News, — November 24, 2011 11:17 — 0 Comments
As the Lumia 800 sets to launch in London on Monday, early forecasts predict Finnish firm’s make-or-break Windows smartphone will shift between 500,000 and 1m by Christmas
Nokia’s Lumia 800 handset, billed as the Finnish manufacturer’s make-or-break return to the smartphone race, is set to sell fewer units by Christmas than Apple took in pre-orders in a single day for its latest iPhone.
First estimates suggest the Lumia, which went on sale last Wednesday in the UK and five other European countries, will shift between 500,000 and 1m units by Christmas. The iPhone 4S topped 1m pre-orders in a single day.
The number is also far lower than estimates for the company’s previous flagship smartphone, the N8, which launched in October 2010 and is thought to have sold between 3.5 and 4m units in its first quarter, according to research firm Inderes.
Early indications that the Lumia is not a comeback product to topple the dominance of Apple and Google’s best-selling Android operating system saw Nokia’s shares close down 8.8% at €4.19 (£3.61) on the Helsinki bourse.
The N8′s Symbian operating system was ditched by Nokia’s chief executive Stephen Elop in February, as he bet the company’s future on adopting Microsoft’s mobile software.
Pacific Crest, the US technology investment bank, suggested on Tuesday that Nokia’s future is not yet secure. “We believe that shipments of Nokia’s new Windsows Phone 7 have been lower than we had previously anticipated,” said Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette.
“We had expected that the company could ship as many as 2m units into the six targeted markets for the holidays; however, we now believe that those shipments are likely to be less than 1m for the quarter.”
Faucette said checks with retailers indicated “disappointing” sales so far and that the total number of phones sold to customers, as opposed to shipped to retailers, could total no more than 500,000 by the end of December.
Lee Simpson at Jefferies bank is suggesting a 1m estimate based on orders from component-makers and the Lumia’s Taiwan manufacturer, Compal. Simpson said: “My impression is the first weekend wasn’t terrific but it wasn’t an outright disaster. The pre-ordering was a good bit lower than 500,000; my estimate by Christmas is that 1m sales would be achievable. It’s too early to write this off right now, although the temptation is there.”
The Lumia is only on sale in six markets, while the N8 was available across Europe and in selected Asian markets during its first months. The Lumia will be rolled out to Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year, but will not reach further markets, such as the US and China, until 2012.
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