Nokia's Lumia 920 Pulls in Strong Numbers and a China Deal
Greg is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
All in all, this has been a very good week for Nokia (NYSE: NOK), following last week's comments from RBC that noted better cash position and encouraging new device demand for the Finnish smartphone maker's Lumia 920, which runs on the Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system. Stats released on Monday from mobile firm AdDuplex showed Nokia's Lumia 920 to be the most popular Windows Phone 8 device by far. Nokia is dominating the mobile phone market with 80% usage, followed by HTC (20%) and Samsung (.3%).
AdDuplex says that the Nokia Lumia 920, which holds the sixth place overall with 3% of Windows Phone usage, has "come roaring out of the gates." The most popular Windows phone handsets are the Nokia Lumia 710 (24%), Nokia Lumia 800 (18%), Nokia Lumia 610 (17%), Nokia Lumia 900 (7%), and HTC Radar (4%). Windows Phone 7.5 still dominates, of course, with 94.8% of the overall market, compared to a higher than expected 5.2% for Windows Phone 8. But, given that the Windows Phone 8 operating system just launched recently, these are very good numbers.
Nokia remains the top Windows Phone hardware maker, with 76% marketshare, followed by HTC (12%), Samsung (9%), and LG (2%). It's also worth mentioning that overall, according to AdDuplex, the biggest Windows Phone market is the US (14%), followed by China (13%), India (12%), Mexico, Russia, and Italy (6% each), and the UK (4%).
Speaking of China, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Nokia was set to introduce the Lumia 920 on Wednesday to China Mobile's 3G network. China Mobile is not only that nation's biggest telecom carrier by subscriber numbers, but is also the world’s biggest mobile company.
The Lumia 920T, which is compatible with the country’s homegrown TD-SCDMA technology that powers the carrier’s network, is the first Lumia based on Windows Phone 8 for the Chinese market. Guess what smartphone is left out in the cold? That's right, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). China Mobile's network standard prevents it from carrying Apple's iPhone.
However, this good news for Nokia was tempered by a Wall Street Journal "Heard on the Street" column yesterday that was decidedly negative, despite China Mobile's launch of the Lumia 920T. "China can hardly dig Nokia out of its hole alone," wrote WSJ's Renee Schultes. "What really counts is the new Lumia phones being a bigger hit in Europe and the U.S."
Apparently, Schultes hasn't been paying attention to those regions. In the U.S., the Lumia is holding the top two positions on the Amazon chart of AT&T phones sold with 2-year plans. In the U.K., on the Expansys chart, the white Lumia 920 is number one among all electronics devices, and separately there were reports that the Lumia 920 has sold out in many German stores.
Last week, RBC reported that Lumia sell-outs at carriers and major retailers may exceed the firm's expectation of 6.5 million smartphone units. As a result, their analyst raised their target price to $4 from $3. And, on Thursday, Northland Securities raised its Nokia price target from $5 to $6 with an outperform rating on the stock.
Nokia's stock moved higher earlier this week after Bloomberg reported news of the China Mobile deal on the Lumia 920. As of this writing, its stock price was at $3.71 per share. With recent news trending in favor of Nokia, I can't wait for next week's revelations.
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