Overwhelming US demand for Nokia Lumia 900 sees UK launch on May 14

| April 25, 2012 | 57 Replies

According to V3, a Nokia spokesperson said the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 in the UK will be seen on May 14 (earlier date we last saw from Phones4U at April 27, though Nokia never mentioned a specific date) because of high demand in the US. We heard Nokia were trying to make Lumia 900s as fast as they can for the US market but it seems even that is not enough and now stock will be diverted perhaps to US? It could really be great demand or that production is inexorably slow.

The overwhelming demand for the Lumia 900 in the US with AT&T has, unfortunately, had a small knock-on effect on product availability in the UK

Update: As noted in the comments, the production will probably be focusing on producing Lumias for US AT&T as opposed to generic UK model, not actually shipping the LTE free ones to the US.

Source: V3 via WPCentral, WMPU

Cheers Viipottaja and Janne for the tip!

Category: Nokia, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at mynokiablog.com and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and  Facebook.com/mynokiablog. Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@)mynokiablog.com or email me directly on jay[at]mynokiablog.com
  • Mark

    Interesting. I think there are actually two reasons:

    1) It is selling a lot better than expected in the US.
    2) Nokia have some serious negotiating to do with the European carriers to get them onside.

    • Ben Plesca

      Hi. My name is Ben. Jay, you said you are a medical student at Manchester uni. Can you tell me please with what grades (both GCSEs and A-levels) did you apply for medicine because I want to apply for medicine at Manchester uni. Thank you.

      • migo

        Omg, you’re posting the same shit on multiple topics. What is wrong with you?

  • mattleech

    Will the UK version contain the LTE chipset? I hope not.

    • Janne

      As far as I understand the European version will not include LTE. I guess this to be the case for UK as well?

      • Oslik

        Used last generation Qualcomm LTE chipset is more expensive and probably has slightly higher power consumption even on HSDPA, because it uses a dedicated chip as a modem. It’s even very slightly slower than SoC used in Lumia 800 (in other tasks than networking).

        So I think it’s not included.

        Qualcomm S4, expected in Apollo Nokia, is a different beast. It has both LTE and HSDPA+ fully integrated in SoC.

    • HappyN9User

      The specs say it supports “HSPA+ Dual Carrier 42 Mbps”. I could live with that :)

    • jumojn

      As far as i know the Lumia 900 that has been updated here on mynokiablog fron DNA store in finland says 4G. Also Elisa shop says 4G HSPA+ Dual Carrier 42 Mbit/s. Ihope it will have LTE :) :D But they did say that we in europe will not have LTE :(

  • Andy Hagon (@AndyHagon)

    UK are still a year or 2 behind on the whole 4G LTE thing. Wouldn’t be any point in shipping them with LTE chips in Europe. They’ll get 3G though.

    • Oslik

      They’ll get HSPA+ (= HSDPA+ & HSUPA+), which is better than 3G, let’s say 3.5G.

      LTE is not much faster in common scenarios. But it’s more optimized and better in extreme scenarios, both good and bad – LTE is quite fine technology in fact.

      • Carbontubby

        What about different frequency bands for LTE in Europe vs. USA? LTE doesn’t seem very mature yet so it’s possible a new frequency allocation pops up which existing chips can’t support. I thought that was also a problem with the new iPad’s LTE modem not supporting bands in Australia and New Zealand.

  • noki

    ooo so the UK one is also from at&t (pretty logo) and with an LTE chipset???
    If its not the same phone it cant be the same “stock”, i wish they would stop feeding people with marketing BS..

    • Pajazzo

      Maybe they want to keep majority of the production lines pushing out the US-version to raise stock and then switch producing the global version. There can be many reasons. Lets hope it’s not component shortage.

    • Jay Montano

      Sorry, that was my poor wording saying the stock was being diverted. Had to rush out the posts as mac was dying and I had no charger at the time.

    • Janne

      Yeah, I expect that if something it is production-line time that is being diverted, not parts (unless there was a hold-up in certain parts like the machined unibody casings which are same in all versions).

    • Calvin H

      Yeah does anyone actually believe this? Apple delays UK launch because iPhone is too popular in USA.. aah no. Samsung delays selling Galaxy Nexus in UK because their phones are too popular in the USA… ah no.

      • twig

        I believe I saw the 900 was to be made in Finland. The iphone and Samsung are made in China. Jay would know.

        • Poosana

          I looked at the actual device in the US and it said “Made in Korea.”

      • Keith

        They know approximately how those phones are going to sell before hand and can prepare for that. The problem with the production of the 900 is that it has sold beyond everyone’s expectations. Obviously those expectations were much smaller the the devices you mention but is still another sign of things are ramping up for Nokia and Windows Phone.

        • Oslik

          They have several assembly lines making L900. And they probably decided to dedicate more lines to the US version.

          So the international version is already being produced for some time, but it needs more time to build the stock needed for the launch.

          (But of course, this “delay” could be just a marketing trick as well.)

      • migo

        apple only got production to meet demand with the iPad 3. Every other launch they couldn’t meet demand.

    • Harangue

      Hatred much?

      How about the screens and unibodies? Or batteries? Or certain chips inside the phone? Maybe stock is low at that end and hard to come by.

      Or perhaps Nokia has limited production lines available to actually produce 900′s? Although that would eb mighty stupid on their end I’d say.

      • Viipottaja

        I would not be surprised if there was still somewhat limited capacity to machine those (gorgeous) polycarbonate unibodies for the 800,900 and N9..

        • Harangue

          Exactly, those are milled/machined so there is a limited capacity that they can make in a certain timespan. My guess is that there aren’t many companies suitable for this kind of work.

          Eventhough CNC machining can be done by a wide amount of companies, I’d say this low tolerance polycarbonate machining requires a bit more expertise and therefor it can’t be done by everyone.

  • aegeon

    jay montano, please stop supporting apple. Stop pretending, still be the die-hard NOKIA FAN.

    • Jay Montano

      erm, ok?

      • HappyN9User

        Yes Jay, you aren’t supposed to use anything non-Nokia. If you want to buy a car, wait until Nokia releases one.

        • arts

          Lol.

      • Oslik

        Oh, that Mac! :-D

        Jay, please stop using Mac and start using that old Nokia netbook now! ;-)

        • Viipottaja

          I am sure he could find a MikroMikko desktop on ebay or craigslist somewhere too!

  • aegeon

    @janne, you are better than jay montano (apple secret love).

  • Hasbro

    Is this just marketing? They are selling LTE Lumia 900s on AT&T, not GSM.

    What they’ll release outside North America is the GSM variant. Can’t understand the need to stock GSM models on AT&T stores. Hmmmmmmm

    I mean why do they have to delay its release in the UK? It’s a different model than what is being sold in the US.

    • birinci

      May be it’s the parts, not the whole phone…

    • Janne

      Factory-line capacity? Shared parts-capacity (like the machined casings)? Just because there are differences in their innards does not mean there aren’t shared resources as well with overlap.

    • Oslik

      I see no problem here.

      In one factory, 10 assembly lines are making LTE version and 5 lines HSPA+ version. Or vice versa.

  • DKM

    Nokia closed down 3 production factories in Europe. And they have one in India and Brazil nokia owns. Rest outsourced in china and Taiwan. Vietnam is under construction. Well i would say its the demand supply chain that are affected. They are not meeting the demand nothing to do with parts. Shame on Nokia they are not able to either meet the demand or they just having manufacturing issues.

  • twig

    Im using a uk imported GSM n9 in the u.s. On ATT network and it works perfect. I’ll take a uk phone anyday, its comes with nokia music,mix radio then.

  • kan

    Apple sells the same phone on AT@T, Sprint, and Verizon it has the same multimode chip to work across LTE and CDMA by Qualcom.

    IP4S uses the MDM6210 – multimode
    Ipad uses the MDM 9600 – multimode + LTE

    Lumia 900 uses MDM 9200 – singlemode LTE

    Apple uses the same few parts across the Ipad and Iphone to drive down production costs through economies of scale and reducing complexity and SKU.

    Nokia will be producing a Lumia 900 for AT&T, one for Verizon with a different chip, one for Europe with another chip and thats before each operator wants its FUCKING LOGO on the phone.

    Apple produces one phone and says take it or take a hike.

    So Apple is squeezing Nokia by being able to undercut the Nokia production costs but then also being able to maintain a price premium.

    • Carbontubby

      Well, previously Apple had CDMA and GSM models for the iPhone4.

      Apple can afford to be arrogant because of the success of its iPhone brand, but if it had not tied up with AT&T for the original device’s launch, it wouldn’t be in the same position today. Look at Samsung and how they have different Galaxy S models for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Korea, rest-of-the-world…

  • Heron

    Trolls are crawling out of the woodwork huh.

  • Pingback: Nokia Lumia 900 će kasniti u Velikoj Britaniji zbog prevelike potražnje u SAD-u | NokiaMob

  • Ben Plesca

    Hi. My name is Ben. Jay, you said you are a medical student at Manchester uni. Can you tell me please with what grades (both GCSEs and A-levels) did you apply for medicine because I want to apply for medicine at Manchester uni. Thanks.

  • Viipottaja

    Nokia is getting fairly good at covering for fuck ups (waiting for my $100 credit for the data connectivity bug on the L900 :D ):

    http://www.wpcentral.com/phones4u-confirms-lumia-900-uk-delay-offers-early-orders-free-pair-nokia-purity-headphones

  • Vineet

    I have a query and I hope either Jay or one of the other senior members (incognito/dsmobile etc).

    All through 2010 and even 2011, Nokia produces 10s of millions of Symbian devices…churning them out of its own factories (one of the only major phone manufacturers to make them inhouse) and now when sales have crashed to less 10% of those levels and Lumias are barely selling 1-2 million a quarter AND when they are also for the first time buying external capacity (Compal), suddenly they are unable to produce enough phones?

    What has happened between 2010/1H2011 to now that Nokia is unable to produce 10% of its previous capacity?

    Did they close down their European factories before their new Asian ones were operational? Do the Lumias require extensive retooling which is taking time to ramp up?
    Is there a component bottleneck somewhere?
    Did they fire 1 (or 10,000) too many employees?

    The excruciatingly slow rollout schedule of the Lumias certainly suggests something is amiss. N8 for example went live all over the world in a much shorter span and it sold more than all Lumias combined (so far).

    • keizka

      Realigning the machinery and factory lines. Getting the materials. Getting chips that go into the phones. Whole load of other stuff, such as logistics, supply networks and whatnot. It’s not that straight to *just build phones*, when you don’t actually manufacture the chips you are using, the screens you are using. They more likely assemble those phones in those factories instead of building them all ground up.

      • Vineet

        I understand the production procedures. Which is why I asked if there is a component bottleneck.

        Thing is, the Lumias use mature parts, none of which should have a bottleneck (eg: Qualcomm S2 chips that barely anyone else is using now, its not like they have 28nm parts in the Lumia).

        It would be interesting to analyse whether the problem is with Nokia or further upstream in the supply chain, which I doubt.

    • Zipa

      “What has happened between 2010/1H2011 to now that Nokia is unable to produce 10% of its previous capacity?”

      Nokia is not “unable to produce”. They produce the exact amount that has been ordered, but the estimates from AT&T were obviously way too conservative, so now it takes some time for the additional production ramp-up to pick up the slack.

      • Vineet

        That doesn’t seem very plausible. 900 wasn’t ever going to be an AT&T exclusive forever.
        If the Lumia 900 was ready for mass production, then it was ready for mass production (and implicitly, a worldwide release). Since Nokia sells directly to consumers/wholesalers/retailers rather than carriers in most of their core markets, they ought to be going by their own capacity/estimates.

        The *only* logical reason for a staggered release is production/supply constraints.

        Else they would build 10X as many as AT&T ordered and release the other units worldwide at the same time as USA, or soon after if there were contractual exclusivity agreements?

        However, what we’re witnessing is a staggered release for pretty much every Lumia model (including the 610 which doesn’t really rely on carrier estimations).

        Something is amiss. Either retooling is going much slower than it should be or too many factories were closed down/workers fired.

        • Janne

          I think that “something” is that current Windows Phone require quite different components and designs than were in Nokia’s traditional component path. Quallcom chips, Compal reference designs, all this come to play now. Also the fact that normally they had 18 months from design to launch, now it is only 14 months from Feb11. Clearly they are having a hard time ramping things up.

          I doubt closing of factories really comes to play. If so, I doubt they’d closed them down yet. Lumia is too important for them. I think they are scrambling to get things lined up…

        • Zipa

          “Since Nokia sells directly to consumers/wholesalers/retailers rather than carriers in most of their core markets, they ought to be going by their own capacity/estimates.”

          No, all phones are built to order. Nokia has no warehouses to store phones in or nothing like that.

    • incognito

      There are reports that the Lumia 900s are produced by Compal as well, despite the plan to have the Lumia 900 produced in Nokia’s own factories. If that’s the case, it’s reasonable for Nokia to be conservative when it comes to their orders as outsource production cannot be stopped in the middle of production if they suddenly over-stock the market, and Nokia would lose money – i.e. if they plan for 2M of those to sell, and early signs say that they won’t be able to move more than 1M of those, Nokia can easily halt the production in their factories – not so much, and certainly not as easily, if they ordered those 2M from Compal. If Compal worked faster, they could’ve already produced those 2M; and if they didn’t I take it that there are penalties in their agreements that would cost Nokia dearly. Hence the conservative approach.

      If it’s indeed produced in Nokia’s own factories, they might also be conservative, especially with orders from Qualcomm as they have no use of their tech in any other product they create (they cannot even modify the deal to get X amount of different products instead of the originally planned Y amount of the first product that doesn’t do well on the market – to avoid early contract termination penalties).

      Given that Elop himself appears as a bean-counter CEO, I guess he instructed the conservative approach as Nokia is already in deep loses and they can’t afford any more unneeded.

      • Harangue

        I’m guessing they are having trouble getting all parts together. Primarily screens and the unibody design which apparantly is being milled.

        Milling generally takes time and can’t be done by a plethora of manufacturers especially not for these kind of things (phone bodies) that need to be very very precise.

        I don’t know were Nokia procures their screens, I’ve heard of Samsung, but a shortage there could be bvery plausible. AMOLED manufacturing has been under market demand for some time now although Samsung should have a new factory up and running now for AMOLED screens.

        Like you say, it could also be a matter of being conservative. Although I’d doubt they be that way with the Qualcomm chips, those things don’t cost much and go into every single WP device they make.

        • Vineet

          Good points.

          Samsung is Nokia’s chief AMOLED supplier. AMOLED is not really constrained any more though. In fact, there were reports that Samsung briefly went into a surplus for AMOLEDs.

          What is still constrained is production of the SAMOLED (and its HD/+ variants).

          The thing that bothers me is that the 710 and 610 also have staggered releases but those use neither AMOLEDs nor polycarbonate unibodies, so clearly they wouldn’t be affected by the paucity of the relevant CNC/milling equipment. This makes me think the problem may not be upstream.

          I shudder to consider that perhaps they were preparing for far more production of Symbian handsets and then geared to switch to 800, both of which will now be more or less sunk costs…hoping the 808 goes live all over the world at once like N8 did (except US of course)