Nokia seen struggling in early days for Windows Phone
* Q4 report due around 1100 GMT time
* Underlying profits seen diving
* Windows Phone takeup eyed
* Siilasmaa seen taking over as chairman
Nokia which holds the mark of the world’s largest cellphone maker by volume, is expected to remain scarcely in the black during the fourth quarter of this year, with its new Windows Phone models yet to compensate for headfirst sales of its legacy smartphones.
Nokia, as reported by Reuters, is expected to report a fourth quarter earnings per share declining 82 percent from last year to 0.04 euros and to estimate a weak start to 2012, when the company releases its results at around 1100 GMT.
Nokia last February unveiled a high-status strategy shift to Microsoft’s Windows software on its smart phones in a bid to rival to Apple and Google’s Android OS.
However, the company’s fourth-quarter smart phone sales are seen down by 33 percent from a year ago to 18.7 million handsets, reports by the Reuters poll.
Analysts said that Nokia was expected to sell only 1 to 2 million off of the two Windows Phone models in the quarter, with exact figures giving little indication on whether Microsoft software could battle against Apple and Google.
A research firm, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has said on Wednesday that the Windows Phone share in all of nine key markets it measures remained at less than 2% in the fourth quarter, despite the high-status launch from Nokia.
In addition to the quarterly numbers, Nokia’s board of trustees is expected to propose a cut in the dividend of the company and to name Risto Siilasmaa as the next chairman of the company to replace long-time leader, Jorma Ollila, who is due to step down in May.
Siilasmaa is a 45-year old entrepreneur, who has been a Nokia board member since 2008. He is known as the founder of the software security company, F-Secure in Finland but has a lower profile outside Finland.
In the meantime, the majority of the phone makers in the world that have reported their record so far have disappointed the market–losing the large market share to the Cupertino based company,Apple, whose shares of 37 million phones beat expectation.
An analyst by name, Neil Mawston from the Strategy Analytics said “the record quarter from Apple suggests Nokia’s … results may have limited room for upside.”
Nokia’s network equipment division could also disappoint after its bigger rival Ericsson surprised the market with a 50 percent fall in its core profits — and cautioned telecoms operators were likely to remain cautious of how they spends throughout the coming months.
Reuters contributed to this article.