Finland’s Nokia has been putting its promotional muscle behind its new Lumia 800 smartphone, its first device built for the Windows Phone platform. However, rather than trying to make a big splash with the Lumia 800 in North America (where Nokia essentially withdrawn from the smartphone market in the last few years) the company instead has focused the Lumia 800 on Europe. However, Nokia may be facing a problem: Reuters reports a new survey from brokerage firm Exane BNP Paribas finds that Europeans just aren’t that interested: only 2.2 percent of surveyed buyers indicated they had strong intentions to buy the Lumia 800, which puts it well behind market leaders like the iPhone 4S and Samsung’s Galaxy S II.
As a result of the survey, Exane is lowering its price target on Nokia shares, kept its “underperform” rating on the stock, and lowered its estimate of Lumia 800 sales to just 800,000 units from an initial launch-quarter estimate of two million units. Nokia’s previous flagship phone, the N8, saw launch-quarter sales between 3.5 and 4 million units.
Exane’s survey could have a significant margin for error: From an initial pool of 1,300 respondents in five of the Lumia 800’s initial markets, purchasing preferences were derived from only 456 respondents who intended to purchase a smartphone in the next month. Nonetheless, they seem to align roughly with sales estimates from other analysts: Pacific Crest’s James Faucette lowered his firm’s estimates of 2 million units shipped to a “dissappointing” 500,000, according to Forbes.
Although aimed at the high end, Nokia sees the Lumia 800 as just the tip of the iceberg in its conversion to the Windows Phone platform. It forecasts the devices will gain traction as more products come to market — with one Nokia executive opining that the Windows Phone platform will be cool with cutting edge phone users because “everyone has the iPhone” but are frustrated by Android’s complexity and lack of security.
Nokia’s first Windows Phone will launch in the United States on January 11, 2012: the Nokia Lumia 710 to be available for $50 on T-Mobile.
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