Nokia clawing back smartphone sales gives investors little relief

NOKIA fell further behind in the global mobile wars yesterday, as a strong showing in its high-end Lumia range failed to make up for a massive drop in sales of cheaper handsets in developing economies.

The once-dominant Finnish firm said sales of its cheaper handsets in the first three months of 2013 were down 30 per cent on the previous quarter to 55.8m.

Although the popularity of the iPhone has decimated Nokia’s position in western markets, it has continued to fare well elsewhere in recent years. However, low-cost handsets running Google’s Android software have invaded markets such as China in recent months, hitting Nokia’s position.

There were signs that the firm is clawing back ground in the more lucrative market for high-end smartphones, however. Sales of Lumias were 27 per cent up on the previous quarter to a record 5.6m, and Nokia said it expects stronger growth in the next quarter.

This silver lining did not impress investors however, with Nokia’s lowest quarterly revenues in more than a decade sending shares down 8.3 per cent. Sales fell to €5.9bn (£5bn) and it returned to a loss.