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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

April 17, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Nokia’s smartphone strategy: Working? Not working?

We’re getting some mixed messages about whether Nokia’s all-in-on-Windows-Phone smartphone comeback strategy is working.

On the one hand, the Lumia 900 — Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone in the U.S. — has been in the top 5 in Amazon’s bestseller list since it launched last week. Amazon is backordered on the cyan-colored device and AT&T online says it’s out of stock on the cyan model as well. (Whether that’s because high demand has outstripped supply or because handsets were sent back because of a software glitch — which Nokia has since issued a fix for — is unknown.)

On the other hand, there’s this, a report today from Reuters out of Europe, where telecom operators say the Lumia smartphones are not good enough to compete with the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy Android phones.

According to Reuters:

Sceptics among operators say the sleek, neon-coloured phones are overpriced for what is not an innovative product, cite a lack of marketing dollars put behind the phones, and image problems caused by glitches in the battery and software of the early models.

Reuters’ report also mentions that some operators are frustrated that Microsoft is not spending more on marketing Nokia Windows phones in Europe.

More mixed messages about how Nokia’s doing:

  • On Monday, Moody’s downgraded Nokia’s debt grade to near junk status, citing “a sharp decline in first-quarter cell phone sales that led to a 35 percent fall in revenue,” according to the Associated Press. The move followed last week’s profit warning from Nokia, which caused its shares to dive by more than 20 percent.
  • The same Reuters article that talks about the European carriers’ skepticism also mentions that, in the U.S., an AT&T spokesman said the Lumia 900 had sold out in many stores and that T-Mobile says the Lumia 710 is among its most popular phones.
  • A poll in WPCentral found that, out of nearly 3,500 respondents, some 60 percent of those switching to a Lumia 900 or HTC Titan II (another Windows Phone) were former iPhone or Android users.

Nokia will report its Q1 2012 results Thursday (the same day Microsoft is reporting its Q3 2012 results).

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