Analyst downplays Nokia WP7 expectations

A Pacific Crest Securities analyst has slashed an earlier forecast for Nokia Windows Phone 7 sales from two million to a mere 500,000 units this quarter. 

According to James Faucette, Windows phones designed by the Finnish-based company have “no clear advantage” over competing handsets.

“With no breakthrough innovation, we believe Nokia’s new phones are unlikely to get traction in a highly concentrated high end,” Faucette opined in a recent industry note obtained by the New York Times. 

Faucette explained that Nokia’s Lumia phones were not competitively priced, while the performance of phones with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software had been “underwhelming.”

However, Tero Kuittinen, an independent telecommunications analyst, believes it is far too soon to tell whether the partnership between the two industry giants is a success or failure – especially as the first Nokia Windows phones have mostly shipped in the UK.

“[Plus], the fact that BlackBerry is stumbling could give Nokia an opportunity in the market,” he added.

But NPD analyst Ross Rubin says Nokia Windows devices will likely have difficulty penetrating the highly competitive handset market in the United States, as many American consumers are already used to their Android, iPhone or BlackBerry devices.

Nevertheless, Rubin emphasized that interest in Windows Phone 7 has steadily increased, as a recent NPD survey determined 44% of smartphone owners were “considering” purchasing a Windows phone – a sentiment which has (thus far) failed to translate into actual sales.