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While Nokia has faced an uphill battle in the U.S. with its new Lumia Windows Phones, early signs suggested it would fare better in Europe. But European carriers are apparently now pessimistic of its chances to compete against iPhone and Android devices, according to Reuters.
Nokia’s Lumia 900 “superphone” has had a peculiar launch in the U.S. over the past few weeks. First it launched on Easter Sunday when many AT&T stores were closed. Then Nokia realized the device shipped with a debilitating software bug, prompting it to give the Lumia 900 away for free until April 21. Nokia used to have dominance in the U.S. market but next-to-none of the smartphone sales here belong to Nokia.
Europe was supposed to be another story for the company because Nokia smartphones actually did sell decently there, thus people may be willing to give a Nokia-branded Windows Phone a chance. Unfortunately, Reuters’ report says four the major telecoms in Europe that the Lumia-brand smartphones were “not good enough” to compete with iOS and Android. The Lumia 800 and 710 models have been available in Europe since November. With most of the sales coming from Europe, Nokia was able to see 2 million of these phones in the past quarter. Apple, by comparison, sold 37 million iPhones worldwide last quarter.
One of the biggest problems Nokia has outside of its limited number of hardware choices is awareness.
“No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” an anonymous European mobile executive told Reuters. “Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market.”
Nokia will likely continue to struggle when it comes to re-building its brand. At least for the time being, we think the company is playing it right by offering Lumia 900, which has 4G LTE networking, in the U.S. for free (at least for a few more days). If more people out in the market own Windows Phones and show it to their friends, it will have a better chance of finding an audience that doesn’t fully connect with iOS or Android.
Nokia Lumia 900 photo: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat