Nokia had a good year after all, hints at something 'very cool'

11th Jan 2013 | 01:10

Nokia had a good year after all, hints at something 'very cool'

Mixed outlook for 2013

Nokia had an unexpectedly good quarter at the end of 2012, seemingly surprising itself most of all.

Though the company initially had a pessimistic outlook going into the end of the year, the Lumia and Asha smartphone lines outsold expectations.

Nokia's mobile broadband service, Nokia Siemens Networks, also helped bolster profits.

The good news comes from preliminary financial info released by Nokia today. The report also contains a few non-legally binding predictions for 2013.

The Nokia numbers

Nokia had grim predictions when it came to its Devices & Service performance, expecting its operating margins to shrink about 6 percent.

But thanks to strong, unforeseen sales of the Lumia line, business mobile phone and lower than predicted operation expenses, Nokia is now expecting Devices & Services to break even or grow by 2 per cent.

The department's net sales were about EUR 3.9 billion (US$5.17, UK£3.20, AUD$4.88), as it moved 86.3 million total devices for Q4.

Though Lumia phones did better than expected, Asha won the day.

Nokia reported it sold 9.3 million Asha smartphones for the quarter. Lumia sold 4.4 million units, and the Symbian comes in third with 2.2 million moved.

Nokia Siemens Networks also brought in EUR 4.0 billion (US$5.3, UK£3.3, AUD$5) in net sales. It grew about 13 to 15 per cent in operating costs, which were expected to grow only 8 per cent.

The service sold better than expected in some regions, as well as keeping operational costs low.

All of those numbers are using non International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), so the figures might change a bit when more standard accounting practices are followed. But we can't expect too much from a preliminary report like this.

2013 not looking so rosy

Though the last quarter went better than expected for Nokia, it hasn't improved the company's outlook on the first quarter of 2013.

But the pessimistic thing seems to be working for the company, so why stop now?

Nokia expects to lose some ground in the first part of the year due to competition in the smart device and business phone markets, weak seasonal demand and the "macroeconomic environment".

But part of the decline includes ramp up in production of Lumia and Asha phones. So maybe the company will recoup those losses later in the year.

Something cool this way comes

But Nokia is looking forward to at least one thing in 2013: something "very cool" involving its PureView technology, according to Nokia's official blog.

PureView was introduced a one year ago and was created to help with image stabilization and low light performance.

It was first used in the Nokia 808 PureView, a smartphone with a whopping 41MP camera.

But PureView seems more of a state of mind, judging from what Juha Alakarhu, Nokia's head of imaging technologies, had to say about it.

"Well, I think it's important to underscore that PureView doesn't mean any specific technology," Alakarhu told the blog during CES.

"It's the latest and greatest in imaging. When you buy a Nokia phone with PureView, you are getting our highest quality imaging innovation."

Though he didn't drop any specific hints about what is to come, he seemed pretty jazzed about the future of PureView.

"We're really driving innovation in key areas to deepen and enrich the imaging experience," Alakarhu said. "I can't tell you about the specific things we're working on. Safe to say it's very cool."

Well, guess we'll have to take his word for it.

Nokia PureView Asha Lumia smartphone
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