Nokia silent on N9 sales as MeeGo kept out of spotlight

Nokia has confirmed that its smartphone sales included in this morning's financial results reveal were buoyed by the MeeGo-powered Nokia N9, though the company has declined to specify exactly how many of the niche-appeal handsets were sold. "Our ASP in the fourth quarter 2011 benefited from the sales of the higher priced Nokia N9 and Nokia Lumia devices" the Q4 2011 report indicated, though a Nokia spokesperson said the company would not be breaking down its smartphone figures to detail individual devices.

"The increase in our Smart Devices volumes in the fourth quarter 2011 was primarily driven by the broader availability throughout the quarter of the Nokia N9 and the shipments during the quarter of the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 in selected markets, as well as increased seasonal demand for our devices" Nokia

The importance of the N9 in Nokia's sales results, however, could be significant. The company confirmed to us that the "well over 1m Lumia sales" soundbite referred to Windows Phone sales to-date, rather than solely for the Q4 2011 period; that's a small chunk of Nokia's 19.6m unit smartphone sales that quarter.

However, Nokia includes Symbian^3 handsets in its "smart devices" category, and without knowing exactly how many of those phones – such as the C7 and E7 - were snapped up, we can't fudge an overall estimate for the N9's share of the segment.

"Nokia launched the Nokia N9, the outcome of efforts in Nokia's MeeGo program. The Nokia N9 is a pure touch smartphone which introduces an innovative new design where the home key – typically located at the bottom of the device – is replaced by a simple gesture: a swipe. Under Nokia's new strategy for smartphones, MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences" Nokia

Nokia repeated its mantra from late 2010 on MeeGo's future in the company, that it would be marginalized as a research platform for "next-generation devices." Meanwhile, the open-source OS has also been folded into Tizen, an Intel and Samsung led project.