Despite presumptions otherwise, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is selling at least as well as the Lumia 928

If there is one controversial area in regards to the stellar Nokia Lumia 1020, it would be its price. In the face of deals elsewhere like on Amazon.com, the $299 contract price is traditionally higher than most flagship devices in 2013. At least that’s the perception, even if erroneous. It’s a bit dishonest when tech sites focus on that subject since the AT&T 32GB iPhone 5 sells for the same $299 (and the 32GB Galaxy S4 runs for $249).

Last we checked, neither come with a groundbreaking 41MP camera.

Some could argue that the Lumia 1020 has no right to command the same price as the iPhone 5, but that seems a little pretentious for our tastes. Still, there’s a feeling in the air that the Lumia 1020 is not selling well or making much of an impact.

We of course don’t actually know what Nokia or AT&T have for sales projections of the device, so whether or not it’s a disappointment or success is simply conjecture at this time. Even with AT&T experimenting with price drops, we can’t take that as a sign of anything except isolated market testing.

AdDuplex August 2013

Nevertheless, some new data from AdDuplex, who runs advertising on Windows Phone, appears to show that the Nokia Lumia 1020 is selling as well, if not better, than the Verizon Nokia Lumia 928. That device launched just three months ago on the massive US carrier for $99, making a comparison to the Lumia 1020 on AT&T quite germane.

Data from AdDuplex is broken down into weeks and shows a representation of that device on their ad network. Three weeks of data are covered and while exact numbers aren’t revealed, you can see the trend with the Lumia 1020 scaling higher than the Lumia 928 during its first three weeks of availability.

Currently, the Lumia 928 commands about 5% of the Windows Phone market in the US after three months (the Lumia 920 has 16% after seven), and as far as we know, no one is suggesting that device is a flop.

AdDuplex August 2013

Alan Mendelevich, who wrote up the AdDuplex data, notes that their data “…weren’t adjusted according to our own growth (more apps on the network, etc.) so the results are probably slightly skewed in the 1020s favor”. While that may be true, seeing as only three months have passed between the two launches and the positive trend for the Lumia 1020, it’s safe to say that’s it is far from “doom and gloom” like a few in the tech world are intimating.

In our opinion, the Nokia Lumia 1020’s success will be one of long term perception in the smartphone world. Specifically that Nokia will be seen as a serious player who can still offer innovative new technology to consumers, despite their “underdog” status. The real sales for Nokia will be in volume with devices like the Lumia 520.

To put it another way, the Lumia 1020 brings the headlines, but the Lumia 520 brings the people.

You can read some of the rest of our write up on the AdDuplex numbers in our earlier report.

Source: AdDuplex Blog

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

119 Comments
  • How many units?
  • It's not units in sales but representation on the ad network.
  • Are you talking about the first graph, showing the 1020 vs the 928? Is there some kind of legend you could provide for that graph? I have to admit I don't know how to read it beyond "oooo, that bar is really tall so that must be good"
  • Well if you want the legend that badly then you need glasses as it in front of your nose lol.  Ask  Alan Mendelevich why the Y axis was omitted if your that keen :).
  • That chart is supposed to give an idea of how first 3 weeks of 1020 compare to 928. We don't have any sales data so there's no point for us to speculate about some actual sales figures. If we put ANY numbers on the Y axis I can bet you will see 80% of the blogs reposting them as sales numbers all over the internet. That's no what we want to encourage :)
  • Well, Nokia sold altogether 0.5m Lumias in Q2 in all of US & Canada, so the volume is small in any case.
  • Nokia isn't going to sell many phones in Canada as long exclusivity deals continue (920 exclusive to Rogers) and total bummers such as the 925 not being offered in Canada.  If Rogers gets an exclusive on the 1020, we all lose... well, except for those on Rogers.  Very few in Canada even know about WP8, it is very sad.  :(
  • Yes.  Exclusivity hurts Nokia and hurts Windows Phone and hurts consumers.   I just don't understand why Nokia did it.  Here's hoping Verizon comes to Canada to give us some much needed variety.
  • Exactly!!!  Without the actual numbers, saying "twice as well as the 928" is meaningless. Real numbers of stfu.
  • I fear this speaks more of the 928 underselling than it does the 1020 blowing away predictions.
  • The Lumia 928 captured 5% of the Windows Phone market in the US after three months or 1/3 of the Lumia 920 after almost eight months. That doesn't seem like underselling. You also have to factor in the that Lumia 928 was 1/3 the price of the Lumia 1020. Where is your evidence to suggest otherwise?
  • I don't have any evidence other than Windows Phone's less than stellar performance in the US, so no need for the accusatory tone. Think of it this way; if Nokia and USA's largest carrier can't sell more flagships for $99 than they can on a smaller carrier for $299, why is that? What's going wrong, because something is, somewhere.
  • That makes no sense though. If the Lumia 1020 was doing worse than the 928, you would presumably argue that the 1020 is not doing well, despite it's high profile status. The Lumia 928 captured 5% of the US market for Windows Phone. That's not trivial and doesn't imply, as far as I know, underperforming sales. Even so, the 928, only offered in two colors and is more conservative for the Lumia line, just may not be as popular as it could have been. We're also only comparing Lumia numbers to Lumia numbers, so overall sales of the devices is still up for grabs when comparing to Android or iOS.
  • Also, the 928 might have done even better than it's doing now if it had launched alongside the 822.  I feel like a sizable chunk of 822 users would have opted for the 928 if had it been available at the time, but locked themselves into a 2 year contract with the 822 because they didn't want to / couldn't wait for the 928 to come out (understandable, since the 822 is a great phone anyway).  Considering that 822 users make up 18% of the total WP userbase, I think that's a pretty significant impact on potential 928 sales.
    I personally almost bit with the 822 when I switched to Verizon (especially when they lowered the price to free with 2 yr contract), but I knew there was a more flagship level Lumia coming in the then near future, and I'm glad I waited because I'm loving the 928 so far.
  • This.  I unfortunately did not believe a more flagship Lumia was coming... because Verizon... Blast! :( Which isn't to say I don't love my 822.  It is amazing.
  • There are also some people who, like myself, who bought another phone such as the 822 off contract so that we could preserve an upgrade and are waiting for a 1028 class phone to drop before using it.
  • Thank you for the graph - it does not feel too lonely after seeing 8% for the L900 owners.  And this 8% is a factor. We are the "pioneers" of the Windows platform on the Nokia devices, the passionate, enthusiastic part of that early spring 2012 movement, the base of Windows Phone platform built up to date. But unfortunately we are the largely forgotten base. Well, that's life .. And this scenario is typical. So, I am not complaining. It just has been the longest 2 years of the at@t contract for me since I start buying ONLY Nokia phones. Most of this 8% chunk in couple of months will be eligible for the upgrade on at@t.  How will it split between L920 and L1020?  Seems like L920 could be free at that time for another 2 years contract, and L1020 will be $100 less, and not just in "some places".
    The exclusivity is killing Nokia in USA and Canada, especially now, when providers are becoming more flexible.  If not L925 restriction to T-Mobile, this would be the most popular Nokia device in the USA now. But unfortunately, the ordinary potential customers of this device simply do not know about the phone because it is not advertised on TV at all. Yes, L1020 is a great camera phone, but it is true that not everyone needs the 41 Megapixel expensive greatness in the pocket every day.
    I chose to be with Nokia many years ago, and as a result my family split between at@t and Verizon.  So,  I would probably have to wait till the next spring - to finally "unite" with my wife, and have her Verizon network in my hands in a form of L928. Sadly, it would not be the phone that I would prefer to keep in my pocket.
  • You should ask for an early upgrade. I bought the 900 on AT&T, and then half a year later upgraded to the 920. Only paid $99 for it! HAd to whine with online reps, including supervisors, in two lenghthy sessions, but got what I wanted!
  • Actually, AT&T screwed us on the upgrade. In June, they changed their upgrade eligibility from an effective 19 months to a literal 24 months for everyone whose contract runs out after March 1, 2014. I.e., we're not going to wait for another couple months, but until next April. We're talking 1020 successor at the least.
  • I'd like to think that sales of the 928 would be substantially different if it had launched along side or shortly after the 920. It was late to the market, and many people (the spec buyers) were most likely dismissive of it being "old" tech. The patience of our Verizon WP enthusiasts was pushed to the limit with the 928 launch.
  • And now their 928 does not have FM radio..... Way to go US carriers............
  • My guess is that lack of fm actually affects a very small number of users.
  • Why not? I heard they got the update
  • The 928 does not have an FM radio onboard so even though the Amber update brought FM radio support to the software if you don't have the hardware you don't have the hardware
  • I think Daniel is annoyed that no matter what the Microsoft statistic or news is that's being presented, people bend over backwards to find a way to interpret it as negative. Sometimes that's true, but that is ALWAYS how it is interpreted by the vast majority of the internet, regardless of actual Information or facts. It gets pretty annoying as a WP fan... imagine being head of a WP site.
  • Right❕
  • annoying isthe right word...goooodddddd please make this stop
  • That's preposterous, for one, because when you say, "smaller carrier," the assumption is "small," likeT-Mobile, or Created cket. AT&T is narrowly behind Verizon, in term of customers. Plus AT&T commands not just the most loyal iPhone customers, but the most loyal Windows phone customers (or customers, period). I think you have a misinterpretation, if you think WP is supposed to seek at iPhone, or Galaxy number just yet. Its doing quite well for a "catch up," OS, in 2013, against two juggernaut incumbents.
  • 1/3 of the price? Hardly. 928 is not a USD 200..250 device SIM free. It may be that much cheaper, but then it would be 2/3 of the price if 1020 is around USD 700.
  • $99 with new/renewal contract vs. $299. 1/3. 
     
    In fact, 928's have been available for free since at least around the time fo the 1020 launch on Amazon and now direct from Verizon too. Therefore, for current new/renewal customers now, it's free vs. $299, so the higher sales (or at least usage) rate for the 1020 is even more impressive.
     
    I bought my 928 a few days after the 1020 launch. I had been a Sprint user (still on my WP7 HTC Arrive, because I didn't want to give up a physical keyboard), grabbed a 1020 on launch day, but unfortunately, AT&T had no coverage in my area, so I returned it and went straight to Verizon and "settled" for the 928 as the next best option in my area. Great phone, but I'd gladly pay more for the 1020 if I could use it.
     
    In fact, if Verizon gets something similar when the AT&T exclusivity period ends (or any high-end Windows Phone with a physical keyboard), I'll pay full price for it rather than wait the full 2 years for my contract to end.
  • VZ's flagship Lumia 928 was selling for free by mid August still .If you go to 928 bugs and defects thread on this forum one should not see as many posts as there are for a 928 device that is 5% of  a windows platform that in turn occupies a 3.5% share of the total mobile space. Nokia is a great handset but WP8 is one buggy not ready for prime time platform that's for sure 
  • Think youre right. VZ spents months promoting the Lumia 928 as its flagship windows phone it introduced in mid may. By mid august "flagship" was selling for free at VZ. Warning(I had a 928). There is very little tech support for the 928 at VZ. Twice I went to VZ stores with my 928 with questions. I might as well have been speaking chinese. Both times VZ reps tried to sell me androids/iphones and even $200 bluetooth speakers to deal with my windows questions. I walked out. My advice sign up with another carrier who might have a more established  relationship with Nokia than VZ does; 928 , im afraid was all marketing for VZ who is pushing hard S4 and Iphone5's to make room for  the new Iphones/samsungs coming out in september
  • I LOVE MY 1020.... JEEZ!!!! Pick what you love. Who cares about sells, Nokia knows what it's doing.
  • It can only go 2 ways. Nokia will either rise to be king and ruler of the smartphone world in a few years time... Or they'll make a mistake and crash and burn and the world will be doomed to iPhone and we will all have to worship the Apple logo. Personally I'm hoping they rise.
  • You live in a world where there is only life or death. Actually being a "King" or "crash and burn". Is there a psychologist in the room?
  • I think psychologists call that "splitting". Compartmentalizing things into ONLY two categories: completely good or absolutely bad with no in-between is the hallmark of splitting...
  • rise to be king and ruler of the smartphone world in a few years time
    As a shareholder, I would love for this to happen... But no. Let's be realistic. Stealing back market share from Samsung is achievable.
  • We have to worship the Apple logo
    It's the bitten apple fron the Eden.
    The victory mark of the Snake.
    The Mark of the Beast.
    The antichrist is a ruthless businessman who takes over the world
    To only way to stop him is to buy a Lumia 1020 right now!
    Collect all the colors and one for your partner and kids, too.
    Bribe your mother-in-law, your boss, your rivals, your enemies, etc
  • Bailey, your comment simply could not be more untrue. Please try again. :-)
  • Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
  • And you apparently.
  • Considering its only just been released and it costs more than an arm and a leg I'm not surprised. GIVE IT TIME!!
  • I do think it is realistic to expect a device that finally gets the "masses" to buy though. This has been the device with the best chance so far and while the device may be doing OK, it hasn't brought people out of the woodwork.
  • Actually the last device I'd have suspected to sell to the "masses" is the 1020. It is a niche device specifically aimed at people who value photography a lot. And still I'm sure it will sell better than the Galaxy S4 Zoom and similar devices. It's a technology demonstrator to hammer the point home that the best Camera Experience can be found on Nokia devices. Mass sales are more likely to come from either regular High End devices from the 8xx, 9xx series or the Low End devices from the 5xx, 6xx series. Given the competition and how things progress currently my bet is with 5xx and 6xx but we'll have to wait and see how the new devices in Fall are doing. Given that Blue won't arrive before 2014 it's gonna be a rather bumpy ride.
  • The 1020 brings the girls while the 520 brings the beer. Either way IT'S A PARTY!!!
  • +1520
  • You mean 1540. 1020+520=1540 :P
  • Well it was the first # that came to mind, just thought of dragonball and fused them 1020 & 520 1520
  • Ha! Math!!! Gotta love it!!
  • *1540
  • I'm gonna steal that line.
  • I would have bought one even at the high price it sells for. The problem is carrier exclusivity, and I hope Nokia stops this approach soon.
  • Nokia doesn't have the clout for non-carrier exclusivity. They don't have a device like an IP5 or SGS4 that sell in the millions of units. Not until then can they tell the carriers, who advertise for them with hero-device status, to go to hell because the carriers will tell them to go to hell right back.
  • +1 That's exactly the situation. 
  • Yet HTC has enough clout to release the HTC One on At&t, T-Mobile, and Sprint? (Soon to be Verizon) Hmm...what am I missing here?