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The struggle for third place in the smartphone operating system wars may be settling, as Nokia's newly revealed financial figures show its Lumia line shipping more units last quarter than all of BlackBerry's phones.
Nokia moved 7.4 million units of its Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia line in the second quarter, up 32 percent from the previous quarter but still lower than analysts had expected. The Finnish phone maker posted an operating loss of about $151 million on $7.46 billion in revenue for the quarter.
The financial figures are indicative of a mixed recovery for the struggling manufacturer, Though the 7.4-million figure is lower than anticipated, the figure situates Nokia and the Windows Phone platform securely in third place among smartphone operating systems, just ahead of the faltering BlackBerry.
The last two years have seen both Nokia and BlackBerry struggling to retain relevance in a segment the two firms once dominated, but BlackBerry has seemingly fared worse. Formerly Research in Motion, BlackBerry has fallen particularly far since its heyday.
This past quarter, the Canadian phone maker posted an $84 million loss as demand for its new BlackBerry 10 devices cooled shortly after their launch. BlackBerry shipped 6.8 million smartphones in the quarter, and less than half of those ran BlackBerry OS 10, the company's newest operating system.
Nokia has not fared much better since it "bet the company" on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, but for now its Windows Phone devices are trending upward. Since the fourth quarter of 2011, Nokia has been on a slow rise, while BlackBerry has tumbled.
Both firms have struggled for attention in the U.S., with Nokia and Microsoft resorting to mocking the major smartphone players to try to gain mindshare and BlackBerry expanding its central services to cover both Android and iOS. Those latter two platforms make up more than 90 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide, and Apple and Samsung capture virtually all of the profit in the smartphone segment.
Smartphone shipments will number in the billions per year in just a short time, though, so even third place in the platform wars could still prove a lucrative position. At Microsoft's Build developer conference last month the company boasted that its new Windows Phone 8 operating system had surpassed BlackBerry.
"We think we're solidly the third ecosystem right now," Windows Phone product manager Larry Lieberman said at the time. "That's a huge announcement in some respects."