Nokia US future at risk: AT&T sales not likely to reach a million

Nokia US future at risk: AT&T sales not likely to reach a million
The Nokia Lumia 900 might be one of the most important launches for Nokia in recent history as it’s the first handset that openly asks the US to turn a favorable eye on the Finnish phone maker, but analysts estimate initial sales won’t even reach a million units.

The Lumia 900 launches on April 8th on AT&T, and now Deutsche Bank and Avian Securities project sales within three months of availability to be hundreds of thousands, rather than a million or more. Analysts at the two institutions didn’t see the Lumia 900 as becoming a hit as it lags behind Apple and Samsung.

The Lumia 900 is setting the tone for future Nokia releases. Moreover, it does so in the US, the one market that has become key to a global product success.

The Lumia 900 enjoyed being unveiled by three CEOs - Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Nokia’s Stephen Elop and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega at CES 2012. And while AT&T and Nokia haven’t revealed a specific sales target, under a million doesn’t seem like an achievement that would make the two partners happy.

Kai Korschelt of Deutsche Bank estimates sales within 3 months of availability reaching 140,000 units in the worst case scenario to 680,000 units in the best. Avian places its projections at 370,000 units.

The Lumia 900 launches for half the price of your standard high-end device - $99.99 on contract. This means that Nokia and Microsoft are probably not making a huge profit - if any - on this device, instead trying to push user adoption. AT&T also pointed out that it’s looking for steady growth, rather than quick sales success.

In the meantime, last month Standard and Poor’s downgraded Nokia’s rating to just one level above junk, noting that it could drop it further.

The handset was received with mixed reviews. Some focused on its smooth experience, gorgeous design and low price, while others found the screen and hardware not future proof, the software to lackluster, and were underwhelmed by the not-so-stellar camera and battery draining in less than a day.

source: Bloomberg

Related phones

Lumia 900
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 APQ8055, Single core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 1830 mAh(8h 3G talk time)



1. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Looks like the final nail on nokia's tomb.

2. Mozarrt

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

How so? Nokia has never been a player in the United States, so If they still don't succeed, nothing has really changed right? Most of the ad money comes from MS anyway.

16. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Nokia helped make the smartphone market what it is, worldwide. While it hasn't been a major player in the U.S over the last 5 years, we'd all be using Motorola DynaTACs (or evolutions thereof) if it weren't for Nokia

3. awin217

Posts: 18; Member since: Sep 23, 2011

Nokia is still d leader in most developing countries.. They would sell an unlocked lumia 900 for about $600 ..they will cover up for their profits..

4. stunningsid

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 20, 2011


13. phonton

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

very true! the article only seems to demotivate people from buying it.

18. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Considering how many preorders there were for it (AT&T and Amazon sold out and are on backorder!) I think these "projections" are silly anyway. Will they sell 3 million in a week? No, but that wasn't the intention, otherwise they'd be on every major carrier to saturate the market

21. phonton

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 27, 2011 are right.. In my opinion, AT&T definitely had an idea in mind and would have bought a limited number of handsets for pre-order to see if it is being welcome by the people. That said, it has definitely beat AT&T's expectations by being sold out on pre-orders. There can't be a threshold where only if "34 million" phones are sold, then it is considered success and all else considered failure!

34. Whodaboss

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

I'll second that - You guys are right! My problem with these types of articles; if Nokia sell a million units in 3 months will Phonearena post an article stating how wrong these analyst were? Hell NO! If these analyst are correct you can bet Phonearena will reply to this story and say these guys told you so. Earlier this year when the analyst stated that the Lumias would not sell or not even come close to selling 500K units for the first iteration of Lumia's they were wrong. Nokia sold over a million. But was there any comment about how wrong the analyst were. Nope. Quiet as a mouse. But had it gone as they predicted, the noise would have been unbearable.

38. apocalypsebc

Posts: 148; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

What the analysts don't realize is Nokia is still the number 1 manufacture in the world! What will they say when Nokia prove their statistic wrong?! Once Windows Phone take off and Nokia makes it to the 4 major carriers in America, the haters will have to find something else to hate about.

5. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Told you so, WP fanboys..-.- I forecasted an utterly horrible year for windows phone and Nokia, but this beats even my own estimates. Damn you, Stephen Flop. You can only hope symbian and pure view can save you from sinking now..

7. Mozarrt

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Nothing has really happened yet to be honest. Nokia is just in a transition period which will propably take till 2013. Expect some lovely hardware from Nokia with the arrival of Apollo and PureView to Windows Phone.

6. roharr

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

Well remains to be seen. Here in Europe WP and Lumia 800 has sold well. I'm not sure about the US market though because internet comments seem to be so biased towards iPhone or Android. What should be remembered is also that other markets are now more important than the US market. The Chine smartphone market is soon to pass the US market in size. MS and Nokia are wise to focus their efforts there first hand and as far as I understand that is also what they are doing.

8. shadowcell

Posts: 300; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I wouldn't judge market demand by biased comments. The Lumia 900 is a great contender but unfortunately it can only attract new customers to the smartphone market or those who previously purchased a WP7 handset. Android and iPhone users are not so eagerly to jump ship to a new smartphone when we already familiarized ourselves with the operating system and come to adapt. Especially when we invested heavily with purchasing apps as well. That being said, I would be willing to make change and buy one of these but Verizon Wireless still continues to shun with false premonitions on anything that doesn't make money.

19. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

OS dissatisfaction can drive users to switch to a different one. I've heard many iphone users complain of how they're bored with the OS and the phone pricings and upgrade policies, and many Android users complain about update delays, software glitches, battery life, and the rapid devaluation because of a replacement product coming weeks or months apart, and WP7 users dissatisfied with the lack of the mass media storage function (changing soon I hear), screen resolution, and the inability to make one's own music into the ringtone or notification settings. Personally, I'm a Symbian user for my daily phone, Android user for my other phone (mostly for games, honestly) and will be getting a Nokia Windows Phone 8 on T-Mobile when it comes out. I expect my next phone purchase will be an unlocked 808 PureView, as it addresses most everything I'm not quite happy with on my C7 Astound

20. shadowcell

Posts: 300; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

I've heard the same dissatisfaction from numerous individuals and they eventually still continue to use that particular OS. If we could factor in this data with a proper survey perhaps it could validate either issue. I too complain about Android OS with similar issues but will remain on Android for its continuous support from the developer community and innovative apps that improve my lifestyle.

9. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Ok, reality check: In Europe lumia line sold around a mere million in the last quarter of last year, and about a million and a half worldwide..those figures should remain the same in the Q1 at best. Symbian phones reached sales of around 15 million at the same time With lumia 900 being an all-out shot at the US market from both Microsoft and Nokia, and these abysmal projections despite of that..things really couldn't look worse for them. When Apollo phones start to ship(September at best), they will take off from ruins left(1 percent of the market share!) from WP7.5 basically. By that time android and iOS should hold around 75 percent of the worldwide market, with symbian, black berry and bada together still holding another 24 percent.

10. shadowcell

Posts: 300; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

I don't think it's fair to compare Europe with US markets as we have a slightly different consumer demand. Also, last year the Lumia 800 was offered through 4 existing UK carriers whereas the Lumia 900 will only be sold through AT&T solely (at the moment). Already they lost huge market potential. The analysts are predicting initial launch sales but I'm sure over time when other carriers catch on the buzz we can possibly see 1 million if they keep the subsidized $99 price range.

24. roharr

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

You are just guessing. Most of the WP sales effort in Europe was during Q1 so lets wait for the figures for Q1. Most smartphone markets worldwide are still open as the pentration is not close to what it is in the US for example. So anyone who has a good product at the right price can grap a large share of those markets.

11. MickDM

Posts: 63; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

victor, victor, must literally scour the web looking for any (and all) negative press you can find about nokia/ms/wp/vzw...ijs

15. PackMan

Posts: 277; Member since: Mar 09, 2012


22. Victor.H

Posts: 1056; Member since: May 27, 2011

I can't even get enough sleep!

12. phonton

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

Who wants these s**tty forecasts.. The customers know what they want.. We have to give sometime and see.. Nokia will come back and I'm one of them who is gonna get a Lumia 900..

17. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

thats right, i'm with you

14. phonton

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

Everyone knows that the faultiest products sell like hot cakes and fetch millions.. This Lumia 900 is not even anywhere close to that faulty product.. Before even anything happens and we see considerable results don't go around spreading negative stuffs about any device before it is even launched.. Just saying..

23. stipe

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

It will go over million !

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the phone isn't meant to take the i4s or sgs2 head on in a sales battle. its meant to introduce people to wp7 and Nokia smartphones. these forecasts are junk. if we didn't hear constant news of sell outs, I might put stock in it, but as it is... nope. Ms and Nokia have long term goals that build on each other. this phone is just another foundation brick like the 710 and 800. they are building interest and a user base to launch the next Gen to more success. the true test won't come until Apollo high end devices come out. then it will be a direct fight with apple and android.

26. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

time to go android!

27. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Well Analysist are doing their job. Last time they said same thing about european sales and now for the U.S. Nokia is not Apple, Windows Phone is a very different and new OS concept so obviously the sales of the phone depends on proper marketing that will educate consumers about Windows Phone, especially the Metro UI.

28. jove39

Posts: 2145; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Well there is thing called "Blue Ocean Strategy" (The aim of BOS is not to out-perform the competition in the existing industry, but to create new market space or a blue ocean, thereby making the competition irrelevant.) I am not a management guy...president of my company has reffered to this term quite often...Since AT&T is giving away Lumia900 for free to new customers...they need to make sure their campaign attracts more of feature phone users...not Android/iOS users...because Android and iOS users are tough nut to crack ;)

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