Nokia profit slumps on Windows switch

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Nokia profit slumps on Windows switch

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A bad quarter for Nokia as its earning fell 73 percent and it made a loss after tax of just over one billion euros in the last three months of the year.

Sales of its new Windows based smart phones failed to dent the dominance of Apple’s iPhone. But its shares rose on relief that the situation was not worse.

Attempting to challenge Apple and increasingly popular phones using the Android operating system, Nokia replaced its long-time Symbian software with Microsoft for its new range of smartphones. That switch over cost it sales.

Apple sold 37 million iPhones in the final three months of the year compared with Nokia’s 19.6 million smartphones. It did sell over one million of its new Windows phones since they were launched in mid-November.

Nokia says 2012 will be a “year of transition” so it is not issuing a forecast of sales or profits.

It did say that it expects underlying earnings from its phone business to be around break-even in the first three months of the year, with sales falling more than usual in the seasonally weaker quarter.

Nokia’s board named Risto Siilasmaa as its next chairman to replace long-time boss, Jorma Ollila, who is due to step down in May.

Siilasmaa, a 45-year old entrepreneur, has been a Nokia board member since 2008. He is known in Finland as the founder of software security company F-Secure but has a low profile outside the country.