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Windows Phone Sales Surge in North America

While sales of Nokia's line of Lumia phones have shown steady growth in Europe and Asia over the past two years, they have failed to make strong inroads in North America. In a surprising turn, the company's third-quarter earnings report yesterday revealed a sudden spike in North America and the United States.

Between July and September, Nokia reported it has sold 1.4 million Lumias in North America -- an 180 percent increase over last quarter's 500,000 units and a 367 percent rise year-over-year. Overall, Nokia sold 8.8 million Lumias worldwide last quarter, a 19 percent increase over the prior quarter and 40 percent over the same period a year ago.

Does that mean Windows Phone is catching on? The sudden rise in Lumia sales in North America suggests Windows Phone may be gaining appeal but it will take several more quarters to see if that trend continues.

To be sure, the 8.8 million Lumias sold worldwide pale in comparison to the 33.8 million iPhones Apple sold during the same period (on top of the more than 250 million already in the market). Also Nokia indicated that the most popular phone was the Lumia 520, not the high-end Lumia 1020, released in the beginning of the quarter.

So while Lumia, and by extension Windows Phone, sales are on the rise, it remains in a very distant third place to Android and iOS. Microsoft is betting its acquisition of Nokia's handset business for $7.2 billion, which closes early next year, will give it further leverage in advancing its mobile phone business. But just as the company is marketing its new line of Surface tablets, success will ride on killer apps in the Windows Store.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/30/2013 at 11:27 AM


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