Shipments of Nokia's (NOK) Lumia Said to Be Good, But Could Be Better...

June 8, 2012 9:56 AM EDT Send to a Friend
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) shares are trading higher Friday following a report which is surprising bullish on its current Windows Phone offering.

According to research firm IDC, Nokia may have shipped as many as 2.2 million Lumia smartphones in the first-quarter ended March 31st. As a reminder, these are just shipment numbers, not actual sales figures from retailers like Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and others.

Shipment numbers also don't include a full quarter of Nokia's latest 4G offering, Lumia 900, which began shipping within the first-quarter, but didn't begin selling until April. That device, available on AT&T's (NYSE: T) network, is priced at $99.99 with a 2-year contract. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Nokia have said the ad campaign behind the Lumia 900 is well above that made for Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone.

By comparison, Apple reported selling about 35 million iPhones in its latest quarter.

Though Nokia's number seems small in comparison, there are a few key points:
  1. The Lumia is new, having just been released at the end of 2011;
  2. Windows doesn't have quite the environment that Apple iOS and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android-based devices enjoy;
  3. The Lumia is available in fewer markets;
  4. The Lumia is carried only on a handful of carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile, as far as we know); and
  5. Windows 8 is coming out in the second-half of 2012, meaning some customers might be waiting to switch over until the transition is complete.
No excuses, Nokia definitely needs to start selling more smartphones, as its first-quarter numbers would indicate. But, should the Lumia 900 catch on in the states and the next-generation of offering appear more appealing with a fully-integrated Windows 8 environment, who knows how many consumers will be Android-weary by then...and looking for a fresh change.

Shares of Nokia are up 3.5 percent in morning trade.


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