The iPhone is outselling the Nokia N8 by six to one in Europe, despite the N8 possessing most of the key features that people look for in a smartphone, according to research from Morgan Stanley.
Nokia is predicted to sell 2.5 million N8 handsets in the fourth quarter, and around nine million in 2011.
The iPhone, meanwhile, is on course to sell 16 million units in the fourth quarter, and 72 million next year. Eight iPhones are expected to be sold in 2011 for every N8.
The N8 is currently the sixth best-selling smartphone, behind the iPhone, Samsung Tocco Lite, Samsung Galaxy S, Nokia 5230 and BlackBerry Curve.
Nokia's device fares better in the UK, where it is the third best selling device behind the iPhone and BlackBerry Curve 8250.
The figures appear to suggest that Nokia is struggling, but Morgan Stanley analyst Patrick Standaert noted that sales of the N8 support current estimates of its shipping volumes, the handset was "never expected the N8 to be an 'iPhone killer'".
Despite underwhelming sales, however, Standaert believes that the N8's features stack up well in terms of customer expectations.
"The N8 scores highly on most key handset features except apps. However, with more than 400,000 developers on Qt and three million downloads a day, Nokia is showing some encouraging improvements on this front," he said.
"An increased marketing push could improve N8 sell-through. Our survey respondents highlighted limited awareness as a key reason for customers not buying the N8 more, particularly in Spain, France and Italy."
The N8 has the potential to improve Nokia's market share, and strong early momentum is critical to its success, the findings suggest. Nearly half of retailers and operators surveyed by Morgan Stanley intend to push the N8 until January 2011.
Nokia's share price has dropped to August levels, partly due to issues with battery power, but Morgan Stanley expects to see momentum return.
Standaert added that a disappointing N8 user experience could result in further market share losses. MeeGo delays could also bring long-term competition issues in the high-end market, suggesting that Nokia still has some work to do.
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