It’s that season again, when companies everywhere are sharing their latest financial reports. Will investors be facing record returns? Who’s bringing in big profits, and who continues to struggle? We saw Apple weigh-in with its own data a couple days back, and now it’s Microsoft’s turn to follow along, as it delivers a report that looks pretty positive on the mobile front.
Let’s start with the good news: phone hardware sales are up, with Microsoft selling some 9.3 million Lumia handsets in the last quarter alone. Even compared to last year (well, for Nokia), that’s an improvement, up from 8.8 million in the same quarter. Europe in particular is singled-out as a key market for that growth. Maybe more importantly than revenue growing, the gross margin on phone sales is also up, with Microsoft profiting to the tune of $480 million.
Tablet sales are also doing quite well, and Microsoft points to “strong interest” in the Surface Pro 3 from users of all types. The $908 million in revenue Surface sales brought in this past quarter is more than double Microsoft’s sales just one year ago.
If there’s good news, there also has to be bad news, but even this isn’t bad-bad: licensing revenue on Windows Phone handsets is down to the tune of 46 percent. Keep in mind, though, this is a situation Microsoft is directly in control over, and the company is intentionally keeping licensing costs low in order to drive sales of budget hardware.
Microsoft still may have some stiff competition in the mobile space on both phone and tablet fronts, but quarter by quarter, it seems to be struggling less and more firmly establishing itself as a player to be reckoned with.