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Nokia gives up predicting sales

Shares tumble on storm warning

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Nokia is predicting Q2 sales to be "substantially below" its previous estimates, and says it won't provide public targets anymore as the company tries to adjust to the new reality.

In its statement to the stock market Nokia doesn't say how much worse things will be, only that "multiple factors are negatively impacting Nokia's Devices and Services" and that its previous estimate of €6.1bn to €6.6bn for the second quarter of 2011 could be as much as 9 per cent off, and that the company feels unable to predict what's going to happen for the rest of the year.

The fall is attributed to Nokia being unable to shift enough high-end (and high-margin) handsets, which is no great surprise given the mess the company has made of its smartphone strategy over the last few years.

In a statement Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, said the company must "accelerate the pace of our transition" and that he remained confident that Nokia would have Windows Phone handsets out this year.

The company also pointed out that it has started shipping a dual-SIM handset for the first time. Dual SIMs enable customers to take advantage of multiple operator tariffs; such handsets are common in most of the world but disliked by western operators.

Nokia is also steaming ahead with cuts to prices, and expenses, and increasing point-of-sale marketing.

But that's not reassured the markets much, with Nokia's share price dropping 15 per cent on the news.

We won't know how bad that news really is until the Q2 results on 21 July, but with this release Nokia is letting the world know that the news won't be good. ®

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