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Euronews: Nokia Still in Dire Straits

It's second-quarter results time for Nokia Corp. and Ericsson AB in today's EMEA news trawl, while Numericable faces an EU probe and Apple Inc. is snubbed in Russia.

  • Despite claiming an underlying operating profit of €303 million (US$397 million) in the second quarter, the portents still aren't looking too good for Nokia. Overall device sales were down a whopping 32 percent year-on-year to €2.72 billion ($3.56 billion), and although sales of the high-end Lumia models were comparatively perky (7.4 million), there was no sequential improvement in sales in the smart devices category as the average selling price per unit dipped by 18 percent to €157 ($205). In a statement accompanying the results, CEO Stephen Elop acknowledges that there is work to do, saying: "While we are very encouraged by the consumer response to our innovations in this price category, our Mobile Phones business unit is planning to take actions to focus its product offering and improve product competitiveness." Meanwhile, Nokia Siemens Networks continues its recovery process. (See NSN: The Recovery Looks Real, Euronews: Nokia Loses Market Share, Tries Metal and Nokia on the Road to Hell?)

  • Ericsson failed to impress investors with second-quarter revenues of 55.3 billion Swedish kronor (US$8.4 billion) that mirrored those of the same period a year ago. Management tried to stress that higher-margin mobile network infrastructure "capacity business" was starting to filter through, as they had hoped, but the improvements obviously aren't happening fast enough for some, as stock slid nearly 4 percent on the Swedish stock exchange by late morning. (See Ericsson Gets the Margin Jitters and Ericsson Reports Flat Q2 Sales.)

  • French cable operator Numericable is facing an investigation by the European Commission for alleged use of unlawful state aid, reports Bloomberg. The investigation relates specifically to aid received during a transfer of public cable infrastructure by a number of French municipalities. (See Euronews: SFR, Numericable Discuss Merger.)

  • Apple isn't having things all its own way in Russia, where the three top mobile operators have stopped selling the iPhone in protest at what they see as the near-impossibility of making any money from it, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). VimpelCom Ltd. is the most recent operator to say "nyet" to the iPhone, while Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) and MegaFon had taken the decision earlier.

  • Dutch cable operator Ziggo B.V. has cut its profit forecast for 2013, reports Reuters, as it plans to introduce some low-cost deals in the face of increasing competition and invest in mobile Internet.

  • Nordic operator Tele2 AB saw its group EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) slip by a barely perceptible 1 million Swedish kroner ($152,000) year-on-year. In terms of specific countries, Kazakhstan is proving to be a useful place to be -- mobile net sales there grew by 46 percent there .

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • lanbrown 7/20/2013 | 3:56:34 AM
    re: Euronews: Nokia Still in Dire Straits Nokia needs to sell more than just WP handsets on the smartphone front. WP is just never going to be big. We are approaching three years and the second release and it is still a failure. Full year sales still doesn't equal a single quarter for Symbian handsets; last full year before the axe fell was 134 million. Even MeeGo (N9) sold more than WP when Nokia released it. Nokia tried to bury the N9 as much as they could. Imagine if they actually sold it globally and put some marketing behind it.

    Nokia just needs to be like Samsung, HTC, etc. They sell Android and WP handsets. Samsung will be selling Tizen as well. You have Sailfish, Ubuntu and Firefox coming out soon as well. If Nokia doesn't want Android, then I can guarantee that Sailfish (ex Nokia employees) as well as Firefox and Ubuntu would welcome Nokia. They could bring a lot of expertise and improvements to the OS with the excellent hardware that Nokia is known for. This is the only hope for Nokia.
    DanJonesLRMobile 7/18/2013 | 2:15:53 PM
    re: Euronews: Nokia Still in Dire Straits Worst song of the 80s, IMO:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

    No wait, scratch that, not in my opinion, just in cold, hard fact.
    Ray Le Maistre 7/18/2013 | 12:56:46 PM
    re: Euronews: Nokia Still in Dire Straits I wish we hadn't mentioned Dire Straits -- now I have dire early 1980s music boring into my brain.... though I'm sure we could find a way to use 'Money for Nothing' somewhere in the coverage...
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