Monday, 15 October 2012

Editorial: Why Lumia will remain the face of Windows Phone

Last week we talked about how the new Microsoft-HTC relationship was affecting Nokia, today, we're explaining our thoughts on why we think Nokia will pull through regardless.

Back in February 2011, amid rumors of a Microsoft-Nokia acquisition, Microsoft and Nokia announced a new partnership agreement that would make Windows Phone Nokia's primary operating system to replace the dying Symbian. At least on the company's higher end models. This partnership resulted in the Lumia 710 and the drop-dead gorgeous Lumia 800. The Lumia 800 went on to become what the the two companies called "the first REAL Windows Phone". Ever since, Nokia dominated the Windows Phone charts, quickly becoming the number one selling Windows Phone manufacturer in terms of market share. Despite entering the Windows Phone game a year after previous OEMs like HTC and Samsung did.

Keep in mind that Nokia managed this despite being in a far worst financial situation than all of its Windows Phone rivals. Of course there's the $250 million grant Microsoft had paid them to adopt the OS, but that's hardly much for a company with an unmatched global reach.

We can summarize Nokia's Windows Phone domination with one word; commitment. Sheer commitment and determination to be on top. So what exactly has the company done to be in its position today?

Firstly, It's important to note that Nokia has exclusive rights to modify the Windows Phone UI as they please, a right that no other Windows Phone OEM has. But they haven't played that card yet, they've instead focused on differentiating themselves by providing exclusive quality software based services such as Nokia Drive, Maps, Transit, Music, and City Lens.

Nokia have made it very clear that they want to be the 'where' company. Their $8.1 billion acquisition of NAVTEQ should be an indication of that. On Windows Phone, they provide the best location based services on a mobile phone. And best of all, they're free. On other platforms like iOS and Android, you'll likely have to pay for a quality turn-by-turn navigation system from the likes of Garmin and TomTom for example, and they might not even perform well in countries other than the US. Nokia on the other hand perfects its mapping experience by tracking FedEx delivery trucks to discover new roads all around the world. No one drives more than those committed delivery people. Nokia Maps will also be replacing Bing Maps in the upcoming Windows Phone 8 as the OS's default mapping system on all Windows Phones.

The second reason as to why Lumia will remain the face of Windows Phone is due to the amount of work the company invests into the platform as a whole. Nokia have worked with the likes of CNN, Electronic Arts, ESPN, Rovio and Warner Bros Pictures to bring and develop exclusive content and apps to Lumia. While at the same time funding and promoting college students and freelance developers to bring their unique ideas to the platform. And the company will continue to do so in the future. No other Windows Phone OEM has done this. HTC focused on hardware choice with more than 5 Windows Phone models under their belt while Samsung has mostly been nonexistent with Windows Phone outside the US.

Another reason is Nokia's marketing push for Lumia. They've put ads for Lumia everywhere around the world, in cinemas, in airports, in newspapers, on TV, on the radio and even on roadside banners. Tell me, when's the last time you saw a HTC or Samsung Windows Phone ad? They've likely all been of their Android offerings.

This is the kind of commitment that will keep Nokia in the Windows Phone spotlight, and that's without mentioning the amazing technology packed in their Lumia devices like wireless charging and PureView. The company is doing its absolute best in providing a rich user experience with both hardware and software. And to me, that was more than enough reason to head out and buy a Lumia.

Oh, did I mention I was a die-hard iPhone fan not two years ago?

Are there any other reasons you think will help Nokia stay on top? Let us know in the comments section below.

Note: Thoughts portrayed in this editorial are the sole expressions of the author and do not represent TUJ or any of the entities mentioned within.

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