Nokia: The US Loves Us, But the UK, Not So Much

By Sam Gibbs on at

Nokia’s just posted a £1 billion loss, with sales of its smartphones down 52 per cent year-on-year and even its dumbphone sales are taking a battering, down 32 per cent. The only good news is that Nokia’s new Lumia range is selling well, but only in the US – apparently Brits don’t like them all that much.

Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop talked about how hard the company was finding it on our little island, and that the US launch had been better than expected.

"The actual [Lumia] sales results have been mixed. We exceeded expectations in markets including the United States, but establishing momentum in certain markets including the UK has been more challenging."

The irony here is that Nokia traditionally couldn’t crack the US market and never did particularly well over the other side of the pond, despite the legendary Matrix Phone. In contrast, Nokia owned the UK market for years and at one point you couldn’t move for 3310s and snake-playing phones; the Nokia N95 was the smartphone to have at one point too. Unfortunately for Nokia, that market share has dwindled over the years as discerning UK smartphone buyers just didn’t want more Symbian, and I can’t personally blame them.

While Nokia’s Lumia phones are pretty solid devices -- both hardware and software really aren’t bad -- the UK is proving a much tougher nut to crack for Nokia. Maybe it needs a few more “challenge Nokias” to get things going. Whatever happens, Elop says there’s "a clear sense of urgency to move our strategy forward even faster". With a colossal £1 billion loss eating into your bottom line, I’ll bet there is. [TechRadar]