Nokia needs to spend heavily on consumer and retailer education to drive sales of its Lumia handsets, analysts have said, after the manufacturer posted poor first quarter results.
The Finnish manufacturer has put the Lumia series of smartphones, which is the result of its partnership with Microsoft, at the heart of its turnaround strategy. Malik Saadi, Informa principal analyst, said Nokia's problem is the current high-end Lumia devices cannot match the iPhone or high-spec Samsung devices.
He said: 'Pushing Lumia devices across operators' channels constitutes the biggest single challenge for Nokia. Dedicating huge shelves to Lumia devices in the operator stores is not enough to create consumer demand. Nokia will definitely have to increase its marketing budget and help operators to educate their salesforce to sell the Lumia devices. It desperately needs Microsoft to help with a massive marketing push to get the platform moving and compete effectively – unless it’s waiting for Windows 8.'
However, Tony Cripps, Ovum principal analyst for devices and platforms, claimed Nokia's problem was one of consumer perception. He said: 'There's little objectively wrong with many of the products competing with Apple, Samsung and Google/Android that greater customer awareness and a big budget marketing drive could not cure. And that's something European carriers need to do a great deal more to assist the underdogs with if they aren't to be the engineers of their own self-fulfilling prophecy of handing all power over their subscribers to the duopoly of Apple and Google.'
Earlier today, Nokia posted a operating loss of €1.34bn, with sales down 29% to €7.35bn. CEO Stephen Elop said Lumia sales in the United Kingdom were 'challenging'.
Editor: Graeme Neill