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For Nokia, Lumia sales are a bright spot in an otherwise bumpy quarter

The Lumia line is selling well in Europe and Asia. But Nokia sales in the US have been anemic. 

By Matthew Shaer / July 19, 2013

US customers will be able to purchase a Nokia Lumia 1020 smart phone, shown here, beginning on July 26.



Nokia shipped 7.4 million Nokia Lumia smart phones in the second quarter of 2013, a record for the Finnish company. 

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The strong fiscal Q2 2013 figures for the Lumia line follow a big first quarter in which the company unloaded 5.6 million Lumias. But the larger picture was far less bright for Nokia: a 24 percent decline in overall sales from the same time last year, and a 27 percent sales dip for devices in its "mobile phones" vertical (a term that covers non-smart phone handsets). 

Moreover, as Preston Gralla of Computerworld notes, Nokia's performance in the US and Canada has been less than stellar. 

"The worst news may be the lagging North American performance of Lumia Windows Phone devices, with sales of only 500,000," Mr. Gralla writes. "That's a jump over the previous quarter of 400,000. But that increase is misleading, because in the fourth quarter of 2012 North American sales were up to 700,000. Way back on the fourth quarter of 2011, Lumia sales were at 500,000. Since then, sales have essentially been static, ranging from 300,000 per quarter to 700,000 per quarter." 

In the US, in fact, the smart phone market is dominated by Apple and handsets running Google's Android mobile OS. According to a recent report from comScore, as of May, 38.9 percent of American smart phone users were using an Apple iPhone. Samsung placed second, with 21.3 percent of the market, and HTC placed a distant third, with a 9.3 percent stake. Nokia wasn't even on the list. 

So yes, Nokia had a good quarter. But there's a lot of ground to be made up if the company really wants to compete in North America. 

In related news, Nokia recently unveiled the Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia 1020, which packs a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, a 4.5-inch AMOLED display and a PureView 41-megapixel camera, which Nokia says is capable of taking snaps with resolutions as high as 7712 x 5360. 

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