Nokia: 2 million Lumia Windows Phones sold in last quarter

Nokia: 2 million Lumia Windows Phones sold in last quarter

Summary: Nokia revealed that it sold 2 million Lumia smartphones in the first quarter of 2012. Is that good or bad?


Nokia revealed on April 11 that it sold 2 million Windows Phone Lumia devices worldwide in the first quarter of 2012.

Is that promising or alarming?

It's not good enough to boost Nokia's results, as company officials acknowledged on April 11, when it lowered estimates for its first financial quarter from "around break even" to negative three percent. Nokia officials called the results for its devices and services first quarter "disappointing." Company officials are expecting operating margins for the second quarter to be similar or below the first quarter. Nokia is set to announce its Q1 earnings on April 19, the same day Microsoft is reporting its Q3 fiscal 2012 earnings.

Update: Here is more on Nokia's warning today from ZDNet's Larry Dignan.

Nokia launched its U.S. comeback flagship device, the Lumia 900 Windows Phone on AT&T, on April 9. Last night the company admitted there was a software problem with the just-released phones that results in a data connection loss for those affected. Nokia is providing all customers purchasing the Lumia 900 through April 21  -- whether they encountered the glitch or not -- with replacement phones or $100 credit.

Market share for Windows Phone has dropped in recent months, according to market watchers.  Microsoft hasn't shared publicly the total number of Windows Phones sold to date. One of my inside contacts said that number is around 3.5 million handsets, which, if true, is definitely nothing to write home about.

Update: Other Microsoft watchers like WMPowerUser, think that number is closer to 10 to 11 million units. Again, as I noted, Microsoft officials won't comment on sales.

I've also heard from my contacts that Windows Phones accounted for only about three percent of all smartphones sold by AT&T and T-Mobile here in the U.S. They aren't even a blip on Verizon's radar screens, supposedly.

My ZDNet blogging colleague Zack Whittaker wondered in a post today whether it's time for Microsoft and partners to throw in the towel on Windows Phone, which remains a distant third behind Apple and Android-based phones.

I can say with near certainty there won't be any white flags raised in Redmond any time soon.

Microsoft can't afford to give up in smartphones. Microsoft is going to keep throwing money and people at smartphones -- the same way it did with Xbox when it looked like a laughable competitor to Sony in gaming. Microsoft's future strategy is built around the idea of unifying the phone, PC and TV/gaming console platforms via a common interface and development platform.

I don't know how Microsoft defines "success" in smartphones, but failure, in terms of completely dropping out of a market is crucial as smartphones, isn't an option.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Nokia, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • That's bad...

    When you consider the millions of iPhones sold in any given quarter and realize that Android phones actually sold more than the iPhone... Windows Phone and Nokia arr in trouble!

    The sad part, I don't blame Microsoft for this! Salesmen are pitching screen res, multi-core, better sound, better cameras... How does Nokia respond? Oh, they release a phone that is only as capable as models of Android phones that are now a year or more old.

    Bottom line, Nokia needs to quit screwing around and release a real flagship phone.

    Oh and Microsoft needs to hire some color theory guys because their current theme for Windows Phone is horrible as is the Slate Blue color of the Nokia... It is like the whole marketing team went to an Andy Warhol convention and came back with brilliant ideas from the 70s.
    • Apple is a single company. Android is a mobile OS sold

      by many a company. Some good... some not so good. To compare the two is truly Apple and Androids.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Doesn't matter

        The point is that both companies dwarf these numbers as a whole!
      • @Peter Perry

        Saying Android dwarfs these numbers is the same as saying Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, and others dwarf Nokia, which is one company against 4+.

        That is to say, "duh."
      • Samsung

        Since Samsung sells more smartphones than Apple does now, this whole Waaaaaargument has gone stale and we need a new one.
    • No, that's good ...

      A 100% increase over the previous quarter is excellent. A company doesn't jump from selling 0 phones to iPhone volume levels, over the course of 4 months. You are being completely unrealistic.
      P. Douglas
      • wrong

        nokia didn't had a first full quarter to sell WP
    • Not really.

      How many Android phones were sold in the quarter they were first released? How many iPhone 2Gs were sold in the first quarter they were released? I have a feeling that WP7 will surprise a lot of people. I honestly do not like the Metro interface but I will say it is much more original than both the iOS and Android UIs - and I use both an iPhone and an HTC Thunderbolt. I'm hoping that WP7 will be a much more viable competitor to both Android and iOS to spur them both to bigger and better things.
      • I'm guessing Nokia is brand new to the market

        And WP7 was never released before Nokia was created.
      • Yes Really!

        There have been Windows Phones out for more than 6 months now and they are not selling like the Android phones and iPhones are... You presume that this is just Nokia failing and it isn't.
    • It's not Nokia's fault

      The WP7 platform is locked to certain resolutions, single core, etc. Nokia can't work around the limitations Microsoft is imposing.

      When 8 comes out some of that might be fixed, but there's no certainty that anybody with a WP7 model now will get the upgrade, so why would you buy one?
      • Exactly

        That is why I have not turned in my (company paid for) BlackBerry yet. I wouldn't buy a new computer with XP on it that cannot be upgraded to Win8 right now. So, Iwill not buy a WP7 phone if I cannot upgrade it to WP8. I will be buying a WP8 phone with high end specs on it this fall. I am guessing there are plenty of others waiting for WP8 also. I also need Lotus Notes Traveler for WP which I see references on forums that it might be in beta now.

        For me, those are the last two things that keep me from buying a WP phone.
  • Nokia: 2 million Lumia Windows Phones sold in last quarter

    2 million phones is pretty good for a quarter. 90 days and 2 million phones, that's 22 thousand phones a day. Not bad when your starting out from zero. Now that it has been released in the U.S. the numbers will get larger. Great times ahead for Microsoft and Nokia.

    [i]They aren???t even a blip on Verizon???s radar screens, supposedly.[/i]
    This is probably true because Verizon only sells one low end WP7 phone, and they are in bed with Google to push the android OS.

    I see a bright future for Microsoft, Nokia, and WP. The AT&T launch was a success, wait until Apollo comes out. Good things are coming.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Not to pick on you nor MS but hasn't that been said and said and said?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • No. Not by anyone sentient anyway.

        Apollo is the game changer where WP gets common code with W8. All sorts of things become available to WP, bitlocker encryption, systems management, ipv6 networking stack (verizon lte), common app model with W8 devices, IE10. Your work laptop and your tablet and your smartphone are all incredibly consistent with app state shared between them. WP7 has shown great new levels of usability and whole scenario integration for the smartphone form factor but underneath it's been in catch up mode. WP8 is where taking the lead begins and if they keep the same pace they have with WP7 so far, the lead will begin to widen quickly now that they have the W8 foundation under their feet. Now while all that is true for arm, what Im really excited about is getting my hands on an x64 smartphone. I hope nokia comes out with some intel based models. The intel perf advantages over arm are just huge.
        Johnny Vegas
    • Good things?

      Like what? The collapse of Nokia? Microsoft washing their hands of mobile. Now anyone dropping mobile devices can't be all bad.
    • The projected volume sales for Maemo/Meego was 15 million for 2012

      Nokia's projected volume sales for Maemo/Meego was 15 million for 2012. Hopefully WP will bring much bigger volumes than the current level.
    • That's the problem

      " Not bad when your [sic] starting out from zero."
      Except it's 2012, they shouldn't be starting from zero five years after the original iPhone and Android hoards busted through the gates.

      MS should give up its dreams of mobile domination and simply try to create great apps for any successful mobile platform--iOS, Android, Amazon--and pray that Android falls on its patent sword.
      • Why not start now?

        That's only bad if you're doing the exact same thing. Reinventing oneself can and should happen any time.
      • they can not give up the phone

        If you look at offerings from Google and Apple: phone + tablet + PC. If MS simply just have tablet + PC, then they've simply screwed themselves. They don't need to dominate the mobile market. They need to become relevant. Giving up is not option.