Survey Suggests Limited Demand for Lumia Phones

AT&T has said that Lumia 900 sales have "exceeded expectations." Gizmodo checks seem to confirm brisk sales (with some qualifications). The Lumia appears to be selling well on Amazon in the US. Yet reports from Europe suggest carriers have soured on the device:

Skeptics among operators say the sleek, neon-coloured phones are overpriced for what is not an innovative product, cite a lack of marketing dollars put behind the phones, and image problems caused by glitches in the battery and software of the early models . . .

"No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone," said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator, which has sold the Lumia 800 and 710 since December.

The other day on the WP Central blog there was a poll of readers indicating some iPhone and Android users were abandoning their handsets for Lumia. That poll inspired me to create one myself on Google Consumer Surveys.

I asked "What will be your next mobile phone?" The survey had just over 1,500 US adult respondents. The responses (below), which are allegedly statistically significant, suggest very limited demand for the Lumia handset and Windows Phones in general in this market. 

What will be your next mobile phone? 

 Screen shot 2012-04-18 at 1.07.19 PM

N=1,504 (Opus Research using Google Surveys)

The survey respondents were drawn from news and reference sites and almost evenly divided between men and women and across age groups. The questions were randomized so as to not bias the results. 

In terms of the "Other" responses (33%), some are probably intended Android buyers that aren't looking at Samsung models. They may also be non-smartphone buyers as well. This is suggested by the fact that when segmented by age, "Other" is the top category for those over 45. 

Those in the 35-44 age group were much more interested in the Windows/Lumia handset than other age groups (5.4% vs. 3.5% overall). Demand was strongest for Windows/Lumia phones in the South and US Midwest. Demand for BlackBerry phones was strongest in the Northeast. 

Interestingly Windows/Lumia demand was stronger than the norm among those earning at least $75,000 per year. This is a bit counter-intuitive because the phone is aggressively priced at $99, presumably to generate demand at all income levels. However, among those making less than $75,000 per year demand for Windows/Lumia was less than the survey norm above. These findings suggest that Nokia may not have needed to target the phone below $150 or $199 (with contract). 

We'll find out definitely over the next two quarters, as Nokia discloses sales figures, whether the Lumia handsets are selling well or not. But the survey I conducted appears to confirm my earlier prediction that they'll see only modest adoption in the US.