Nokia's 5.6 Million Lumia Sales Helped Trim Losses

Nokia shipped 5.6 million Lumia smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, up 27 percent compared to the previous quarter and reflective of "increasing momentum," the Finnish phone maker said. Its overall smart device shipments totaled 6.1 million units, a point that underscores how heavily invested Nokia is in Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.

It's a gamble Nokia willingly took, and so far it has yet to pay off in a big way. Nokia's net sales fell 20 percent year-over-year to 5.9 billion euros, or $7.7 billion. That translates into a net loss of 339 million euros ($442.6 million), which if there's a silver lining is much better than the 1.57 billion euro ($2 billion) loss it posted in the same period a year ago.

Lumia 920

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, who was brought on board in 2010 to right Nokia's ship, was upbeat about the results.

"At the highest level, we are pleased that Nokia Group achieved underlying operating profitability for the third quarter in a row. While operating in a highly competitive environment, Nokia is executing our strategy with urgency and managing our costs very well," Elop said in a statement.

Nokia still faces a significant challenge in the mobile market. It's biggest competitors are Apple and Samsung, the two of which sold a combined 100 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2013. Perhaps the one bright spot in Nokia's all-in strategy with Microsoft's Windows Phone platform is that the Redmond company recently confirmed it has no plans of launching a Surface smartphone of its own.