Nokia Lumia 900 Selling Out, Company Courts Verizon: Report

Nokia Lumia 900 demand continues to outpace supply, and the Finnish phone maker is working on courting Verizon wireless, the company’s U.S. president told a reporter at CTIA. Nokia still faces a difficult road to rectify its financial outlook.

Nokia is selling Lumia 900 smartphones faster than it can sell them, Chris Weber, Nokia€™s U.S. president, told PC Magazine at this week€™s CTIA Wireless show in New Orleans. Despite a weak financial outlook, the Finnish phone maker is trying to spin good news about its Windows Phone-based devices.

"Demand has been outstripping supply for the first couple of weeks, and we've been working hard to rectify that," said Weber, according to the report. "The demand for cyan [phones] is significantly outpacing supply. When you give people something different from a design perspective€”colors, etc. €”it really stands out, and consumers want that."
The news follows on an April email to members of the press from a Nokia spokesperson, who likewise said that in various channels through the U.S., Nokia is receiving reports of €œstock-outs€ and consequently was €œbuilding and shipping devices constantly€ to meet demand.

The success of the highest-end Lumia, and the latest to arrive, must feel like Christmas has come early in Finland. Nokia€™s big decision to leave the Symbian platform and bet big on Microsoft€™s Windows Phone platform, a partnership epitomized by the Lumia 900, has been criticized by Nokia shareholders, who say they feel swindled by Nokia€™s continuing poor performance. On May 3, a disgruntled shareholder went so far as to file a class-action complaint against Nokia in a New York District Court.

€œDefendants told investors that Nokia€™s conversion to a Windows platform would half its deteriorating position in the smartphone market,€ stated the complaint, according to Barron€™s. €œIt did not.€

The PC Magazine report alluded to another development that could help Nokia€™s position€”support from Verizon Wireless, the nation€™s largest carrier. Verizon doesn€™t currently offer a Lumia phone, or any phone running the new Windows Phone platform, but Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has expressed a need in the industry for a third major platform€”mostly, analysts say, to lessen carriers€™ reliance on the Apple iPhone.

€œWe're not making any announcements, but we understand the importance of Verizon and we're working hard to make that a reality," Weber told PC Magazine€™s Sascha Segan.

Nokia, meanwhile, continues to try to sweeten the pot and lure in consumers.

From CTIA this week, Nokia announced a number of exclusive apps heading for its Lumia handsets€”including PGA Tour and ESPN apps, as well as Groupon and Tripdots apps. On May 11, the company announced the beginning of a country-by-country rollout to Lumia handsets of Nokia Reading, an app and a service that makes it easier to find books, and in a reader€™s language of choice.

€œWhile e-books are becoming a common sight in countries like the U.S. and the UK, they are still in their infancy€”or basically unavailable€”in many parts of the world,€ Nokia€™s Ian Delaney said in a blog post. €œThis is where the strength of Nokia Reading lies: in local language e-reading content.€

The initial launch countries are France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, who has called the Lumia 900 a good first step for the Nokia-Microsoft partnership, tweeted about the new offering: €œNokia continues to differentiate Lumia with services: first Navigation and Music and now Nokia Reading.€