Seeking Alpha
Profile| Send Message|
( followers)  

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has been one of the most controversial names in the smartphone industry since adopting Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8 operating system. Many analysts claim that the Lumia line of smartphones have failed to gain any traction, while others are excited about the consistent double digit growth of Nokia's flagship smartphone line. In the following sections, I aim to gauge how Lumias are selling globally by using several of Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) websites from around the globe, as well as carrier websites and other local e-tailer sites such as Flipkart.com.

United States Market

In the U.S. market, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS have dominated the market. However, Nokia Lumias running Windows Phone 8 have been showing some promise, with sales increasing 27% and 32% in Q1 and Q2 of this year respectively. Looking at Amazon's best seller list, we can see that Lumias continue to sell well, especially the 520, 521, and 1020, the last of which has been praised by many reviewers but is supposedly a "niche" product. Below is a table of Lumia phones by model number and their respective spots on the Amazon best seller list, separated into Contract Cell Phones and No-Contract Cell Phones.

Contract Cell Phones

Model

Best Seller Ranking(s)

1020

19, 25, 36

928

23, 39

920

50, 61, 64

No-Contract Cell Phones

Model

Best Seller Ranking(s)

521

1

520

2

Looking at the data from Amazon, we can see that Lumias continue to gain momentum in the U.S. This data can be backed up by looking at the three major U.S. carrier websites: AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS).

AT&T

On the AT&T website, the company does not list its phones in order of best sellers. However, on the main wireless website, it does list the top reviewed phones; 4 of the 6 phones listed are Lumia 920s. Also, the 1020 is advertised at the top of the page, and has been heavily advertised by both AT&T and Microsoft on TV and radio.

Verizon

On the Verizon website's front page, the company lists its most popular cell phones. Actually, it sometimes lists the most popular cell phones. About a week ago, it had the top phones listed, but when I double checked today, there was no list of popular cell phones. Luckily, I took a screen capture last week, and it clearly showed the Lumia 928 in the top spot of most popular phones.

(click to enlarge)

T-Mobile

On the T-Mobile cell phone page, the company lists several cell phone models, including top sellers and staff picks. On the page (hyperlinked above), you can see that the 521 is listed as a top seller, and the 925 was chosen as a staff pick. In fact, I was in a T-Mobile store not long ago and the sales person highly recommended the 925, stating that the camera was "incredible." He showed me a video he took at a concert, and I have to agree that the quality was top notch.

U.S. Conclusion

The U.S. might still be dominated by Android and iOS, but Windows Phone 8 appears to be gaining traction, largely thanks to the increasing popularity of the Lumia lineup. This bodes well for both Nokia and Microsoft, as increased market penetration will lead to larger developer support, which in turn will lead to increased demand as the most commonly cited complaint about the phones is a lack of apps compared to the Android and Apple marketplaces.

European Market

In Europe, Nokia's Lumia lineup has been showing modest success in most major markets. Below are several tables put together using Amazon's websites from different European countries, listing Lumia models and their respective places on the best seller list of cell phones.

Amazon.co.uk (Great Britain)

Model

Best Seller Ranking(s)

925

52

920

73, 94

820

15, 78

720

82

620

8, 97

520

7, 25, *45

*This ranking is in the Pre-Pay Mobile Phones best seller list. I did not think it was worth building another table to show this rank, as the 520 is the only Lumia phone listed under the Pre-Pay category.

Amazon.de (Germany)

Model

Best Seller Ranking(s)

920

80, 88, 100

520

44, 71

Amazon.it (Italy)

Model

Best Seller Ranking(s)

925

73

920

52, 80

820

47

720

63

620

8, 35

520

12, 15, 20, 51

Amazon.fr (France)

Model

Best Seller Ranking(s)

925

69, 95

520

22, 33, 51, 62

Amazon.es (Spain)

Model

Best Seller Ranking(s)

920

59

620

51, 98

520

60

European Conclusion

Looking at the data from Amazon's websites, Lumias appear to be selling especially well in Great Britain and Italy, particularly the lower end models. This may have a negative impact on the Average Selling Price (ASP) of Nokia's smartphones, but right now the more important thing for Nokia is to gain market share. So, I believe that the high rankings of the 520 and 620 models will be a positive catalyst for Nokia, increasing their market share and increasing the mind share of Lumia phones as they pop up more and more around Europe.

Chinese Market

Using Amazon's Chinese website, I put together the following table listing different Lumia models and their respective spots on the best seller list. Below are the results.

Model

Best Seller Ranking(s)

720

15, 40

520

6, 21

Chinese Conclusion

Again, the 520 is selling very well in the Chinese marketplace, taking both the 6th and 21st spot on the best seller list. I think the 720 appearing on the list as high as it did is a bit of a surprise. This mid range model barely appears in any of the European best seller lists, and does not appear at all in the U.S. best seller lists. I believe these two models, as well as the recent release of the 1020 in China, are good signs for Nokia and Windows Phone 8 in this exploding market. Having different models at these varying price points is an important strategic move for Nokia, and appears to be paying off in at least the low and mid range categories.

Indian Market

Using the Indian website Flipkart.com's best seller list, it can be seen that Lumias are doing relatively well in the smartphone market. The 520 appears four times in the top 91 phones sold, and the 720 also makes an appearance on the list. The smartphone market in India is small compared to other countries, with feature phones still making up 85% of the mobile phone market. However, smartphone shipments are increasing exponentially in the country, and are expected to account for a much larger percentage of total mobile shipments in the area in the coming years. In addition, 67% of smartphone shipments in India were sub-$200, which should bode well for the Lumia 520 going forward.

Overall Conclusion

Overall, Lumias appear to be gaining more traction as Windows Phone 8 grows in popularity and closes the "app gap" with iOS and Android. Going forward, innovations like the 1020's 41-megapixel camera as well as having different models at every price point should help Nokia further gain market share. To me, it looks like Lumias are shaping up to be true best sellers, not just niche products. In my opinion, Nokia remains a "buy" and should be considered by anyone looking to invest in the growing smartphone market.

Source: Nokia Lumias: Niche Products Or Bestsellers?