Last Monday, Easter Monday, AT&T started selling the Nokia Lumia 900 in the United States. According to The Wall Street Journal, who quotes Paul Roth, President of Retail Sales at AT&T, sales have “exceeded” expectations. What were those expectations in the first place? We’ll never know. Some people point to Amazon’s best sellers list as a leading indicator for the Lumia 900’s success, but guess what, as of today the phone on top is the Motorla Droid RAZR Maxx. Then there’s another signal, AT&T’s own website says that the Lumia 900 is temporarily unavailable. Surely then, that must mean that Nokia’s flagship device has brought the company back to life, right? Not so fast. For one thing, no one cares about Amazon’s best sellers list when it comes to phone sales. Americans buy their devices from operators. And as for AT&T, that announcement that they’d give everyone $100 off a device that’s being sold for $99 most certainly helped bump up sales, but don’t think that AT&T had more than 2 weeks to 3 weeks worth of inventory in their warehouses to feed “demand”.
So when will we know if the Lumia 900 was a smash hit or a dud? In July, when both AT&T and Nokia post their Q2 2012 financial results. Remember how for the longest time we thought AT&T was going to launch the Lumia 900 on the 18th of March? Why didn’t they? Because the last two weeks of March still count as Q1 2012. Imagine the amount of negative press Nokia would receive if AT&T posted horrible Lumia sales during their financial call, due to take place on the 24th?
Being number one on this or that list, being sold out in this or that store, those facts make for great articles that drive page views, but at the end of the day it’s the actual sales data that matters. And that data comes out just four times per year.