Now there is proof positive that Nokia is turning around what had been a business that woefully trailed in smart phones.  The company reports that it has sold 4.4 million Lumia smart phones in the fourth quarter.

Nokia disclosed sales numbers as it pre-announced fourth quarter 2012 results.  Here are the highlights:

  • Smart device net sales of approximately EUR 1.2 billion, with total volumes of 6.6 million units of which 4.4 million units were Nokia Lumia smart phones.
  • Total smart phone volumes of 15.9 million units composed of 9.3 million Asha full touch smart phones, 4.4 million Lumia smart phones and 2.2 million Symbian smart phones.
  • Nokia now estimates that devices & services has exceeded expectations and achieved underlying profitability in the fourth quarter 2012.
  • Mobile phones business unit and Lumia portfolio delivered better than expected results; and
  • Operating expenses were lower than expected.
  • Devices & services non-IFRS operating margin for the fourth quarter 2012 now expected to be between break even and positive 2 percent.
  • Nokia Siemens networks non-IFRS operating margin for the fourth quarter 2012 now expected to be between 13 and 15 percent.

“We focused on our priorities and as a result we sold a total of 14 million Asha smart phones and Lumia smart phones while managing our costs efficiently,” says Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

This is good news for Microsoft since Nokia Lumia phones are based on its Windows operating system.  This is the first hard data based sign that Microsoft’s efforts against Google Android are beginning to work.  Microsoft has a lot at stake in Nokia’s success.  (Please see Steve Ballmer Willing To Pay $230 Per Phone To Beat Apple, Google.)

It is worth noting that yesterday’s Wall Street Journal piece about Apple (AAPL) introducing a cheap iPhone has a certain degree of credibility…Read more at Forbes