Nokia posted a big loss in the second quarter, almost four times its loss from a year ago, but reported better-than-expected shipments of its Lumia line of Windows Phones — an encouraging sign, at least, for the mobile phone maker’s high-stakes partnership with Microsoft.

The company reported the results this morning. Share of Nokia are up sharply on the news in trading overseas.

The company shipped 4 million Lumia’s in the second quarter.  That compared with about 2.2 million in the first quarter, according to estimates reported by the New York Times. Nokia’s overall loss for the quarter was 1.4 billion euros, or about $1.7 billion, compared with a $450 million loss a year ago.

Led by CEO Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft executive, Nokia is transitioning from the Symbian operating system to Windows Phone, and has seen its business erode significantly in the face of competition from Apple’s iPhone and makers of Android devices.

The company’s challenges were increased by the recent news that Microsoft’s next version, Windows Phone 8, won’t run on existing Windows Phone 7.5 devices, making the existing Lumia line less enticing for prospective customers. Elop addressed that issue in the earnings report, signaling plans to make Windows Phone 8 devices and continue supporting the existing Windows Phone 7.5 lineup.

Elop said, “We shipped four million Lumia Smartphones in Q2, and we plan to provide updates to current Lumia products over  time, well beyond the launch of Windows Phone 8. We believe the Windows Phone 8 launch will be an important catalyst for Lumia.”

Numbers released by Nielsen last week showed the Lumia line capturing a relatively small 0.3 percent of the U.S. smartphone market thus far The price of the flagship Nokia Lumia 900 was recently cut in half to $50 in the U.S., not a good sign so soon after its April launch.

Update: Research by Strategy Analytics shows that the timing of the Lumia price cut is actually in line with other smartphones. Thanks to Robert McLaws for pointing this out.

Microsoft reports its quarterly earnings later today. The Redmond company traditionally doesn’t disclose total Windows Phone unit sales.

Comments

  • Klins

    Congratulations to Nokia on a great quarter! As we accelerate towards the key holiday timeframe, with Windows Phone 8 about to blow other phones literally out of the water, this is encouraging news.

    • guest

      I am sure Nokia shareholders are dancing in the streets right now, they saw their market value go down more than 60% during this “great” quarter.

  • justlikesamsung

    shipped, not sold….

    • http://twitter.com/rickg rick gregory

      Precisely. This could be anything from channel stuffing to amazing sales. Need carrier numbers to figure out which.

  • Jill Semerat

    I like this phone! And i have had iPhone and a Droid phone before. Good product will always sell well.

  • DG

    Can anyone clarify what Elop means by updates? My understanding is none of the existing WP 7/7.5 phones can “update” to WP 8
    “We shipped four million Lumia Smartphones in Q2, and we plan to provide updates to current Lumia products over time, well beyond the launch of Windows Phone 8. We believe the Windows Phone 8 launch will be an important catalyst for Lumia.”

  • ChuksOnwuneme

    Yes, the current Lumia 900 cannot be updated to Windows Phone 8, but don’t you think it is plausible that there are other Lumia devices in the works that will be built with Windows Phone 8? Don’t forget that this is Nokia, this company cranks out tons of different line of products simultaneously. I worked at Nokia R&D for several years, so I won’t be at all surprised if they will release the first Windows Phone 8 product. I will be surprised if they don’t.

Job Listings on GeekWork