Supply shortage? Big sales? Too much hype? Those questions still surround the Lumia 920 and a handful of other smartphones from Nokia with just a week left in the holiday shopping season.
Debuting in November, the Lumia 920 – which runs on Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system – is marketed to both the business user and the general consumer. Nokia's new flagship smartphone, an AT&T exclusive in the U.S., is reportedly selling out in parts of Europe as well as stateside.
The sellouts – as well as a newly announced deal with Asian wireless giant China Mobile – have done wonders for the Finland-based handset manufacturer's stock price, but is all of this hype just setting the company up for a bigger fall?
Pacific Crest Securities analyst James Faucette thinks that might be the case. Last week he wrote in an investor note what he called "low shipment volumes and sales" for Lumias. Now he tells Reuters: "I think people are looking and saying, 'Hey, there aren't enough 920s in the market,' but the reality is that the volume is so small. It's not going to move the needle."
The needle he's talking about is Nokia's position in a smartphone market-share battle with Samsung and Apple, which are so far in front that they can't see anyone else in their rearview mirrors.
Nonetheless, more than one carrier has said it still has a lot of interest in Lumias from customers who haven't had a chance to buy one yet. In the case of Finland-based telco DNA, "many hundreds" of customers are on a waiting list.
"The situation is that we still don't have the 920s," a DNA retail executive told Reuters. He said the Windows 8 models were garnering more interest than Windows 7 devices, which launched about a year ago. And that'll be important if Nokia wants to get some solid footing again. Windows 7 devices sold well initially, but quickly faded after launch.