Is Nokia Back? Lumia Sales Up By 1.5 Million, Stock Price Goes Crazy

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After a long struggle to regain relevance in the smartphone market, things might be looking up for Nokia.

The Finnish phone giant said on Thursday that its mobile devices division had "exceeded expectations".

In all Nokia said it sold 15.9 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2012, of which 4.4 million were Lumia Windows Phone devices.

That's up more than 30% on the third quarter, when it sold just 2.9 million Lumias.

Nokia's stock skyrocketed in response, rising by 23% as of press time before the start of trading.

The company had won plaudits for its Lumia range in 2011 and 2012, particularly for its industrial design. But it had struggled to match Apple and Samsung, and the collective weight of Google's Android OS.

Nokia received a boost in the fourth quarter due to the widespread release of its new Lumia 820 and 920 devices running the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile OS.

It also said that its Asha line of smart phones, aimed primarily at developing markets like India, did well, selling more than 9.3 million units.

But all is not rosy at Nokia - the company warned that its performance would not be as positive in the first quarter of 2013 due to "seasonally weak" conditions and lower demand.

The company will announce its full results on 24 January.

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