Nokia hints at huge demand for Lumia 900

Last week, AT&T revealed that sales of Nokia’s Lumia 900 have been exceeding expectations, but so far, no figures have been released to substantiate that. There’s certainly been no reason to doubt it, though, especially given that for several days, the handset sat at the top of Amazon’s contract phone sales charts, while visitors to AT&T’s online store have recently found the handset to be out of stock.

But there was some speculation that the lack of availability of the phone on AT&T may have been due to a withdrawal of stock, rather than a result of actual sales, following Nokia’s admission earlier this month that a small number of Lumia 900 handsets were experiencing data connectivity issues – a problem that it quickly resolved with a software update that it released days ahead of schedule.

However, it seems that those assertions were somewhat wide of the mark. AllThingsD spoke to Nokia to discuss the Lumia 900’s performance, and they were told that the reason the handset is out of stock is because it’s actually sold out, not because the company has recalled stock to update and recertify it.

Nokia revealed that the overwhelming majority of customers that have purchased the new Lumia have chosen to hold on to their handsets and install the software update themselves, rather than returning them for a free replacement.

Nokia spokesperson Karen Lachtanski said: “The inventory situation is primarily a function of demand, because we are seeing that most customers are opting to keep their units and simply update via Zune. So the impact of customer swaps is insignificant. We are producing more devices to satisfy demand as quickly as possible.”

While Nokia remains tight-lipped on exact sales figures, it’s encouraging to see that its new flagship handset is performing so well. Its decision to openly acknowledge the glitch in a limited number of devices – offering not just free replacements, but also giving customers a $100 credit for the inconvenience – will no doubt have helped it to win over hearts and minds in the competitive smartphone market.

But news that existing Windows Phone handsets will likely not be eligible for update to Windows Phone 8 later this year may well undo a lot of the goodwill that Nokia and Microsoft have so far worked hard to build with customers.

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