When Paul Roth, AT&T’s president of retail sales and service, said last week that sales of Nokia’s Lumia 900 Windows Phone had exceeded expectations, he wasn’t exaggerating.
Indeed, it appears the device is selling so well that it’s tough to even find one right now. AT&T’s online store lists both versions of the device — cyan and black — as temporarily out of stock. At Amazon Wireless, the cyan version is back-ordered. And four of the five AT&T stores I called told me they’d run out of stock.
Which is good news and bad for the Nokia, AT&T and Microsoft triumvirate — if the stock-outs are demand-related.
There are a few caveats to this, however. It’s possible that these stock-outs may not be demand-related. They could, for example, be caused by Nokia’s offer of replacement handsets to consumers whose Lumia 900s were affected by that software glitch I mentioned earlier. While it’s likely that most of those consumers opted for a downloadable fix for the issue, it’s also conceivable that a number of them might have swapped their devices for new ones at a local AT&T store. And that clearly would have an affect on inventory.
Another possible reason for these inventory issues: AT&T’s Lumia 900 stock might have been depleted if it returned handsets potentially affected by the software glitch to Nokia for updating and recertification. Though I have no insight into it, I imagine that process would take some time. And it would likely have inventory implications for AT&T’s online store and its local outlets as well.
Neither AT&T nor Nokia were able to provide comment at the time of this writing.