Nokia Lumias Face ‘Challenging’ Year While BlackBerry 10 Generates ‘Little’ Excitement

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our list of November’s hottest selling smarpthones to see how BlackBerry and Nokia measured up to the competition.**

Don’t look for BlackBerry 10 devices to be Research In Motion’s savior.

So says analyst Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity, who says hefty competition and a lack of interest in phones based on RIM’s new operating system due Jan. 30, 2013 won’t improve the once-great Canada-based handset manufacturer’s market position. He downgraded RIM stock from “hold” to “sell” on Monday.

While initial sales of higher-ASP BlackBerry 10 smartphones should improve RIMs January and May quarter device sales and ASP mix, our checks and analysis of the global competitive landscape suggest a very low probability BlackBerry 10 sales can turn around RIMs long-term business trends.”

That’s counter to the take of Goldman Sachs and Jeffries & Co., who are both more bullish on RIM’s opportunities in 2013.

Our November checks indicated very weak global sell-through trends for BlackBerry 7 smartphones with many Western carriers stocking minimal inventory levels due to soft demand,” Walkley added. “Further, our checks indicated strong iPhone 5 and high-tier Android smartphones sales with little channel excitement about the January BB10 launch.”

One of RIM’s potentially biggest competitors this coming year will be Nokia, which just last month unveiled a series of new Lumia smartphones based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system. Initial sales have been good, but not enough to get Canaccord’s Walkley overly excited.

Calling Nokia’s ability to sustain the positive numbers “too early to determine,” Walkley noted, While we are impressed with the new Lumia devices and growing Windows application ecosystem, we maintain our modest Lumia sales estimates and our belief 2013 remains another challenging transitional year.”

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