Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows Phone devices may sell half a million units in western Europe in the fourth quarter, mostly Nokia Oyj (NOK1V)’s Lumia smartphones, according to researcher International Data Corp.
“Carriers are pleased by the numbers and Nokia is trying to manage it so they won’t be left with stock and can start the year with strong demand,” IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo said in a telephone interview. “When people talk about estimates of a million units for Nokia, I wouldn’t expect them to sell that kind of volume.”
Microsoft shipped its mobile-phone software on 138,000 handsets in western Europe in the third quarter, before Nokia’s Lumia devices and new handsets from HTC Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. hit the market, Jeronimo said. The U.K. will probably lead sales with 210,000 units, followed by France with 84,000 and Germany with 80,000, he said. Nokia may sell as many as 380,000 units, he said.
“It’s a new system and Nokia and Microsoft are investing a lot to advertise it on every street in London,” Jeronimo said. “They want to get the message right so that people will try the phone and that matters more to them than sales numbers right now.”
Shipments of Nokia’s 450-euro ($602) Lumia 800 started in Europe the week of Nov. 14. Nokia enlisted 31 carriers and retailers in six European countries as the first sellers, including Vodafone Group Plc, France Telecom SA’s Orange, Deutsche Telekom AG and Royal KPN NV.
The 270-euro Lumia 710 was first released in Russia and Asia. Nokia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop has said the company intends to ramp up to volume shipments of Windows Phones during 2012 with releases in the U.S. and China early in the year.
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