Nokia (NYSE:NOK) could have shipped around 1.3 million Lumia Windows Phones during the fourth quarter, according to a survey of analysts conducted by Bloomberg. Expectations among the 22 analysts surveyed ranged from sales of 800,000 Lumia phones to 2 million, though the average expectations were above 1 million.
If the forecast proves accurate, the figure would give Nokia an initial shot of relief that its bet-the-company move from Symbian to Windows Phone was the right one to make.
Nokia unveiled its Lumia phones, the 800 and the 710, in October, and began shipping them in select locations in Europe and Asia shortly thereafter. In the United States, the company's 710 went on sale this month through T-Mobile USA for $50 with a service contract, and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is set to release the LTE-capable Lumia 900 sometime in the next few months.
Analysts quoted by Bloomberg noted that Nokia's initial successes in selling Windows Phones could be partially attributed to the struggles of other players. Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has been suffering through sluggish sales of BlackBerry devices in locations across the globe, while Android vendors Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) and HTC have both warned of lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results. On the other hand, Samsung and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are expected to have sizable fourth-quarter results, thanks to the Galaxy S II and the iPhone, respectively.
Though Nokia remains the world's largest overall handset vendor with 27.1 percent of the market in the third quarter, according to IDC, the company fell to third place among the world's smartphone vendors, behind Samsung and Apple. But some analysts expect Nokia's bet on Windows Phone--Nokia in February 2011 shocked the wireless world by transitioning its smartphone business to Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) platform--to pay off. Research firm iSuppli predicted Windows Phone smartphone market share will increase from 1.9 percent in 2011 to 16.7 percent of all smartphones shipped in 2015--making the platform second behind only Android. The firm credits Nokia with a large part of that growth--iSuppli said Nokia will account for 50 percent of all Windows Phone devices sold in 2012.
However, iSuppli's forecasts should be taken with a grain of salt: The firm in 2009 predicted Windows Mobile--the platform Microsoft has now discontinued--would command "15.3 percent share of the global market in 2013, second only to the Symbian operating system, which will control 47.6 percent."
- see this Bloomberg article
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