Nokia loses $1.7 billion, but Lumia phones kept it from being much worse

Nokia's Lumia phones did well last quarter, but the company still lost $1.7 billion. Can the company fight back against the encroaching iPhone and Android?

Tsering Topgyal/AP/File
In this file photo from June, an Indian shopkeeper selling Nokia mobile phones awaits customers in New Delhi, India. Nokia's net loss more than tripled in the second quarter.

Nokia posted a second-quarter loss of as much as $17.4 billion, with year over year net sales loss of 26 percent, according to an earnings announcement the company released today.

This marks a fifth straight quarter of losses for Nokia. After 14 years as the leading mobile-phone manufacturer, a position it lost earlier this year, its value has dropped 64 percent this year to its lowest value since 1994.

Since Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Nokia has lost $117 billion of value. It now has a market cap of 6 billion Euros.

CEO Stephen Elop hopes the companies line of powerful Lumia smart phone will stem that loss. Nokia has shipped 4 million Lumias phones, which runs on the Microsoft Windows Phone OS.

Under Elop, the company ditched its struggling mobile platform, Symbian, and put its chips on the relatively well received Microsoft mobile operating system. However, because the current Lumias cannot be upgraded to the upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS, there is some fear that those numbers will not be sustained. Elop, though, believes the upcoming phone OS is an opportunity.

“We plan to provide updates to current Lumia products over time,” he said in a statement. “well beyond the launch of Windows Phone 8. We believe the Windows Phone 8 launch will be an important catalyst for Lumia.”

In addition to the Lumia, other bright spots in an otherwise dark picture include North American sales, which are up 45 percent, and the company’s cash position, of about $5.17 billion, is better than analysts anticipated.

Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android system are challenging both Nokia and RIM, the makers of the Blackberry, eating away at their once dominant positions in the mobile ecosystem.

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