Nokia may have slumped by $19 million in 2011 market value, but its first attempt at selling their new phones with the Microsoft operating system boosted investor confidence enough. In the final two months of 2011, Nokia sold 1.3 million Lumia handsets worldwide, or so a group of Bloomberg assembled analysts claim. They were unclear about the precise numbers, but between the 22 analysts gathered, all but one agreed that the figure was greater than 1 million. And so, Nokia Lumia sales passed 1 million handsets.
Espen Fumes, a fund manager for Storebrand Asset Management, which manages more than $60 billion, including Nokia and Apple, admitted that Nokia must maintain and even surpass 1 million in order to restore its credibility and regain investors confidence.
The move that put Nokia in a pinch was made by CEO Stephen Elop last year, when he dumped the Symbian and MeeGo phones and announced the coming Microsoft only line of smartphones. The estimates are significant, because there was low confidence that the Nokia-Microsoft team could provide adequate competition against the iPhone and Android devices.
Elop was able to manage the confidence game, by avoiding inflated expectations. He placed special emphasis on the gradual development of a new world order within Nokia, both applications and developers, that would be Microsoft oriented.
According to Lee Simpson, an analyst at Jefferies International in London, there is plenty of room for Nokia to capture a significant portion of the market, what with none of the other big players stepping up to the bat. RIM, HTC, Sony Ericsson, and Motorola have all shied away.
The big hit on Nokia’s revenue and profit will ultimately be the 36% drop in Symbian smartphone sales in only two quarters. This was due to the announcement of Lumia. Independent analysts indicate Nokia has taken a 92 million-euro loss in the fourth quarter.
Just for the year 2011 the shares plummeted 52%. However, the gains this year amount to a 15% increase. Compare this to HTC, down 1.7, and Apple, up only 3.8. According to the many positive reviews, Nokia’s Lumia phones are to thank. They took over a dozen awards at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. The European markets saw Lumia 800 start in November 2011 at 420 euros, while the Lumia 710 hit the Asian and Russian markets at 270 euros in December.
Nokia was overtaken by Apple between 2007 and 2010, when Apple introduced the iPhone. Elop was then given the helm of Nokia, coming from Microsoft as a kind of secret weapon in the smartphone market. Apple wiped out 60 billion euros of Nokia’s value. However, Standard and Poor slashed Nokia’s debt ratings, as well as by Moody, indicating an anticipation of a sluggish recovery from such a devastating blow.
Nevertheless, Nokia was unable to sell out the Lumia models. One theory is that the Lumia 800 was just a bit too high priced for those considering jumping into a Microsoft-based phone. When Nokia does release their fourth-quarter results, they will include the Nokia N9, which is identical to the Lumia 800, but is loaded with their proprietary MeeGo software.