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Windows Phone 8: Nokia's Jesus?

10.30.2012
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This post was written by Shawn Deena, a member of the Bull City Mobile team.  They are mobile problem solvers working for you.

Think about this: just about five years ago the iPhone came into our lives and entirely destroyed all forms of competition for a good while. It was like someone took a loaf of bread and sliced it for the first time. Life BIP (before iPhone) had a clear leader: Nokia. When cellphones were breaking into the mainstream, Nokia was churning out the hits like nobody’s business. It was the go-to phone if you wanted a solid model that didn’t drop calls and offered the features you wanted in a cell phone (at the time).

But put any classic Nokia up against an iPhone and, well… it’s like holding an old school CRT television up against an HD LED flat-screen. No contest. So as the smartphone revolution begun, other companies began to make their versions, Apple continued to make new versions that sold like hotcakes, and Nokia just sort of fell behind. Very behind.

The Fall of Nokia

In two words: downward spiral. The Finnish company just couldn’t keep up with the explosion that became all the fancy gadgets we have to choose from today. Then, like a savior from technology heaven, Microsoft floated down on a shiny beam of light and offered a deal where the hardware manufacturer could push a new phone: the Windows 7 phone (Lumia). While it was a nice gadget, eight months later the demand for this device fell way flat of expectations. So now, as Microsoft rolls out its new OS Windows 8 along with a new tablet to compete with Apple (the Surface), they are also launching the Windows Phone 8 via a variety of mobile phone makers like HTC, Samsung and… (drum roll) Nokia!

The Lumia 920: Nokia’s Last Chance?

So, maybe this will be The One? Just maybe. A few things to consider:
  1. Windows is not putting all its mobile-platform eggs in one Finnish basket (HTC/Samsung get some eggs too).
  2. There’s still that pesky behemoth Apple to compete with.
  3. Nokia is taking a huge gamble, considering their first time around with Windows didn’t go so well.
So what is the 920 serving up to entice a new breed of fans and followers?
  • Nokia Maps, including turn-by-turn and offline navigation (we’ll see if that’s any better than Apple’s Google-free disaster of a mapping service).
  • Wireless charging.
  • PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics (apparently awesome).
  • A free Nokia Music service.
  • A bunch of other exclusive Nokia apps (for what they’re worth).
  • Available on multiple carriers: no exclusivity. 
  • Responsive to issues and sending out software updates.
  • Other stuff!

So Many Questions!

Is that going to be enough? Will Nokia’s new model be able to compete both price-wise and preference-wise over stuff already in the market like the Galaxy III and the iPhone 5? Considering it’s a Johnny-come-lately with nowhere close to the amount of third-party applications that Google and Apple have, will it have the “wow” factor that both Microsoft and Nokia are hoping for? Will they be able to regain their foothold in the cell phone market they once had? (Nokia at one time had over half of the smartphone market worldwide before iPhone and Android phones showed up.) Last year after they closed a deal with Microsoft they stopped using their own Symbian homemade software and switched to Windows. For the record, the most recent stats show Windows phones only having a 2.7% of the market.

Conclusion

Maybe the dynamic-duo team-up with Microsoft will really be the reincarnation that Nokia needs.
But as it is Nokia doesn’t really have much else going on, if the their Windows 8 phone gets clobbered by the competition, there won’t be much left to save.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Shawn Deena .

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)