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Bad news Microsoft: Nokia phone sales are down

As Nokia prepares to hand its handset division over to Microsoft ownership it’s released its latest set of results and, if we’re honest, they aren’t pretty. Well not when it comes to what Microsoft wants anyway. While the Finnish phone maker saw a slight rise in profits, sales of handsets were seriously down.

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In an official post announcing the results, Nokia says that net sales in Q4 2013 were up 18% compared to the previous quarter. That’s great news for it, especially given that the vast majority of that increased profit comes from the portions of the business that it’s keeping.

While those parts of the business were still down year on year, the quarter on quarter increase suggests that things are starting to turn around for Nokia when it comes to being a viable business.

That will not however be where the good folks at Redmond would’ve been looking. Their attention would have been on the section of the report marked “discontinued operations”.

On that front, income from sales was down 29% year-on-year and five percent from the previous quarter. It probably shouldn’t be all that surprising then that the company didn’t provide any firm sales figures for the Lumia range — Microsoft’s main point of interest.

As Cnet reports however, it eventually confirmed that it sold 8.2-million of its premium range of phones, down from 8.8-million in the previous quarter.

Sales figures or no, you get the distinct impression that Nokia is pretty happy to be out of the handset game.

“The fourth quarter of 2013 was a watershed moment in Nokia’s history,” said Nokia Chairman and interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa. “Having received overwhelmingly strong support from our shareholders at our extraordinary general meeting in November for the sale of our phones business to Microsoft, we are diligently working towards defining Nokia’s future direction”.

Another interesting titbit from the results was confirmation the Finnish company had extended its patent license with Samsung for another five years, effectively putting an end to years of courtroom battles.

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