Just like BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has struggled to make a dent in the smartphone market. The Finnish company’s comeback attempt through the Lumia line, which received software help from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), is now more than a year old. And while BlackBerry’s comeback move is barely a week old, Nokia’s sales provide an important counterpoint to the former’s prospects.
Nokia and BlackBerry are both fighting to break into the ranks of top smartphone manufacturers, but it will be a tough climb for both companies. In comScore’s fourth-quarter report, their individual shares of the market came in way behind Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), HTC (HTCKF.PK), Google-owned (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola, and LG.
Nokia’s struggle is evident in its shipment figures. The company only shipped 30,000 units to its partner China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) ahead of the important sales period surrounding the Chinese New Year, which falls on February 10. The carrier had placed orders for 90,000 devices to be sent before January 30, but supply constraints shorted the delivery. China Mobile billboards across Beijing boasted the slogan “Change Phones for the New Year!” with an image of Nokia’s Lumia 920T, reported Bloomberg, but most of the company’s outlets will not have the 4,599-yuan ($738) device in stock.
Missing the Chinese New Year is a huge setback for Nokia, as the holiday is a gift-giving season comparable to the Christmas shopping rush in the United States. “China is the hottest market by far now and everybody is circling around trying to get in as much presence as they can,” Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston told the publication. “Nokia must not fail in China because it would place their entire worldwide recovery effort at risk.”