Mobile

Nokia’s Windows Phone bet and belt-tightening finally leads to a profit

NOTE: GrowthBeat tickets go up $200 this Friday at 5pm Pacific. VentureBeat is gathering the best and brightest in modern digital marketing to help declutter the landscape, simplify the functions, clarify the goals, and point the way to success. Get the full scoop here, and register by Friday to save!

For the first time in a long while, Nokia is no longer reporting a massive operating loss in its quarterly earnings. The former phone giant reported fourth quarter revenues of $10.7 billion with a $585 million operating profit — mostly due to slightly stronger Windows Phone sales, as well as a variety of layoffs and cost-cutting measures.

It’s not much, but it’s a significant step beyond Nokia’s last quarterly operating loss of $754 million. The company reported earnings per share of 8 cents, slightly beating analyst expectations of 6 cents.

Nokia sold 4.4 million Lumia Windows Phones, a notable bump from last quarter’s 2.9 million Lumias. Overall, Nokia sold 6.6 million smartphones, down 66 percent from last year’s 19.6 million smartphones. Smartphones sales look a bit better if you include the company’s low-end Asha devices, which sold 9.3 million units during the quarter. The Lumia is definitely at the core of Nokia’s future, but Asha will remain a significant component as well.

The company also confirmed today that the 808 PureView, its crazy 42-megapixel camera phone, will be the last official Symbian device. Nokia only sold 2.2 million Symbian smartphones during the quarter. The PureView’s revolutionary camera technology is rumored to make its way to Lumia phones this year, after first debuting at Mobile World Congress a year ago.

Nokia has also aggressively cut costs over the past year, including laying off 10,000 workers, selling off (and leasing back) its headquarters, and dumping its ridiculous Vertu luxury phone brand.

Today’s Nokia looks far different from the titan that ruled the cellphone market for years — a good example of how quickly fates can change in the technology world. Nokia must certainly be humbled from being so royally beaten by iPhone and Android, but as we’re seeing from continued Lumia advancements and intriguing technology like the PureView camera, it’s not going down quietly.