Nokia Lumia Rollercoaster: 'Low Shipments' or Sales Blockbuster?

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's Note: Click here for our list of November's hottest selling smartphones to see how Nokia measured up to the competition.**

It's becoming difficult to know just how Nokia's new fleet of Windows 8 smartphones – including the flagship Lumia 920 – is doing. One day we learn they are selling out, the next day an analyst says there's no reason to get excited about them. Today we got both.

After checking with suppliers in North America and Western Europe, James Faucette, an analyst with Pacific Crest, wrote in a research note that he found "low shipments volumes and sales," saying that Nokia stock is only up lately based on early optimism that isn't warranted, Forbes reported. (It's up from $2.56 per share on Oct. 26 to $3.79 after Tuesday's close.)

Faucette thinks Nokia will ship only 1 million Windows 8 devices this quarter and will sell just half of those – only "marginally better" than Windows 7 phones a year ago.

Here's the counterpoint: The head of carrier Tele2's operations in Sweden told Bloomberg Wednesday that it has sold out of Lumias two weeks before Christmas and wants to get more in stock soon. That helped boost Nokia trading in Europe – particularly Finland. There have been other reports of sellouts in the past few weeks, but critics have said you can point to limited supply as a cause rather than fervor for the new devices.

Nokia, once the world's biggest name in mobile phones, faces an uphill battle in the smartphone race. Apple and Samsung are way out in front, but the Finland-based manufacturer thinks it can make up some ground due to its relatively new partnership with Microsoft and its Windows Phone operating system. Sales of Windows 7 devices late last year and early in 2012 started off strong, but quickly faded. There has been more buzz surrounding its Windows 8 phones, particularly due in part to a marketing blitz by Microsoft this holiday season.

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