Analysts predict lower-than-expected sales of Nokia's Lumia smartphones

Industry analysts are questioning the level of success Nokia is likely to achieve with its new Lumia smartphones.

The company, which just started selling the Lumia 800 handset in Europe, has received high praise from smartphone reviewers. However,  the device is thought to be falling behind volume expectations.

According to a research note issued by Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette, shipments of Nokia's Windows Phone 7 smartphones in the quarter ending next month could prove disappointing.

"We believe that shipments of Nokia's new Windows Phone 7 products have been lower than we had previously anticipated," he said in a report carried by Forbes. "We had expected that the company could ship as many as 2 million units into the six targeted markets for the holidays; however, we now believe that those shipments are likely to be less than 1 million for the quarter."

Faucette added that sell-through investigations have found "disappointing sales" for the Lumia so far, and that sales during the December quarter could be under 500,000 units.

Nokia's new handset has also been criticised by Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu, claiming that the level of interest in the Lumia 800 is similar to the poor-selling N8 smartphone.

"With no breakthrough innovation, we believe Nokia's new phones are unlikely to get traction in a highly concentrated high-end," he wrote in a research note.

"Second, we don't believe Lumia phones are competitively priced. Third, we believe in economics of increasing returns for mobile ecosystems and judge rather unlikely that Windows can gain critical mass against Android and iOS. Fourth, we have seen evidence of lack of traction for the Windows operating system over the last 12 months and challenge the idea that the Nokia brand can make a meaningful difference today."

The company plans to start shipping the Lumia smartphones to the US and China starting in early 2012.

For more:
- see this Forbes article
- see this Bloomberg article

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