Nokia sold 5.6 million Lumia phones in the first quarter of 2013, the company said yesterday in an earnings call.
That’s a new high and a 27% increase from the fourth quarter, when Nokia sold 4.4 million Lumia phones.
The Lumia — the flagship Windows Phone line — launched in late 2011. The Lumias now account for the lion’s share of Nokia’s smartphone sales. The company began to abandon its proprietary Symbian operating system following Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s famous early 2011 memo describing the company as standing on a “burning platform” after its failure to keep up with changes in the smartphone market.
While The Lumia has seen nice growth since it’s introduction, it is still very small in the big picture. Samsung reportedly shipped 70 million smartphones in the first quarter. Formerly unknown low-cost Chinese manufacturers have also racked up impressive shipment numbers. Nokia is still on the outside looking in.
The Nokia numbers don’t bode well for Microsoft and its Windows Phone platform. In the past, Lumia phones have accounted for a little over 70% of all Windows Phones shipped. If that ratio held in the first quarter of this year, a little under 8 million Windows Phones were shipped.
According to our calculations, that would give Windows Phone a 4 per cent share of the global smartphone platform market. Its market share was 3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012. That’s a bump, but Lumias aren’t exactly setting the world on fire.
Interestingly, the Lumia does is not catching on in the U.S. Nokia only shipped 400,000 Lumias in North America during the first quarter, down from 700,000 a quarter prior.
As we’ve discussed before, Nokia’s biggest opportunity may be in emerging markets, where it still has strong brand recognition. It will face stiff competition there, however, from the Chinese manufacturers.
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