Nokia Series 40 passes 1.5 billion mark

These days it's all about Windows Phone 7 with Nokia. But there was a time when the Finnish company had all of its OS eggs planted firmly with another platform. And now, after 13 years, the 1.5 billionth S40 device has been sold.

The handset in question was a Nokia Asha 303 - a touchscreen device announced back in October 2011 - and it was brought by Mayara Rodrigues, a 21-year-old a Brazilian woman, in Sao Paolo. 

Mary McDowell, EVP for mobile phones at Nokia, said: "We are incredibly proud to reach this milestone. Having 1.5 billion Series 40 devices sold is a hard-to-reach mark, let alone one attainable in a single line of products.

"At a time when we are maintaining our commitment to connecting the next billion customers around the world - it is gratifying to consider how Series 40 devices have made mobile technology accessible and help continue to change people's lives for the better."

To put the humongous figure in perspective - the amount of iPhones sold in its lifetime is around the 183 million mark and, even if you group iOS devices together, you're only looking at around 300 million. The Android device count is between 250 million and 300 million depending on whose figures you go on.

Series 40 has had a significant head start mind; the first phone - a Nokia 7110 - went on sale in 1999. The platform is still found on 12 devices sold by Nokia every second though, eclipsing the 4 per second iPhone sales that Apple achieved in the last quarter of 2011.

"The next billion," McDowell told the BBC, "will not come from rural areas, but from big cities and the very young. It is a scale business with relatively low research and development cost; so even though the average unit price is low, it's profit is still good."