How popular is the Lumia, i.e., Nokia’s first phone running Microsoft software? Popular enough, Bloomberg suggests, to regain investor confidence in the company despite losing $19 billion in market value last year. The Lumia handsets, which went on sale in Europe in November, “probably” sold 1.3 million units globally to operators and retailers by the end of last year, Bloomberg estimates, based on the average estimate of 22 analysts. “The projections range from 800,000 to 2 million and only one analyst predicted sales of fewer than 1 million handsetsm” it reports.
On average,“The numbers look promising,” says Espen Furnes, an Oslo- based fund manager at Storebrand Asset Management. “If Nokia is able to have a strong launch and surpass at least 1 million and keep that type of momentum, this would help put them in a credible position that is crucial to winning back investors.”
As Bloomberg reminds us, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has staked the future of the company’s smartphone business on the Lumia series, after deciding nearly a year ago to would retire its homegrown Symbian and MeeGo handsets. Early shipment figures are particularly important in Nokia’s case because investors were skeptical that the Microsoft pact could compete with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices.