The tarnished crown of embattled cell phone king Nokia apparently has been replaced by overwhelming debt and plummeting popularity as Apple’s iPhone dominates smartphone sales.
Nokia announced Thursday it lost $690 million as cell phone shipments fell 20 percent to 88.5 million units. Smartphones took an even worse battering, shedding a third of sales to only 16.7 million handset.
In stark comparison, Apple announced earlier this week it sold 20.34 million iPhones during the same period, making it at least the No. 2 smartphone and further defining a two-way race for smartphone dominance with Google’s Android.
Nokia’s losses came despite a patent settlement with Apple rumored to be worth $137.6 million per quarter.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, in classic understatement, deemed his company’s latest financial woes as “clearly disappointing.” Additionally, there have been “greater than expected” problems in Nokia’s last-ditch effort to move from its Symbian platform to Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Even so, Elop told analysts he was “very optimistic” after seeing prototype of phones expected later this year.