The former Finnish telecom superstar Nokia reported a steep drop in handset sales on Thursday, amidst news on Microsoft?s acquisition on the handset business. Results on the fourth ? quarter show the current health of the business before finalizing the deal with the software giant.
Net Sales of $3.6 Billion
Nokia has recorded a net sales of $3.6 billion (2.6 billion Euros) in the fourth quarter last year. This means that the company is down 29 percent as compared to the same quarter the previous year.
The fallen Finnish handset giant experienced a fourth quarter operating loss of 198 million euros in 2013 when it earned 97 million euros the year before. The sales of Windows ? based Lumia smart devices was a hit in the competitive smartphone market.
Nokia said that the net sales of their smartphones were affected by the strong and competitive industry dynamics. Analysts said that these figures has shown Microsoft?s chance of becoming successful in the handset business.
No Turning Back for Microsoft
Even though the fourth quarter did not show a positive result for Nokia, there is no turning back for the software giant. For the year 2013, the handset business reported sales of 10.7 billion euros. Nokia already expects a negative operating margin on the company for the first quarter of the year 2014.
The announcement of the Finnish company?s plan to let Microsoft take over was made early September last year, amounting to 5.4 billion euros. The sale of the assets must happen early this year, including the trademark and technology of Lumia smartphones.
Once a Leader in Mobile Handsets
Nokia was once a leader in mobile phones worldwide. The handset business has since experienced a great fall in sales since Apple?s touchscreen iPhone was introduced in 2007.
London ? based analyst Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital said that Microsoft will wish to see how popular Nokia?s devices are, as well as what market and demand share the company still has in the world.
Interim chief executive of Nokia Risto Siilasmaa has described the company?s year end as a watershed moment in its business history.