Nokia and ATT have aggressively promoted the new Lumia 900 smartphone with a big marketing campaign, but at Best Buy, Lumia sales still pale in comparison to the hottest Android phones, a company executive says.
Scott Anderson, vice president of Best Buy’s mobile group, said in a phone interview that the Lumia 900 was a “very decent seller.” He said, however, that it hadn’t sold nearly as well as Android phones like HTC’s Evo 4G LTE on Sprint or the new Samsung Galaxy S III, which will be available for all four major United States carriers.
The Lumia 900 features Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s mobile operating system, which is less well known than Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Mr. Anderson said he thought a lot of customers were waiting for the release of Windows Phone 8, the next version of the Windows mobile software.
Best Buy, the nation’s biggest electronics chain, is in the unique position of selling flagship handsets for each cellular network — unlike the carriers, whose stores offer only phones that work on their own networks.
Mr. Anderson said he could not disclose specific sales numbers, but he said presales for the Galaxy S III, due out this month, exceeded expectations, and presales for the Evo 4G LTE made it the best-selling Sprint handset at Best Buy. He called the releases of those two phones “major iconic launches” because Best Buy employees across the country had received extensive training with those products and stirred up buzz about them, and because the Galaxy S III was the first phone the store has sold that is coming out on all four big American carriers.
Some recent statistics have shown that Android sales are slowing compared to years past, in part because the iPhone became available on multiple American carriers last year. Mr. Anderson said he saw no such trend at Best Buy. “We’re not seeing the decline in Android that I also read about online,” he said. “We continue to have a lot of great successes with the Android launches.”
The sales performance of the Lumia 900 is important for Nokia, as it could determine the struggling handset maker’s fate in the phone business. The company’s share of the phone market has been declining rapidly as Apple and the manufacturers of Android phones have dominated smartphone sales. In April, Samsung dethroned Nokia as the world’s No. 1 maker of mobile phones. Incidentally, Standard Poor’s downgraded Nokia’s bonds to junk status, because sales of its older phones had fallen so significantly.