While Nokia and AT&T are trying everything in their power to put the Lumia 900 in the minds of consumers, analysts are predicting lacklustre sales figures. Critics cite the fact that while Nokia is a known brand in the United States, it doesn’t carry the same weight as Apple or Samsung. Whatever comes of the Lumia 900 launch, it will set the stage for Nokia’s success or failure in the US smartphone market.
While the $99.99 price point (free for new customers) will be enticing, analsyts believe that there’s “muted” interest in Windows Phone right now. Kai Korschelt of Deutsche Bank predicts that Nokia will sell around 680,000 phones per quarter with AT&T. If consumers don’t like what they see, the number could be as little as 140,000 a quarter.
Another prediction puts the numbers somewhere in the middle, at around 370,000 units per quarter. That would account for 5% of AT&T’s total smartphone sales. For some context, AT&T activated 7.6 million iPhones during the fourth quarter of 2011 after Apple introduced the iPhone 4S.
While it’s a crucial time for Nokia, the company that stands to lose the most is Microsoft. Windows Phone has failed to gain traction so far, with Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market continuing to drop despite cheap Windows Phones like the Samsung Focus Flash being available. Microsoft is hoping its partnership with Nokia will pay off and cause a renewed interest in the platform.