Nokia Lumia 900 Not Good Enough For European Carriers

Although Nokia’s Lumia 900 seems to be selling well in the U.S., the company is having a tough time convincing European carriers to carry the phone on their networks. 

Reuters reports:

Four major telecom operators in Europe, where the phones have been on sale since before Christmas, told Reuters the new Nokia Lumia smartphones were not good enough to compete with Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy phones.


“No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator, which has sold the Lumia 800 and 710 since December.


“If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell,” he [the exec] said.

Reuters’ story ran two days ago, and at Nokia’s quarterly results (PDF) today, CEO Stephen Elop himself acknowledged the issue:

“We have launched four Lumia devices ahead of schedule to encouraging awards and popular acclaim. The actual sales results have been mixed. We exceeded expectations in markets including the United States, but establishing momentum in certain markets including the UK has been more challenging.”

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia posted a loss of nearly 2 billion dollars ($1.7b, to be precise), and its revenues stood at $9 billion, down 30 percent since last year. Although the results don’t mention Lumia sales figures, Gizmodo’s check of 36 AT&T stores showed that most of them were out of Lumia 900 stock. A statement made by a Nokia spokesperson to AllThingsD corroborates Gizmodo’s findings:

“The inventory situation is primarily a function of demand because we are seeing that most customers are opting to keep their units and simply update via Zune,” Nokia spokeswoman Karen Lachtanski told AllThingsD. “So the impact of customer swaps is insignificant. We are producing more devices to satisfy demand as quickly as possible.”

Of course, Nokia has a long way to go before they even come close to Android or iOS. Elop realizes that, and says:

“We are navigating through a significant company transition in an industry environment that continues to evolve and shift quickly. Over the last year we have made progress on our new strategy, but we have faced greater than expected competitive challenges.”

Like Nokia, even Microsoft is in the middle of a transition phase, which, however, isn’t as dire as the Finnish company. Microsoft’s Windows 8 is the company’s attempt to bring the design philosophy found in present Windows Phones, called Metro, to the desktop. The OS, presently in development, is a fundamental shift from the Windows most consumers and enterprise users are familiar with, and if not received well, might spell doom for Microsoft. If the stakes weren’t high enough, it’s also the company’s answer to the iPad, which is eating away PC sales year after year.

So in a way, both Microsoft and Nokia’s future depends on Windows, and also on how successful Apple is in the phone and tablet market.

Also read: The story behind the creation of Windows Phone 7.