Bears maul Nokia’s new Windows Phone; Lumia 900 sales seen fizzling

Reviews of Nokia’s new Lumia 900 smartphone have been mixed. We thought the sleek handset was a breath of fresh air for Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform when we reviewed the phone earlier this week, but a number of other sites found the software to be lacking. Now, bears at two investment firms have weighed initial reactions to the Lumia 900 and determined that this smartphone likely won’t be the savior Nokia needs to gain significant ground in the United States. Read on for more.

“It’s going to be an uphill fight,” Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton told Bloomberg. “The Nokia brand, while I think it’s still known here, lags Apple and even Samsung. I don’t see the phone becoming a hit.”

Thornton sees Lumia 900 sales over the phones first three months of availability reaching into the hundreds of thousands rather than the millions. While AT&T’s sales targets for this smartphone are not known, the aggressive $99.99 price point is a good indication that the carrier has high hopes for the handset.

Activations of AT&T’s most popular smartphone, the iPhone 4S, reached more than 1 million units during the phone’s first week of availability.

Deutsche Bank analyst Kai Korschelt recently projected that AT&T could sell as many as 680,000 Lumia 900 smartphones per quarter. He did note that if consumers do not respond well to the device, however, the carrier may reduce its efforts and sales may be as low as 140,000 units per quarter.

“This launch will set the tone for Nokia’s recovery,” Strategy Analytics analyst Alex Spektor said to Bloomberg. “The U.S., since the rise of the iPhone, has become the most important market for mobile devices so success here is important for any vendor who wants to succeed on a global scale.”

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