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Nokia sales estimates slashed after news of Windows Phone 8

Nomura analysts say the inability on the part of Nokia to upgrade its Lumia line to Windows Phone 8 is a major issue for the company.

The new Windows Phone Start Screen.
The new Windows Phone Start Screen.
Josh Miller/CNET

Can't Nokia catch a break?

Analysts at Nomura today wrote in a note to investors that they had cut their estimates on Nokia's revenue next year down to 6 billion euros ($7.5 billion), according to Bloomberg, which obtained the note. The analysts had initially anticipated Nokia posting 10.9 billion euros in sales next year.

The analysts say that the revision is due to Microsoft's announcement this week that Windows Phone 7-based devices won't be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8. Instead, the handsets will receive an upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8 -- an operating system version that, the analysts say, will be in less demand than Microsoft's upcoming platform.

The impact on unit sales will be just as major, according to the analysts, who cut Nokia's Windows Phone unit sales down to 34 million handsets for next year, 41 percent lower than they had previously predicted, Bloomberg says.

So far, Nokia has kept a brave face on the news. Just yesterday, the company's senior vice president of program and product management, Kevin Shields, spoke with The Verge about the lack of an upgrade path and asserted that the issue won't be nearly as concerning as some think.

"I think that ultimately your typical customer probably isn't all that aware of this upgrade thing," Shields told The Verge. "I definitely think with products like the Lumia 900, where a consumer walks in and buys that product they're getting great value and they're getting a great offering that's gonna have a long lifetime of innovation."

But not everyone agrees. As CNET executive editor Roger Cheng pointed out earlier this week in an op-ed piece detailing Nokia's Windows Phone 8 troubles, the company's Lumia 900 is all but obsolete already.

"Well, it's clear now everyone should have waited for the Windows Phone 8 version of the Lumia," he wrote. "Rather than a flagship phone, it now appears more like a stopgap to something better."

Nokia has so far not unveiled any Windows Phone 8 handsets. However, based on the company's working relationship with Microsoft, those devices will likely launch around the time of, or soon after, the launch of Windows Phone 8.

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