Nokia unveiled its Lumia Windows Phone devices on Wednesday to a packed out crowd at Nokia World 2011 in London.
Opinion of the first two Nokia Windows Phones is heavily split. Nokia introduced two devices on Wednesday that it feels can compete in European markets. The Lumia 800 is Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone and packs a 1.4 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 8-megapixel camera and 16GB onboard storage. The specifications are somewhat average for what Nokia claims is the “first real Windows Phone.” Nokia’s second Windows Phone, the Lumia 710, also includes a 1.4 GHZ processor, 512MB RAM and a 5-megapixel camera. Nokia has also opted to ship just 8GB of storage on the 710.
Reaction from Nokia World attendees was mixed. Some claimed Nokia was dead whilst others saw the positive points of Nokia’s devices and most agreed that the phones were disappointing or underwhelming. Nokia’s Lumia devices face competition from HTC and Samsung this holiday season, two of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. Nokia’s Lumia devices lack forward facing cameras and a significant differentiation from other Windows Phone devices. The Finnish handset maker hopes to set its devices apart with some unique app offerings. Nokia’s Drive, Music and Sports apps are all aimed at improving the Windows Phone experience for new users. Nokia’s biggest disadvantage in this area is that the vast majority of potential smartphone adopters this holiday season have never heard of Windows Phone and will be unlikely to filter through to Nokia’s marketing message.
Samsung’s Focus S appears to be the popular choice amongst Windows Phone users this holiday season thanks to its 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, 8-megapixel camera and forward facing camera support. Nokia’s entry into Windows Phone is a softly softly approach that is designed to create awareness and limited adoption. It’s clear that Nokia plans to expand on its Lumia range of Windows Phones and given its broad support for Symbian, I’d expect the same for Windows Phone devices. The main differentiator this holiday season is Nokia’s incredible build quality and unique coloring of its Windows Phones. The “fashion” approach is likely to resonate with the average consumer and will help to market Windows Phone across its initial markets. Nokia’s lack of U.S. Windows Phones is a clear way of avoiding a crowded market at peak time. Apple’s iPhone 4S and Google’s Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices will likely dominate holiday sales in the United States. Nokia hasn’t fared well in the U.S. before so it’s the worst time to enter a market and not execute fully. Nokia’s “Ace” device is still on the horizon and rumors suggest that it will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2012. Nokia’s Windows Phone offerings are just the beginning of what is likely to become an important ecosystem for Microsoft and its partners. Will the Lumia devices win praise this holiday season though?
Nokia Lumia Windows Phones, underwhelming but the beginning of a powerful partnership originally appeared at WinRumors.com.
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