Analysts estimate 1.3 million Nokia Lumias shipped in 2011

Nokia is expected to announce the number of Nokia Lumia handsets they shipped on the 26th, as part of their quarterly financial results.

Bloomberg has polled 22 analysts and found that they are estimating between 800,000 and 2 million Nokia Windows Phones have been shipped to retailers and carriers, with an average of 1.3 million.

Of course handsets shipped does not equal handsets sold to consumers, but the estimated shipment number would be enough to show that the Nokia/ Microsoft venture has been potential.

“The numbers look promising,” said Espen Furnes, an Oslo- based fund manager at Storebrand Asset Management, which sold Nokia shares last year. “If Nokia is able to have a strong launch and surpass at least 1 million and keep that type of momentum, this would help put them in a credible position that is crucial to winning back investors.”

“There weren’t a lot of the hero handsets out there — HTC were struggling, RIM didn’t have a show-me device, Sony Ericsson and Motorola weren’t really stepping into the mix, so there was probably enough space for Nokia to be able to point to fourth- quarter numbers they were happy with,” said Lee Simpson, a London-based analyst at Jefferies International.

Nokia is still expected to lose around $119 million for the quarter, but its share price has already increased by 15% this year as investor confidence returns.

Read more at BusinessWeek here.