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Summary:

Not a great stat if you’re a Windows or Nokia (NYSE: NOK) fan in the Old World and are hoping for some momentum behind your favorite platfor…

Nokia N8

Not a great stat if you’re a Windows or Nokia (NYSE: NOK) fan in the Old World and are hoping for some momentum behind your favorite platform: in Europe neither is selling very well.

While all attention seems to be focussed right now on how fast Android is growing, the iPhone is still holding ground impressively in the smartphone cateogry for the moment, particularly in respect to Nokia’s flagship device, the N8.

According to figures from Morgan Stanley, iPhones are currently outselling N8s by a factor of six to one. And next year the analysts predict the gap will get even bigger: in 2011 the ratio widens to eight to one between the iPhone and the N8.

Actual numbers, as quoted by V3: Morgan Stanley predicts Nokia will sell 2.5 million N8 handsets in Q4, and nine million devices in 2011. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) will shift 16 million iPhones in Q4, with a further 72 million in 2011.

After the iPhone, Morgan Stanley says the best-selling devices are the Samsung Tocco Lite, Samsung Galaxy S, Nokia 5230 and BlackBerry Curve.

The analysts point out that the N8 was never intended to be an “iPhone killer”; rather, the device is meant to mark a step-change in Nokia’s approach to smartphone design, using the newest Symbian OS. In this, Nokia has succeeded.

Still, the numbers must come as a blow, given that Finnish Nokia has always counted Europe as a stronghold in the developed world, particularly throughout its many years of never quite breaking into the North American market.

But the N8 might not really have it so bad: another report out on Windows Phone 7 sales in the UK makes for some grim numbers.

According to the mobile phone comparison shopping site MobilesPlease, Windows Phone 7 devices are accounting for just three percent smartphone sales, and “a little under two percent of overall sales” through MobilesPlease.co.uk and its network of mobile phone partner sites.

Symbian devices, which the site says are almost exclusively about the N8 these days (Morgan Stanley too acknowledges that the N8 is selling better in the UK than it is elsewhere in Europe), are outselling Windows Phone 7 devices by a margin of 3 to 1.

The sites average about 800,000 unique visitors per month, “enough to show that the initial public reaction to Windows Phone 7 is lukewarm at best.”

Ben Pusey of MobilesPlease thinks the key issue with Windows Phone 7 so far has been that the devices are too generic, and entering the market too late, to make enough of an impact against the buzz of all the new Android devices, and the more established iPhone and Blackberry products.

One surprising aside: Pusey says he visited a few other retailers to compare his numbers, and the Carphone Warehouse he visited didn’t even have a Windows Phone 7 model on display, although the sales rep thought that there might be one in the back.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley notes that retailers are expecting to keep promoting N8 devices through January 2011, meaning that there is still hope of N8’s gaining a bit more ground over the holiday shopping season.

But come February, it may well turn out that the N8 will just be another one of those devices that failed to deliver on its promise.

  1. If Nokia had a brain they’d partner with Microsoft and move to Windows Phone OS.

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  2. That N8 was more than 20 months in product development and launch was postponed more than a year, in which time the competitive advantage faded rapidly. The key feature (ie camera) is not a valid enough argument today – specially with Symbian still being around. Problem is that Symbian simply can not control either large displays (above 400×360) nor the memory speed requirements. Hardware specs are dodgy as well. That was never Carl Zeiss optics, only optoMETRICS which is way different. Goes back to N95 series as well, so that was only branding. Nokia is way behind the competition on both HW/SW and with the current incubation period of 20+ months for new Smartphones – – they will fail in this market

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  3. As a long time Nokia fan it makes me sad to see how far away this article is removed from the reality on the ground. On a more positive note, a leading consumer website rated the Nokia N8 the best camphone where it was heralded for it’s multimedia capabilities, beating the iPhone in the process. I was especially credited with it’s robust look and feel and did not feel ‘plastically’ as other devices seem to feel thse days. If the proof were ever in the pudding, I am 100% sure the author of this article never held the Nokia N8 in his own hands.

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  4. I have used Nokia N8. It is the only phone on the market which is a finished product without design or software flaws. iPhone 4 breaks easily, it is made of glass. Android phones will miss calls and they have problems with GPS. This phone works and is the top-seller in France (at Phonehouse) and 2nd & 3rd in the UK at Vodafone.

    This phone has great camera, it can play HD-video through HDMI-interface on TV and it has global free navigator. I am planning to buy one because my current digital camera has bad battery and the maps in my navigator are from the year 2007. The problem is that this phone is outsold everywhere. I would like to see the color of it live before buying.

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  5. This news is just not true. It is based on extremely lacking data and wrong conclusions. I can only see this as a continuum to H2/2010 media Nokia bashing campaign, trying to prevent Nokia stock value from going up.

    The fact is that N8 and other “new Symbian” series peer phones (C7, C6, E7, all have same engine) Are Selling Extremely Well ! – Nokia is struggling to meet the demand even if at least four Nokia factories and unknown number of subcontractors have now been harnessed to three-shift production around the world.

    Already using estimates of Nokia production capacity, it is Childlishly Easy to See that Morgan Stanley estimate is going to prove a MISERABLE, Epic Fail when Nokia releases their Q4 results on Jan 27, 2011 – unless they release a Positive Results Warning already before this.

    Morgan Stanley customers should be alert and demand that their financial adviser and funds manager get rid on the clearly incompetetent staff, responsible for such Grossly Erroneous Market Reports !

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  6. I think N8 is selling much better than it originally was estimated by Nokia!!

    The biggest problem, so far, has been to produce enough devices for the global market. There has not been enough N8:s even for Nokia’s home market in Finland (with only 5 million inhabitants). I would not either be so worried about how N8 is selling next year. Nokia has other new Symbian^3 devices already starting to sell before christmas, i.e. C6-01, C7 and also E7. More will be released early next year.

    The real Nokia competitors to iPhone will run on MeeGo!! Next year Nokia will be back with really competitive high-end MeeGo devices!

    I personally think N8 is a better phone (and clearly worth the money) than iPhone, but that’s my opinion.

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  7. more you use nokia n8
    more features are explored
    more you love it
    more you stick to it

    more you use iphone
    more applications are explored
    more you enjoy it
    but this pleasure fades out quickly

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  8. This is baseless comparison. Even if iphone sells more than N8, it is not a fair comparison.
    Why?
    Because Nokia sells more than several models. iphone just 2 or 3 at max.

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  9. Morgan Stanley is giving sell recommendation because 2.5 million is better than anybody expects. Basically it means 500 mEUR additional profit to Nokia.

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  10. @Jyxtapox I would really like to believe your post, but do you have any proof?

    Additionally, I’m concerned about the lack of software on OVI – lack of HD games, and a general lack of much new software on a daily basis. Consumers want applications, but Symbian just isn’t delivering, even though they’ve improved their dev tools signficantly. The N8 may be great hardware but a smartphone these days needs software.

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