Nokia's Windows Phone switch sees smartphone shipments fall by 25% in 2011

77.3 million devices hit retail as Symbian slides

Nokia's Windows Phone switch sees smartphone shipments fall by 25% in 2011
One year on from Nokia's move to align itself with Microsoft, and the Finnish firm has revealed smartphone shipments fells by a quarter during 2011.

The company's staggered switch from Symbian to Windows Phone slowed its output throughout the course of the year, with a total of 77.3 million smartphone units hitting retail according to its latest SEC filing.

Sliding shipments

Nokia's numbers also reveal its feature phones business started to slow during 2011, with shipments falling by 3 percent to 339.8 million units for the year as a whole.

As a result, Nokia's average selling price (AAP) fell by 11 percent to $75, down from 2010's average of $85.

None of this is unexpected, of course, with 2012 likely to play host to first real gains derived from Nokia's new strategy as Microsoft delivers major updates to the Windows Phone platform before the end of the year.

Nokia too will benefit from further monetary assistance from Microsoft, with the company having received an inital $250 million strong "platform support" payment from its newfound partner during Q4 2011.

Youth versus experience

Nevertheless, Nokia admitted it's finding the smartphone market in its current form tough going.

"The mobile communications industry continues to undergo significant changes," Nokia says in the risks section of its SEC filing.

"Certain smartphone platforms and their related ecosystems have gained significant momentum and market share, specifically Apple's iOS platform and Google' Android platform, and are continuing apace, with Android-based smartphones increasingly gaining market share at lower price points."

Nokia claims one of the factors hampering its progress so far is Windows Phone's relative newness to the market, wioth developers reluctant to "contribute content and applications, thus making our Nokia products with Windows Phone less appealing to consumers."

The threat of being undercut by cheaper Android handsets is also cited, though Nokia has recently suggested it intends to launch a sub €100 Windows Phone handset in the near future.

[source: Nokia (PDF)]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.