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Day July 19, 2012

How many Lumia phones were shipped in the US?

The US is a crucial market for both Nokia and Microsoft’s strategies. This importance was highlighted during the launch at CES in January when not one but three CEOs (Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Nokia’s  Stephen Elop, and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega) were on stage to launch the Lumia. Knowing how well this strategy is working would be very useful to understanding how this market behaves.

My first take on this was when I asked the question How many Lumia phones were sold in the US? The answer suggested through the combination of survey data from Nielsen and comScore[1] was 330,000. The figure is quite small compared to expectations. As it’s so extraordinary, it should be supported by good evidence. Unfortunately the methodology used is weak. The figure itself is probably close to the margin of error of such sampling techniques. It would be nice to have another way to calculate this.

Today Nokia offered another set of data which might help determine how many Lumia phones were shipped in the US. (Note the shipped versus sold distinction. Companies report shipments while surveys nominally measure consumption or usage.)

Unfortunately, Nokia did not offer specific data on US shipments. What they did offer was:

  • Global Lumia shipments were 4 million in the last quarter
  • Global average selling price was €186 for a Lumia phone
  • North American[2] phone shipments were 600k. This includes all phone types and all operating systems.
  • North American sales were €128 million.

That’s all we have. So how can this help with the question of US shipments?

As often happens, it helps to look at the data historically. The following charts show North American shipments and sales with the Lumia launch date highlighted.

While unit shipments were flat, revenues increased significantly. This suggests that we could plot the average selling price of phones in North America (NA) specifically. I did that in the following chart:

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