Nokia Windows Phone sales may explode this summer: ~4 million new Lumia 610s, 719, China Mobile deal
Sales of Nokia’s Lumia smartphones haven’t been stellar so far. Perhaps that’s to be expected when a company switches its main smartphone platform seemingly overnight. Perhaps that’s to be expected because the operating system powering these devices is quite young.
Though for a company of Nokia’s former size and prowess, the 500-700K Lumias sold in the fourth quarter of 2011 are nothing to write home about. While the first quarter of 2012 will surely improve on those numbers, it appears that Q2 of this year is when Nokia’s Windows Phone sales will really start picking up.
That’s when Compal expects to be manufacturing almost 4 million Nokia Lumia 610 units. The Lumia 610 was announced last month during MWC as Nokia’s most affordable Windows Phone yet, and the Finnish company has outsourced production of that model to Compal, one of the big ODMs. This outsourcing probably means that Nokia has finally taken production of its other Lumia devices in-house.
Now those 4 million or so Lumia 610s will clearly have a big impact on Nokia’s Q2 smartphone sales, so it seems that when you’ll look back on the history of Windows Phone, Q2 2012 is going to be when it really started growing. Keep that in mind.
Another aspect that may help Nokia’s Windows Phone sales grow in the short term is the Chinese market. This is going to become the biggest smartphone market this year, for the first time overtaking the US, according to some analysts. As such, being big in China is increasingly important for mobile device makers.
Apple interestingly isn’t big over there, as its market share is just a third of that seen by Samsung. One of the reasons for that is that Samsung’s devices are compatible with and can be bought from all the three big carriers. Whereas Apple has only started a partnership with China Telecom a few days ago for selling the iPhone, and it’s also been working with China Unicom since the first iPhone made it to China. But those are just the No.2 and No.3.
The big elephant in the room, China Mobile, has more than 650 million subscribers. And the iPhone only works on 2G (EDGE) on China Mobile because of the different 3G tech that it uses. While Apple is thinking whether it wants access to that huge addressable market, Microsoft will probably get there first.
It’s widely expected that a Windows Phone device with full 3G support will be launched by China Mobile in the near future. It’s not 100% certain what manufacturer will make it, although it’s been consistently rumored that Nokia will be that company. Add to that Nokia’s recent inking of a deal with China Mobile, and things become pretty clear. Even if Nokia won’t supply the first WP to China Mobile, it will have a device on that carrier pretty soon.
And that should also help boost its overall global Lumia sales. After all, at least a few of those 650 million subscribers will be willing to try out Windows Phone, especially since they’ll be able to get their devices subsidized.
But Nokia isn’t going to stop there. It has also inked a deal with China Telecom, and it looks like a Nokia Lumia 710 variant is headed to that particular carrier. We’ve heard bits and pieces about the Nokia Lumia 719 before, and now a Lumia 719C with support for China Telecom’s CDMA2000 network has been certified in China (after previously also stopping by the Bluetooth SIG).
So, with about 4 million Lumia 610s globally, and the Lumia 719 on China Telecom and another device on China Mobile, Nokia’s Windows Phone sales are set to skyrocket (at least compared to current levels) very soon. It’s going to be an interesting year in mobile, that’s for sure.