How many N9’s did Nokia sell, and how many Lumias did Nokia sell? It’s an interesting thing to ponder, because estimates by Tomi T. Ahonen seem to indicate that, despite decidedly undermarketing the thing, the N9 faired considerably better in the marketplace than the Lumia did.
Like I said, Nokia is one of those companies which doesn’t hand out clear shipping or sales figures (like Apple does with its shipping figures). However, Ahonen’s estimates seem to be based on some relatively sound reasoning, and even if he’s off by large margins, it still ain’t looking good for Nokia.
The first funny bit is that Windows Mobile (you know, the old and versatile girl) still appears to be faring much better than Windows Phone 7. About 890000 devices running Windows Mobile were sold in the US last quarter (according to Nielssen’s figures on Q4), compared to 520000 devices running Windows Phone 7. This is most likely largely a corporate thing, but still – it’s pretty impressive.
Anywho, according to Ahonen’s math and estimates, Nokia sold 600000 Lumia’s last quarter (Q4). Nokia’s biggest and most important product launch in history, and it only sold 600000 of them. That’s not good. The Nokia N9, which saw a far smaller product launch than the Lumia (no TV advertisements, no Microsoft-sponsored marketing campaign, only launched in small and/or less wealthy countries), saw between 1.5 and 2.0 million sales in Q4.
Again – these are estimates, so be on your toes. However, they’re so wide apart that all parties have to be off by wide margines before this turns into something that looks good for Nokia.
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In other words, the Nokia N9 outsold the Lumia by 3 to 1 – even though the N9 is considerably more expensive. I’m starting to see why Elop was trying so hard to turn the N9 into a failure. As a Microsoft exec, he knew that the device and its MeeGo operating system were better than he let on. A good selling N9 was not part of his plan – which is to deliver Nokia’s smartphone business into Microsoft’s arms. Run it into the ground, and make it as cheap as possible.
There’s still no hard evidence for all this, but it’s looking less and less like a crazy theory. I try to stay clear from predictions as much as possible (mostly because I’m smart enough to realise I’m an idiot), but it’s pretty clear Nokia’s smartphone business is going to be bought by Microsoft this year. This is worthy of the silver screen.