Nokia’s Windows Phones have been out on the market since November 15th, at least in the UK. Now are they selling or are they just sitting on store shelves? That’s a tough question to answer. When the Finnish handset maker published their Q4 2011 financial results on the the 26th of January they said that they sold over a million units as of that date. In other words, they barely sold 640,000 Windows Phones during the holidays. There’s a piece in Reuters today that backs up the weak sales numbers:
“About 2.5 percent of U.K. phone buyers chose a Windows Phone compared with 2.4 percent for Espoo, Finland-based Nokia’s older Symbian line, according to an e-mailed research report based on interviews with mobile phone purchasers over three months ending February 19.”
Translation: Between November 19th and February 19th for every Symbian device Nokia sold they also sold a Windows Phone. Not exactly encouraging, but at least it’s comforting knowing that Symbian devices are still being bought up by consumers. The research firm that published this data, Kantar Worldpanel, doesn’t go into detail about the other smartphone platforms, but they do note that:
“Symbian declined from a 12.4 percent share in the U.K. a year earlier and also fell to a single digit share in Germany, France and Australia.”
It’s hard to wrap your head around that number. One year ago 12 out of every 100 phones sold in the UK ran Symbian. Today it’s 2 out of every 100. So what should Nokia do to fix this? There’s not much they can do really, they have to wait for Microsoft to deliver a mobile operating system that’s compelling enough to get people to crack open their wallets. Windows Phone Mango, for all the praise it gets from the media, still feels incomplete. Hopefully Windows Phone Apollo, which will likely be renamed to Windows Phone 8, will fix that.