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.)
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 .