Above: Mr. Elop poses with the Lumia

Nokia is flailing while other companies, despite a later start, zoom past it it. One day after Apple reported an eye-popping $13 billion profit for the fourth quarter of 2011, Nokia reported a $1.4 billion loss.

That’s a big difference from a year ago, when Nokia managed to turn a profit of a little under a billion. Perhaps more troubling, the company’s operating margin shrank by a factor of four, falling from 12.1 percent to 3.4. Strangely, these reduced margins come after the company began to shave 17,000 jobs in November of 2011 in an effort to cut costs.

Nokia has hitched its wagon in the smartphone wars to Microsoft, and the company reported recently that it has sold “well over a million” of the new Nokia Lumia handsets running Windows mobile OS. That seems like a bright spot, until you compare it to the staggering 37 million iPhones Apple sold in just the last three months of 2011.

The share price of Nokia has tumbled 53 percent, reports the Wall Street Journal, since new the chief executive Stephen Elop joined and announced, in February of 2011, that the company would be leaving behind its own software platform, Symbian, and switching to Microsoft’s mobile effort.

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