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Nokia: Don't Expect a Windows Miracle

Jeffrey, who has a neutral rating on Nokia, also warns that the 920's camera features could be surpassed by Apple's next-generation iPhone, expected to debut at an event in San Francisco next week.

Nokia's Lumia sales, of course, have to be viewed within the context of the broader smartphone market. While its Lumia sales doubled from 2 million to 4 million between the first and second quarters of 2012, they pale into insignificance compared to Apple's 61.1 million iPhone sales over the same period. Such is Apple's momentum in the space that the 26 million iPhones sold in its most recent quarter represented a significant slowdown, caused by consumers awaiting the iPhone 5.

Needham & Co.'s Wolf, however, estimates that Nokia's Design and Services division could reach a breakeven margin contribution if quarterly Lumia sales were to reach 10 million units, equivalent to a 2.3% share of the smartphone market.

"Whether Nokia can reach our breakeven estimate is an open question, whose answer also depends on the success of the Windows Phone 8 operating system," he added. To date, however, consumers have been "less than enthusiastic" about the Windows 8 user interface, despite acclaim from the pundits, he noted.

Nokia has not yet released pricing and availability information for its latest Lumia phones. "Stay tuned for more info in the near future," explained a Nokia spokesman, in an email sent to TheStreet on Wednesday. Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system will arrive in the fall.

The Finnish firm, which threw its weight behind Microsoft's Windows Phone last year, has not had the easiest of times recently, implementing a massive restructuring plan in an attempt to breathe new life into its business.

In addition to job cuts, factory closures, senior leadership changes and the sale of its Vertu luxury mobile phone business, Nokia also vowed to improve its Lumia offerings.

Nokia shares, which have plunged more than 49% this year, were gaining nearly 3% at $2.45 in afternoon action.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.
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