* Q3 report due around 1000 GMT
* Focus on outlook after weak quarter
* Q3 results seen in red as phone sales dive
* Restructuring, other one-offs could affect results
By Tarmo Virki, European Technology Correspondent
HELSINKI, Oct 20 Nokia is expected to
report a rare loss for the third quarter as the struggling
Finnish cellphone giant prepares to launch its first Windows
phones next week.
Investors will focus on whether Nokia can take advantage of
the shifting sands in the smartphone industry.
Nokia, left in the dust by Apple and Google
in the booming smartphone market, will introduce its
first new models using Microsoft's Windows Phone
platform next week in London.
It unveiled the Microsoft deal in February and has since
struggled with a fast decline in smartphone sales as it has
tried to sell models using old Symbian platform.
Analysts expect Nokia sold 15.9 million smartphones in the
third quarter, down 40 percent from a year ago, despite sharp
price cuts in early July.
"The big question is: did we see the bottom in smartphones?
I think we did," said Jari Honko, analyst at Swedbank.
Hit by weak smartphone sales, Nokia is expected to report an
underlying quarterly operating loss of 23 million euros, down
from a profit of 391 million in the previous quarter.
Numbers could include one-off charges for restructuring and
also development support from new partner Microsoft.
With Microsoft software, Nokia hopes to gain the kind of
attention Apple and Google have attracted from software
developers that enrich their devices.
So far Windows Phone's success has been limited -- its
market share is just 2-3 percent, compared with around 50
percent for Google's Android and around 15 percent share for
Apple's iPhone sales dropped to 17.1 million in the September
quarter, disappointing investors, but were still ahead of
Nokia's expected sales and the new iPhone 4S is breaking Apple's
previous sales records.
Nokia has not rushed with new models -- despite the close
partnership with Microsoft, nimbler rivals HTC ,
Fujitsu and Samsung Electronics have beat
it with models using latest Windows software, Mango.
In addition to these Nokia will also have to battle
Samsung's new Galaxy Nexus -- the first smartphone running on
the latest version of the Android software -- in a holiday sales
season hit by weakening consumer spending.
While the outlook for consumer spending has worsened in
recent weeks, analysts have changed their fourth-quarter
cellphone sales forecasts only slightly, with a Reuters poll
showing they expect a historically normal 12 percent
Weakening economies could hit the results of Nokia's telecom
gear venture Nokia Siemens Networks , and its bigger
rival Ericsson , due to report earlier on Thursday.
Smaller telecom gear maker Powerwave warned this week that
operators were reducing or postponing near-term spending around
the globe, and especially in North America, a key market for