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Nokia Lumia 920 supply rising to meet demand

Supply issues with Nokia's flagship Lumia 920 Windows Phone handset should be coming to an end, with production finally ramping up to meet the unexpected level of demand.

While Nokia's troubles have been nowhere near as pronounced as those of Google and its Nexus 4 Android-based smartphone, strong sales of the Lumia 920 in Europe - prompted by its wide-ranging support for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks, offering significantly higher compatibility outside the US than most purportedly 4G-capable handsets like the iPhone 5 - mean that supply hasn't been keeping up with demand. During the company's quarterly earnings call with press and analysts, Timo Ihamuotila, Nokia's chief financial officer, admitted "the Lumia 920, in particular, [has been] supply constraint, so clearly, we can say that the inventory has not been in that particular area."

It's a story confirmed by company president Stephen Elop later in the call: "If you take the United Kingdom as an example, the early launch of the Lumia 920 in the United Kingdom was limited to Everything Everywhere (EE) as a sole operator partner, and it was in just a couple of the largest retailers. And it’s only in the last week or two I believe that began to broaden to additional operators in the UK and you will see that pattern form elsewhere."

As the Lumia 920 spreads from EE to other networks, demand is expected to increase - so Nokia has a plan: it's working on increasing production capacity at its facilities to meet the increased demand. "We would expect that at some point in not too distant future we would be in a situation where we are no longer [supply] constrained," Ihamuotila claimed - without, sadly, providing a hint as to when the supply constraints will end.

For those looking for a Lumia 920 handset, it certainly seems worth holding off for a while: as additional networks begin to offer the device and supply issues are resolved, the overall cost of the handset should begin to decrease and the offers provided with a Lumia-based contract improve.

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