Lumia – The guiding light for Nokia and Windows?

by Andrew Scott

In the late 90’s there were two things that were ubiquitous to almost every house hold, they were the Alanis Morissette album Jagged Little Pill and the Nokia phone charger. I don’t think I could name any other brands of mobile phone from that period, Nokia’s market share was so big it looked like they would always rule the world.

Nokia’s market dominance was not unfounded either, they were renowned for making innovative, easy to use and unbreakable phones.

Nokia invented the first smartphone, they then reinvented it as a consumer product rather than just a business product. They invented the first app store that bypassed the telecoms carrier; they offered the first touch screen. They offered the world’s first real web browsing phone, the first phone to connect to a wifi network, the first camera phone and the they were the first phone company to claim smartphones were not just phones, but ‘real’ computers too.

However, that was all before 2007 and the release of you know what. Despite having invented the concept of smartphones and starting off with a 100% market share, they finished the last decade with only 16% left. The other 84% being scooped up mainly by IPhone and Android phones.

Over the past 2 years in particular, Nokia seems to have been on an uncontrollable descent into the darkest nether regions of irrelevancy.

However Nokia is planning one last attempt to right its orbit and reclaim its home in the pockets of the world.

Having joined forces with another 90’s giant, Microsoft – also struggling to stay relevant in the new mobile world – Nokia have announced two new phones Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, both running Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system, 7.5 Mango. Microsoft is understood to be lavishly bankrolling the whole operation by paying unspecified billions as a thank you to Nokia for using its software.

Both companies need this phone to be a success, but I’m already worried. I know it doesn’t say anything about the quality of the phones, but in my opinion having numbers after your product name, an operating software named after a piece of fruit and a CEO who dresses like a banker rather than a cool consumer product maker, all suggests to me these companies are still painfully behind the times.

That said, some experts believe Windows Phone Mango is better than Google’s Android and even better than Apple IOS. Benedict Evans at Enders Analysis has wagered that: “Next year, Nokia and Apple will be the only people selling smartphones that aren’t generic slabs of plastic.”

Lumia 800 will be released in the UK in November.

Will lumia save Nokia and Windows or are they just too out of touch? Let us know in the comments below.
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