Yesterday Nokia revealed it had sold 4.4m Lumia smartphones in Q4 2012 despite the widely publicised shortage of flagship Lumia 920 units practically worldwide.
But unlikely with the kind of scarcity marketing tactics Apple is regularly accused of when launching new iDevices, Nokia clearly hasn't benefited from the situation. So what exactly went wrong?
Well, WMPowerUser has pulled together several strands of information to suggest that the shortage of Lumia 920s is the result both of caution on Nokia's part, and of issues on the component supply side of things.
During his conference call to announce the better-than-expected Lumia sales this week, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop revealed that the shortage of the Windows Phone 8 flagship was partly down to Nokia being “very deliberate” and “thoughtful” in not wanting to end up with a stockpile of unsold devices that would have to be heavily discounted to shift – which is largely what happened a year ago with the first generation WP7 releases.
But Elop also claimed there were supply-side issues that had led to shortages of key components, and therefore a further reduction of available handsets.
“(We are) working with suppliers and operators to work through the situation today,” Elop insisted.
He even talked openly about speculation that the new Lumias' prices would drop in the coming months to maintain sales, implying that price discounting was on the way, but was itself being delayed by the component supply shortage.
“Other parties may be making decisions to drive traffic or to change behaviour... but broadly speaking, this hasn’t been a price discounting environment.”
Make of that what you will, but it does seem to suggest Nokia expects it'll have to start slashing prices to maintain its slow-but-steady increase in WP8 smartphone sales, especially with Symbian sales now a minor contributor and the next round of major handset releases still probably a fair way off.