Nokia Lumia sales on the rise, except in US

Nokia posted an operating loss of 826 million euros (£645 million) - and a net loss of 1.4 billion euros (£1.1 billion) - in the last quarter, and failed to move a significant number of Lumia devices in North America, but global sales of Windows Phone devices did see a bump.

Nokia sold about 4 million Lumia smartphones worldwide during the second quarter, up from 2 million in the previous quarter. But it only sold 600,000 of the Windows Phone-based devices in the US and Canada, according to an earnings report[PDF] released this morning. That was down from 1.5 million during the same quarter last year, but unchanged from the first quarter.

Nokia chief Stephen Elop admitted that "Q2 was a difficult quarter."

Elop pledged "to provide updates to current Lumia products over time, well beyond the launch of Windows Phone 8." Going forward, "we believe the Windows Phone 8 launch will be an important catalyst for Lumia," he said. But that's a few months out; Microsoft said yesterday that Windows 8 will debut on 26 October.

US customers can purchase the high-end Lumia 900 from AT&T at a steep discount, now that it has been given a 50 per cent price cut to make it more competitive in that market, or the more budget Lumia 710 from T-Mobile. But those devices will not be upgradeable to the next version of Windows Phone. They will instead get a less significant feature bump, which could dissuade people from buying a Windows Phone until the release of Windows Phone 8.

The Lumia 900 was well-reviewed, but it struggled to compete against the iPhone and Android-based devices. That competition is not going to get any easier. Samsung just released its flagship Galaxy S3 and Apple will likely unveil its next-gen iPhone in the autumn.

As noted by MyNokiaBlog.com, meanwhile, Nokia's flagship store in Helsinki is currently closed, but a sign outside promises "something amazing" on 7 September. Nokia World runs from 5 - 6 September and last year's conference included the launch of the Lumia and Asha lines.

Nokia's earnings come about a month after the company announced plans to reduce its global workforce by up to 10,000 employees.

Elop said that Nokia is "executing with urgency on our restructuring program," by getting rid of "non-core assets" like luxury mobile phone manufacturer Vertu. The company has also negotiated the closure of its Ulm, Germany R&D site "faster than anticipated" and is still working on the closure of the Salo, Finland factory.

Nokia also talked up its patent portfolio and said it "continued to strengthen our patent portfolio and filed more patents in the first half of 2012 than any previous six month period since 2007." Recently, Nokia suggested that Google's new Nexus 7 tablet violates the phone maker's patents.