the Lumia 900 its next hit now that Verizon and Sprint have gotten a piece of the Apple pie.Read Article >
Between the iPhone's launch in 2007 and February 2011 things were going swell for AT&T. In 2010 alone the company added more than three times the net wireless subscribers that Verizon did. After losing iPhone exclusivity, though, the tables have turned, and Verizon is breathing down AT&T's neck with 32.2 million smartphone subscribers compared to AT&T's 33.8 million. Verizon's smartphone customer base grew an astonishing 81 percent over the course of 2011 — more than double AT&T's growth.
Apr 9, 2012
Stop. Rewind 15 months. Play.Read Article >
Stephen Elop sits in a Nokia boardroom, surrounded by a multinational group of execs sweating beads of anxiety. It's not exactly Downfall, but it's close. The freshman Canadian CEO is looking for answers, but all around him he finds sternly vacant faces and overdue roadmaps. Can we evolve Symbian quickly enough to make it appealing for the midrange? No. Can we build MeeGo and the Qt ecosystem up to take on the iPhone? Oh shit. No. Having already conducted meetings with Eric Schmidt and Steve Ballmer in the preceding months, Elop knows that his options for Nokia's future have narrowed down to the two external choices: Android or Windows Phone.
Apr 6, 2012Read Article >
Update: Well, looks like it was a rather short set, the event is over. Our own Adi Robertson was at the event, and as she notes, these events are more about general awareness than immediate sales:
Apr 4, 2012
It occurred to me that the Lumia 900 review would be one of the more important critiques of a product that I write this year. For those of you who don't know the backstory here, the new LTE-equipped, AT&T-bound smartphone represents what could be the beginning of a new era for both Microsoft and its partner Nokia in the mobile race — at least in the US. The 900 is a culmination of all of Microsoft's work with Windows Phone 7 (now 7.5), and Nokia's hardware design and execution, packaged in the hopes that the American consumer will suddenly notice that not only does Windows Phone exist, but it's worth buying into.Read Article >
Even AT&T has gotten into the spirit, claiming launch expectations that seem to far exceed the warranted excitement over this phone. But it is an attractive offering in many ways. Stylistically the Lumia 900 looks like nothing on the market. It offers LTE service that — where you can get it — is shockingly fast. And most importantly, the top-tier, flagship device is being offered at a wildly discounted price: just $99.99 for new subscribers.
Apr 3, 2012Read Article >
Nokia's having a party for its Lumia 900 launch, and you're invited... so long as you can be in New York City's Times Square this Friday evening. Awaiting you at 7:00PM on the dot will be a "live performance with special guest," and that's about all we know for now. Still, Nokia didn't exactly hold back for its Lumia 800 launch event in London last year, and all indications are that the Lumia 900 will get even more attention — we've started to see bullish viral campaigns pop up online, and AT&T is on the record as calling the new phone's launch "above anything we've ever done." Windows Phone fans in the area with an open schedule this Friday night could probably do worse than to get on down to Times Square.