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Early signs don’t bode well for Nokia’s Lumia 1020

Published Jul 30th, 2013 3:10PM EDT
Nokia Lumia 1020 Sales Analysis

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The Lumia 1020 was a very bold move from Nokia. “Bold,” as in “astonishingly reckless.” After its previous flagship Lumia phone struggled in America at $100, Nokia and AT&T decided to price the 1020 at $300 with a two-year contract. On Monday, the Lumia 1020 was the 13th most popular AT&T phone at Amazon. On Tuesday, it was the 25th most popular AT&T phone. On Amazon’s combined chart of the best-selling contract phones across all U.S. carriers, the Lumia 1020 didn’t even crack the top-50.

This is very unusual for a flagship phone that launched less than a week ago. The 1020 is not sold out — it has been in stock at Amazon in recent days. It just isn’t selling. It is lagging behind the Lumia 920 and the old Lumia 900, which have both already flamed out, as well as models like the Samsung Rugby II. Whatever that is.

Dropping out of top-20 list of AT&T models at Amazon a few short days after launch is a bit alarming considering the substantial media coverage and a robust marketing push by AT&T. AT&T really is giving the 1020 decent backing. Amazon is currently responsible for more than 10% of all smartphone sales in America, and it has been a reliable bellwether in forecasting the changes of fortune for vendors like Samsung, HTC and BlackBerry over the past 24 months. As a matter of fact, the highly disappointing summer trends for HTC and BlackBerry in the U.S. are being telegraphed right now by how fast the spring models from these two vendors are currently fading on Amazon’s charts for AT&T and Verizon handsets.

Sometimes chart positions of new models can be skewed by sell-outs and delays in new shipments. But as far as we can tell, the Lumia 1020 has been constantly in stock for the past four days.

Our sources indicate that the Lumia 1020 is set to be stocked at brick and mortar Best Buy stores soon, and the rollout will include nationwide marketing support and in-store demonstration stations. That could help. But there are no recent cases of Best Buy support turning a luxury phone into a hit if that model has not charted well at Amazon.

After launching mobile game company SpringToys tragically early in 2000, Tero Kuittinen spent eight years doing equity research at firms including Alliance Capital and Opstock. He is currently an analyst and VP of North American sales at mobile diagnostics and expense management Alekstra, and has contributed to, Forbes and Business 2.0 Magazine in addition to BGR.