Nokia submits yearly SEC report, details €1.4b loss and Windows Phone risks

Zachary Lutz
Z. Lutz|03.08.12

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Nokia submits yearly SEC report, details €1.4b loss and Windows Phone risks
Nokia submitted its annual report (Form 20-F) to the SEC today, and -- as required of all publicly traded companies -- the information provided a candid overview of its financial health and market risks. Based on its quarterly reports, we've already known it was a rather bleak year for the Finnish outfit, which saw a €1.4b annual loss compared to €1.3b in profit just one year ago. Further, its net sales similarly took it on the chin, which amounted to €38.6b in 2011 versus €42.4b in the previous year. In terms of units sold, Nokia pushed out 339.8m feature phones during the year -- a three percent decline from the 349.2m units sold during 2010. The company attributed the drop to its aggressively priced competitors, as well as its lack of a dual-SIM handset for the first half of the year. Nokia's smartphone segment took an even harder hit, which fell to 77.3m units sold -- a 25 percent drop from the 103.6m devices shipped just one year ago. Once again, the company cites its aggressive competition as the primary factor for the decline, along with a waning interest in the Symbian platform.

In its discussion of potential threats to the company's bottom-line, Nokia provides a rather forthright assessment that accurately pegs its future success in the smartphone marketplace upon the acceptance of Windows Phone among developers and consumers. Likewise, its projections to sell 150 million Symbian units is failing to materialize -- big shocker there -- and Nokia now expects demand for its homegrown platform to continue deteriorating. Nonetheless, it remains stalwart in the commitment to support Symbian through 2016 -- though surprisingly, no comment on how this in itself could be a disaster to the company's bottom-line. Should Nokia's smartphone effort fail, that leaves it with the Series 40 feature phone segment, which it characterizes as a low-margin business that may see its demand erode as smartphones reach even lower price points. Nobody ever said that the mobile industry was a bed of roses, but if you'd like to view the world through Nokia's eyes, you're certain to find its commentary (pages 13 - 47 of the source document) an interesting read.
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