Nokia's Lumia 800 made its world debut yesterday in the UK, carrying with it a heavy burden of expectation from Nokia that it would secure the future of the company. With the first sales now complete, UK spokesperson Ray Haddow said that Nokia's "very positive about the launch of the Lumia 800," and that "the public were in store in abundance today." However, carrier reaction was mixed, with insiders telling the Financial Times that pre-orders had fallen well below Apple's iPhone 4S launch and even lagged behind recent high-end Android handsets. Network operator Orange was slightly more positive, saying that it had been the most successful Nokia launch ever, though noting that half of those ordering had taken up the offer of a free Xbox 360 with the 18- and 24-month contracts.
At an investor conference yesterday, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that he expected sales to build over time, and that the handset represented "something brand new", as compared to the familiarity offered by the latest iOS or Android devices. With opinions divided over the success of the launch, it's difficult to judge for ourselves without the hard numbers — hopefully these aren't too far off.