AT&T announces Record Q4 Smartphone Sales, hopefully some decent Nokia Lumia performance

| January 9, 2013 | 47 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 06.54.56

It may be the faintest indicator if it is any at all, but it’s better to see the environment Nokia Lumia is in doing better than worse I guess. With the Nokia Lumia 920 (and initially 900) exclusive only to AT&T, it’s good in a way that AT&T Q4 Smartphone sales are supposedly a new record. It’s somewhat a similar way that it’s better if there are a higher number of WP handsets sold, more breathing room for Nokia. Though of course, Nokia’s got much stiffer competition with AT&T’s selection of other flagships.

The proportions of what phones have been sold are not mentioned yet (full quarter financial results, due 24th Jan) They do unfortunately indicate that it was the best ever quarterly Android and best ever Apple sales. Windows Phone is mentioned only in conjunction with getting more than 100,000 smartphone sales a day from their portfolio INCLUDING the “latest Android, Apple and Windows devices”.


Should we have expected AT&T to mention best ever quarterly Windows sales too for an actual indication of good Lumia performance at AT&T?

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today that it sold more than 10 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2012, topping its previous record quarter of 9.4 million, set in the fourth quarter of 2011. This included best-ever quarterly sales of Android and Apple smartphones.

“We had another incredible quarter of smartphone sales as the mobile Internet continues to drive strong growth in wireless,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer for AT&T Mobility. “These are the industry’s most valuable postpaid subscribers with average revenues twice that of non-smartphone subscribers.  During the quarter, we averaged more than 110,000 smartphone sales a day as customers flocked to our leading portfolio of the latest Android, Apple and Windows devices. Combine that with the nation’s largest 4G network and lightning-fast LTE network that now reaches more than 170 million people and you’ll understand why customers continue to choose AT&T in record numbers.

AT&T is scheduled to release its full fourth-quarter 2012 financial results after market close on Thursday, January 24.

Cheers Bloob for the tip..


Category: Nokia

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  • everlfr

    my guess: 500,000 lumia 920

    • Pdexter

      From AT&T alone? I would say 200 000 with global sales being ~1.5 million.
      I can see Lumia 920 shipment in certain stores here in Germany and the amount they have been able to deliver is below Lumia 800. Demand would be up there, but there’s no devices.

      No yellow or red Lumia 920 for 12 days and the shipments have been 2-5 phones.

  • Peter L

    Of AT&T sales, ~75% are iPhones.

    If we use that number, it would give approx. 2.5M devices for the rest coming from Android, WP8 and others. Android is bound to get at least 1.5M from that cake so there might be roughly 1M available for WP8 and the rest. Given that the ratio between Lumia 920 and 8X is according to Adduplex about 5:1, most of the WP8 sales should be Lumia 920.

    My guess: 650k Lumia 920 sold.

    • everlfr

      if we take your number, then we can estimate the total lumia sales in the us to be around 1 million units (excluding carrier free sales)

      the rest of the world must do well to hit the 7 million speculation

      • jk

        Your number is about right, us account for 14% WP sales.

        • DJ

          Wrong, it is not 14% it is only 3%.

          • Viipottaja

            US is only 3% of global WP sales?

  • everlfr

    but then us is not nokia’s strongest market

    • dss

      It is now..

      • mirco

        Any proof for that?

        • stylinred

          the US is the strongest market for Nokia in terms of Lumia/WP based on previous quarters

          • Viipottaja

            Really? What do you base that on?

            I thought e.g. Italy and Spain were much stronger markets for Lumias.

  • Zizou

    Fear not nokia.. as thy time of glory has come… Again!!!.. 🙂

  • dss

    I don’t think we will ever know how many lumias they sold.. But ya, anything over 500k will be a surprise.. considering that they are much cheaper than the iPhone 5 on contract, we could say that they got their ass kicked.

    I said months ago that the 920 should be free with a 2/year contract if they want to move some boxes… and I still think that.

    • arts

      I don’t think people would get the lumia 920 by the millions even if you gave it away free.

      the market is just too saturated, and saturated with good quality smartphones too.

      Happy people are not going to be looking around for an alternative.

      • Toni

        As a matter of fact, people are less happy with their iPhones this year than they were last year (still looming in pretty silly 80+% happiness). With Androids they never were too happy to begin with. Hence, your argument does not actually compute with the latest stats on consumer satisfaction.

        A much more likely reason for the dominance of iPhone is on loyalty of customers which changes much more slowly than their happiness with the device. Even if Apple would make the next iPhone a mere box with paint on, it would sell more than any Nokia device. But such a road is a short one as Nokia itself has witnessed.

        But, for as long as Nokia is able to produce better-than-the-best-in-market hardware, as it did with Lumia 920 it will eventually gain in market share. Whether Nokia can afford to wait, is an entirely different matter.

  • incognito

    They won’t single out WP devices because, as the market in general, they couldn’t care less for them, it’s just an afterthought – AT&T is in it purely for the money, and if Nokia and/or Microsoft are willing to throw them some hard cash AND exclusivity deals they’ll gladly accept it, mutter out how they ‘strongly support blah blah…’ throw in an ad or two and go on with their business.

    No matter how big words AT&T shouts when signing the deals, retail personnel will still recommend to their customers the devices on which they make the best commissions and which users won’t return after a week screaming `wtf is this Fisher Price / Tetris thingie?!` Then Nokia / Microsoft will blame the sales people for their own deficiencies, which will piss the retail even more and create a nice negative feedback loop in which we can upfront tell who will draw the short straw.

    It was like that before, no reason to think it will be any different now – if you constantly do the same thing, expecting different results is a borderline lunacy.

    • everlfr

      at least Elop tried ..

      for MS’s sake that is (intentional or not)

      • incognito

        Unlike many things which Elop brought in to strangle Nokia – and the list is too long for this blog – this one actually predates him. The retail channel (and the carriers, especially the US ones) revolted earlier after being overrun with returns of Symbian s60v5 devices, especially the higher priced ones (N97 fiasco comes to mind) – after that they eagerly started taking money from Nokia with grand promises of promotion and what not, while peddling Samsung, Apple and HTC to the actual customers. I guess they justified it to themselves as a return of money lost promoting previous lackluster Nokia devices.

        This will continue until Nokia bleeds out (or stops wasting money on something that is atm. utterly pointless), or actually produce something which the customers will love and demand, and which won’t be riddled with stupid nuances, and which won’t be returned after a week of tryout. WP based devices are anything but that.

        As for MS sake, while Nokia could’ve helped push WP to the market back in the day if it was actually worthy product, today’s Nokia is not even a shadow of that company and the product is still crappy and uncompetitive. Instead Nokia bleed out to keep the WP alive, and now they have no power at all to sway the market. Which is why Microsoft is contemplating going into the hardware game alone and is more promoting HTC than Nokia these days. Try as he might, Elop won’t save neither Nokia nor WP. As they say – it’s dead, Jim. At least this will be a fun year to see how everything unwraps in the end.


          You’re an idiot!

          Everything you just said is laughable! Now time to stop being delusional, and get back to the real world.

          • Ere oli aliarvostettu

            Probably not that, but I think he just might be arrogant.

            Never hire an arrogant coder. Nokia did that and look at what happened to them.


              Arrogant is an understatement! Also wise words I agree with. Good riddance that Elop god rid of a lot of the arrogance. Arrogance was going to be Nokia’s downfall, and Elop saved Nokia from that arrogance.

        • dss

          I had no idea that the US carriers were trying to sell the N97 … I don’t remember any E97 ATT marketing. I remeber the E71x.. and I think that one did reasonably well on AT&T.

          But yes.. i am afraid of a lot of returns as well, there a people that or their 4-5 phone from AT&T.. they are probably not really happy about it.

          • Viipottaja

            you are right, N97 was not sold by any US carrier.

          • incognito

            I was talking globally, i.e. why retailers/carriers started fleecing Nokia for money while peddling the competing devices. To add insult to injury, Nokia pretty much decimated their own stores/retails in the past few years so they have to rely on retailers and carriers if they want to sell anything.

            It has become a vicious circle in which Nokia only loses money and competition gains more and more market share. Again, blaming the retail channel, while being partially true, is everything but productive. Nokia needs to make that ‘hero’ device which people would NOT return in large numbers, that won’t have a ton of problems, which can be produced in large numbers quickly with no shortages, and that will be actually desired by the market – and then to do that a couple of times in a row to get retailers and carriers to beg THEM for their devices, not vice versa.

            Sadly, WP automatically disqualifies their devices from that category, and the question is whether at this point of time switch to Android or something else could bring them back. But whatever it is, they need a couple of cycles of extremely reliable, competitive and universally acclaimed devices (that excludes sponsored articles, tech heads and shills) to restore the balance with retailers and carriers.

            • Janne


              Are you saying Symbian touch hurt Nokia? Nooo… say it ain’t so… 😉

              • everlfr

                at least Symbian in the past has made Nokia enormously rich, defined the very term smartphone, brought out LBS through gps integration, made the concept convergent device a reality etc etc.

                On the other hand, what has WP phone ever done to Nokia or to the world except to near bankrupt Nokia?

                • Viipottaja

                  Yup, T-Ford was also revolutionary for it’s times. 😉 😛

                  • Dr.Smart

                    Yes good analogy. And WP phone is the Ford Edsel.

              • sunnyvale

                hey janne! Internet high fives to you man!

                Any opinion on the rumored quantity of sold lumias?


            What returns? Windows Phone has the highest CUSTOMER satisfaction of all mobile operating systems. Higher than iOS, and way higher than Android.

            Carriers also love Windows Phone. AT&T loves it, Verizon loves it, Vodafone loves it, T-Mobile loves it, and the list goes on and on. It makes zero difference if some arrogant or bratty retail employees don’t like Windows Phone. The carriers will FORCE them to sell it.

            So high customer satisfaction, combined with high carrier praise means that Windows Phone WILL sell.

            Carrier love is the only reason why Android got popular. It’s a shit OS with low customer satisfaction, but it sells because Google flooded the market, and therefore carriers shoved Android phones into the face of every customer whether they wanted it or not.

            I’m not hearing of any significant 920 returns. The 920 is the one of the most highly rated devices in terms of consumer satisfaction.

    • Keith too

      Actually the CEO of AT&T singled out and praised WP phones many times and uses a Lumia himself.

  • JGrove303

    Well, supposedly, Nokia scored some 2.5 million preorders for Lumia 920s in the US alone, which Ali reported on a little while back.
    A report referenced by almost the entirety of western world.

    A quick Bing (yes, Bing. F**k Google 😉 )search will show every preorder in every country has sold out and most brick and mortar stores are sold out.

    I’d say it’s very possible that all this AT&T preorders have been fulfilled plus the store sales.

    AT&T sold over a million 900s Q2 2011. Lumia 920 had a lot more advertising and was a much more intriguing device that definitely got way more attention.

    I’m going to make the best estimate of ~64 million sold Lumia 920s in the US on AT&T. Maybe 20,000-50,000 820s
    10,000 Lumia 900. All in Q4 2012.

    China probably did even better.

    • JGrove303

      *~2.64 million Lumia 920s

      sorry about that

    • nn

      So that’s why WP fans think Lumias are out of stock everywhere. They are using Binq to find them!

      Nokia reported that for 2012/Q2, they sold 0.6M handset (i.e. smartphones and dumbphones) units in North America region.

    • Peter L

      Where does it say in that article that this number was for US alone? I don’t think it says that in anywhere.

    • Peter L

      In any case, your 2.64M is complete fantasy.

      Given the popularity of iPhone5 in the US for those numbers to happen AT&T would have to had sold only iPhones and Lumia 920’s and pretty much nothing else, including Android handsets.

    • Just Visiting

      JGrove…Really? I thought the estimates for Lumia 900 sales by ATT was 300K, not 1 million. I don’t have the links but there were a few sites that deduced that only around 300K Lumia’s (not all WP) were sold after iPhone and Android sales for ATT. After iPhone, only 1.4 million of the phones sold included Android, WP, BB, etc. and I just don’t see how 1 million of the 1.4 million sold were Lumia 900’s.

      However, if there is a link somewhere that shows that 1 million of the 1.4 million devices sold by ATT in Q2 2012 were Lumia’s, I would be happy to see it. I’m just going by my memory right now.

      I do think that Lumia 920 sales are decent, but given the supply shortages, and that the devices weren’t even available until after the first week in November, sales aren’t going to be stellar – all WP oems did not have the benefit of including October 2012 in their Q4 results since WP8 was released so late; but Q1 2013 should be better IF they work out the supply issues.

    • J R

      2.64 million is an unreasonable guess.

      AT&T sold 7.6 million iPhones in Q4 2011. If they only barely broke that record this past quarter (say 7.600001 million), that would still only leave non-Apple smartphones at ~2.4 millon, a number which would include a record setting total of Androids.

    • dss

      I use Bing all the time.. pretty much same thing as google

  • everlfr

    64 million units sold! that’s really something.. wait a minute…

    • nn

      It’s OK. It’s only ATT so there is still a room for growth.

  • Hedorah

    Samsung, Nokia & Apple recent launched flagship phones so this is not surprising.

  • Johnny Tremaine

    I’ll guess and say that the 920 on AT&T sold roughly about as well as the Lumia 900 did before it, about the 300,000-400,000 range.

    We all know that iPhone accounts for 75% of all smartphone sales on AT&T, which leaves the remaining 25% among the competitors, and given that the carrier is saying that Android (likely in the form of the SGS3 and Note 2) hit record numbers, I’d say Windows Phone sales were flat with the previous year.

    In the end, the Windows Phone is still, I think, treading water. It’s a nice, visually appealing operating system, but currently there’s no single compelling reason for anybody to switch to it other than that.

  • JGrove303

    I meant to say 1 million preorders of Lumia 900, and my 2011 typo, obviously not correct either.

    nm, I used to use Yahoo search engine until Firefox sign their deal with Google. Then I got lazy.

    I still don’t think my estimate of roughly 2.64 million could be all that far off. If it is, well, I guess weLl see a new CEO for Nokia soon. He’s gotta sell 12million devices, right?

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