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Nokia Lumia 800 launch: Success?

Oh what a confusing spectrum of information surrounds the initial sales of the Nokia Lumia 800. On the one hand, Nokia have failed – analysts slash predictions suggesting that the new Nokia hardware fails to innovate sufficiently or cause a stir on Google’s trend-o-meter. On the other hand we’re hearing “triumph” – the Lumia 800 sees a home run for Nokia’s Windows Phone partnership. Selling out in the UK and with Deutsche Bank estimating 2 million units will be shipped by the years end, for a non iPhone handset, this is a hands down success. What to think?

Nay sayers

Pacific Crest analysts are slashing projected sales of the the Nokia Lumia 800 from 2 million to 500,000 for the final quarter of 2011. Forbes are also quoting a Bernetein Research analyst saying Nokia’s new hardware will fail to get the traction of other high-end phones with uncompetitive pricing, amongst other reasons.

With projections from Pacific Crest based on Google trends between the iPhone 4S and the Nokia Lumia 800 however, it puts the projection into question. A commenter on the Telegraph’s site, bromley8, highlights that if you run the same comparison with a Samsung Galaxy S2 and an iPhone 4S, the Nokia Lumia 800 would actually score better than the Galaxy S2, one of the most successful Android handsets of late.

Yay sayers

To compound the confusion, there are also some incredibly glowing initial reports, with Orange telling us that the Lumia 800 has seen more pre-orders than any other Nokia phone to date. There are also reports circulating that the Nokia Lumia 800 has sold out in the UK and Deutsche Bank are still forecasting 2 million units to be shipped before the years end despite Pacific Crest’s reduction in estimates.

So why all the confusion?

In the weeks following a launch of any major product, manufacturers are unlikely to share numbers unless they are mind blowing. This silence opens them up to scrutiny and speculation until they break it, and this is in part what’s happening to Nokia now.

As Nokia phones generally have a good shelf-life, rather than a spike of sales followed by a drastic drop, it definitely makes sense for them to keep a lid on it until the slow burn rallies up numbers and only then, when Nokia share the stats, will we know if the Nokia Lumia 800 is indeed the game-changing success Nokia needs.