How well is Windows Phone 8 performing? Well enough that Nokia, the leading manufacturer of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, sold 8.8 million Lumia brand devices despite losing money once again. Though the overall Nokia group ended the third quarter with a profit of EU 118 million (US $162.47 million), the Devices division reported a net loss of EU 86 million ($118.41 million). Nokia would have had a better performance this quarter, which explains why the company chose to sell the Device division to Microsoft.
Microsoft still has reasons to be pleased with the company it plans to assume control of next year. Though 8.8 million Lumias sold is well off from the tens of millions Apple or Samsung might sell in a quarter, it’s still a massive upgrade from the 2.9 million Lumias sold during the same quarter last year. Nokia has made progress in increasing sales thanks to lower-cost models like the Lumia 521 and pushing its products heavily in emerging markets, something that Microsoft told us is key to its strategy to improve Windows Phone’s position.
Once the Nokia sale is complete, Microsoft will obtain Nokia’s engineering and design talent, have access to a wealth of patents and technical knowhow, and be able to continue using the Lumia brand. The company will also have more cash to meet the challenges that Nokia was unable to conquer as it sought to return to profitability.