As Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) new Lumia smartphones enter the marketplace, early indications suggest sales are going well enough to give the company additional time in its fight against its rivals, Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
The phone sales at stake include the newest Lumia 920 and 820 versions. Once the market leader, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has gone through large amounts of cash as it loses market share in the high-end smartphone arena and its less expensive model.
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But the positive early sales don’t have analysts believing a sudden turnaround will ensue for the challenged company, as gadgets, including mini tablets, also have the attention of consumers, according to reports.
Pete Cunningham, an analyst at Canalys said to Bloomberg, “Positive reviews are a great start, but as we have seen many times before these won’t deliver strong sales volumes on their own.”
New Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) phones sales have been estimated at 1-3 million by FIM Securities analyst Michael Schroder for the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, 2.9 million older Lumia phones had been sold. This is far behind Apple’s 26.6 million iPhone sales during the same time period.
In addition to stopping the cash bleeding, a ZDNet reviewer recently said of the phones’ sales, “Lumia’s sales could serve a verdict on Chief Executive Stephen Elop’s decision in February 2011 to partner with Microsoft, instead of using Google’s Android or continuing to develop Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s own operating system.”
The new phones have received positive reviews, including a thumbs-up to its feel and look. They include high-definition cameras and the new Microsoft Windows Phone 8 software.
The ZDNet reviewer further said, “It (the Lumia 920) is very similar in appearance to the Lumia 900, but has curved glass, rounded edges, and curved back, so it feels great in your hand. It is a dense device, but if you look at all the pros and cons the heft is worth it.”
This is a better endorsement than when the new model had initially been unveiled: shares fell 13 percent on that day. Investors were missing a “wow” factor reported Bloomberg.
For now, Nokia is taking a cautious approach to the phones’ launch and depending on the market, availability will vary.
This has been met favorably by Canaccord Genuity analysts. Michael Walkley from the firm said to Bloomberg, “While we are very impressed with the hardware features of the Lumia 920 and the improved software functionality of Windows Phone 8, we believe a focused launch to drive steady sales growth is necessary.”
Canada is one of the earliest launch markets, and the carrier, Rogers Communications, has specifically trained its sales staff to sell the new Lumia models. John Boynton, Rogers’ executive vice president of marketing, has forecast the phones will appeal to new smartphone users due to the home screen’s “tile-like” icons that assist with the navigation of applications and functions.
In France, retail staff has been said to be more knowledgable about the Windows Phones and can better explain it to customers, while German carrier Telefonica has been pleased with the phone’s early sales.
Analysts have estimated some heavy competition in the pre-Christmas shopping season from Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Apple’s iPhone 5. Taiwan’s HTC also has a smartphone that runs Windows Phone 8 software.
Factor in Apple’s iPad, along with the less expensive tablet alternatives from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and it’s a crowded field.
Also at stake is Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s Elop. He could be in the hotseat, even though he said back on February 2011 his company’s transition could be a two-year project.
The stock is currently trading at $2.67, down 1.11 percent on Tuesday.