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Nokia's Operation Rolling Thunder starts with a whimper

Nokia's Operation Rolling Thunder starts with a whimper


Nokia's first quarter of Windows Phone sales in the US has been disappointing, to say the least.

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Nokia's US President Chris Weber called the launch of the Lumia 710 "day one" of the company's Rolling Thunder strategy for reconquering the US smartphone market. That day came in the middle of December and has since been followed by a big showing by the Finnish phone maker at CES 2012 in early January, the launch of the Lumia 800 as a contract-free phone in February, and the recent release of the Lumia 900 as an AT&T flagship phone.

In light of all that activity, you'd hope things would be looking up for the company, but this morning's quarterly report shows that Nokia actually sold half as many phones in North America as last year: just 600,000 units. That's phones in general, broader than the smartphone category alone, which is what the new Windows Phone handsets are hoped to bolster. The Lumia 710, in particular, was priced aggressively at $49.99 with a T-Mobile contract and aimed to be a mass-market device.

If you want to look for a silver lining, Nokia did improve by 100,000 units on its Q4 2011 totals for North America, which it converted into a 75 percent improvement in net sales revenue. Additionally, global Lumia sales grew to over two million in Q1, doubling the earlier period's performance and describing its US launches as "exceeding expectations." Though the forecast for the second quarter of this year is just as gloomy as results for the first, Nokia will be hoping all the attention the Lumia 900 has garnered so far will convert into much more robust sales figures in the critical North American market.