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700-nokia-lumia-900-white-home-screenNokia is still losing money, but at a smaller scale, and the smartphone maker this morning reported rising shipments of its Lumia line of Windows Phones — helping Microsoft reach a milestone in its effort to become the clear No. 3 player in the global smartphone market, behind Android and iOS.

Shipments of Lumia devices reached 7.4 million units in the second quarter (up from 4 million units in the same quarter a year ago) Nokia said as part of its quarterly earnings report this morning.

As noted by the Verge, that results puts Lumia sales ahead of shipments for the struggling BlackBerry line (although the time frames for their quarters don’t precisely match up.)

In the company’s earnings news release, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said the record Lumia result shows “increasing momentum for the ecosystem.”

Putting this in perspective, however, Nokia at one point was reporting more than 25 million quarterly smartphone shipments, so the numbers still show how far the company needs to go just to get back to where it was in the Symbian era.

Nokia reported a quarterly net loss of 278 million euros, (about US $364 million), an improvement from its loss of more than 1.5 billion euros a year ago. Net sales were 5.7 billion euros, shrinking from 7.5 billion euros in the same quarter last year.

Microsoft reports its quarterly earnings later today — check back for coverage on GeekWire this afternoon. Nokia is the largest maker of Windows Phones, but HTC and Samsung also make Microsoft-powered devices.

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