It has been reported by Nokia, that the Finnish company sold 19.6 million smartphones in the last quarter, of which, one million were Lumia’s, Nokia’s new Windows Phone line. While this number may have beaten many industry analyst’s predictions, the question of whether or not the Lumia line is a success still remains.
When you take into account Apple’s numbers, selling 37 million iPhones in 14 weeks, no, one million Lumia phones is not impressive. To make it worse, with all of Nokia’s smartphones combined, they still trail Apple’s iPhone sales (84% of which are just one model, the new iPhone 4S) by 17.6 million devices. Here’s another example, AT&T (who just posted their numbers today) announced record smartphone sales, reaching 9.4 million. Of that 9.4 million, 7.5 million where iPhones, the remaining 1.9% were Android and other devices. To put that into perspective, on America’s second largest carrier (not even number one), Apple sold 7.5 million devices, where as Nokia’s Lumia devices were sold in several countries, on several carriers and barely hit 1 million.
I firmly believe that Nokia’s sales would have been at least doubled, if not tripled, had they chosen to go with Android over Windows Phone. Nokia’s Lumia devices (with the exception of the Lumia 710) are beautifully crafted and would probably do much better here in the States if they had an OS that was more appealing to the masses. While Windows Phone is a fresh take on a mobile OS, it seriously lacks apps, it is void of large wallpapers, instead it uses a tiled hub design. I’ve said it before, humans are vain and affectionate individuals, we love pictures, usually of ourselves and pets, sometimes together. People love to customize their phone’s wallpaper to showcase themselves, their pets or something abstract or unique that defines them, with Windows Phone, that option is taken away. Then of course, there is the fact that Windows Phone 7 is made by Microsoft, which to many people, reminds them of their PC experience which is defined by viruses and bugs or something that crashes all the time. While this may not be the case with WP7, the stigma is already burned into people’s brains.
It’s still to early to tell if Nokia made the wrong choice in Windows Phone, but with the incoming Lumia 900 and a rumored $99 price tag, we’ll see just how well it sells, then we’ll know if it is truly Windows Phone’s lack of appeal or if other manufacturers are tacking on price point that is to high for an unproven OS.