Editorial: Nokia should have never brought the Lumia 900 to America

This Sunday, the 8th of April, AT&T will start selling the Nokia Lumia 900 for just $99 with a 2 year contract. Design wise, it’s the Lumia 800, which itself is based on the Nokia N9, but with a 4.3 inch screen. Under the hood there’s a 4G LTE modem, but other than that … there’s nothing that makes this phone special. Consider this: The Nokia N9 was announced on June 21, 2011. That means that the Lumia 900 is using a design that for all intents and purposes is “old”. But forget about the design, I want to talk about software, and more importantly timing.

Windows 8, not Windows Phone 8, but Windows 8, the next version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system, is going to hit the market in October. The marketing campaign that’ll be behind it is going to be enormous, possibly several orders of magnitude more intense than whatever AT&T and Nokia are planning to do to promote the Lumia 900. Why is this important? Because people will see Windows 8, then they’ll see Windows Phone, and they’ll get it. They’ll see that the smartphone sitting on AT&T’s shelf has a connection to the computer that’s being advertised on TV.

And then there’s Windows Phone 8, codenamed Apollo. Rumor has it that it’s going to be announced in Q4 of this year and that devices running it will also be released during the same quarter. Assuming it’s going to be released during the same month as Windows 8, meaning October, that’s just half a year away.

Six months.

You’re telling me that Nokia couldn’t have waited six months to release a device that not only runs the next generation of Windows Phone, but also has the hardware specifications to compete with the latest and greatest Android devices? Yes, I know Windows Phone runs perfectly well on a single core processor with half a gigabyte of RAM, but most people compare numbers. Quad core is better than dual core, dual core is better than single core. It’s sad that marketing people have made the masses believe this, but it’s the reality we have to deal with.

Also, there’s an extremely high likelihood that today’s Windows Phones, as in every Windows Phone currently on the market, will not get updated to Windows Phone 8. Why? Because Windows Phone 8 will be based on a completely new kernel. This hasn’t been confirmed officially, but sources I’ve spoken to have said that this will indeed be the case.

So is it worth it for Nokia to release a smartphone today that uses a year old design and will be obsolete in just six months? In Europe and Asia, sure, why not, but in America? No. People will get the Lumia 900, they’ll realize Windows Phone Mango isn’t quite up to snuff, and they’ll promise themselves that they will never buy another Windows Phone.

  • Lunar Module

    This is the best of all articles written about the Nokia Lumia 900.

    I’ll wait until the Apollo OS later this year and evaluate what it’s like then. But to get one of these Windows Phones that can’t run Apollo would be crazy.

    • But the price of the Lumia 800 in the UK has it priced up against Android smartphones still running Gingerbread, which is massively long in the tooth right now. Nokia are competing on price for the time being, whilst they prepare what I imagine will be a massive marketing push with new phones and features in Q4 alongside WP8.

      I imagine that the Lumia 800 and 900 will have WP8 upgrades as well, what with them being 2nd generation (WP7.5) devices and all rumours pointing that way. The Lumia 800 is priced at less that the 8GB iPhone 3GS, and that won’t be getting the next iOS upgrade…

    • Anonymous

      I just dont understand attitude of some people , because if someone really have a “particular use” with device , then u write down those features u want , on a ‘paper’ or note them down somewhere and compare phones with those things u wrote down ,if they match up those things , go ahead and buy whichever suits u or else wait , if u choose the phone but phone price is high , wait and buy phone next year (same model but price drops).
      Why should u compromise and buy an under-featured product/something which is performing poor to ur usage ?.If u are not happy with current performance and want even better performance, then definitely wait.Dont wait if u really like current performance.

      Even if Apollo doesnt come , Nokia continues to update their apps as well as their phone and fix bugs,improve stability of mango/tango OS , Nokia still rolled out updates for 5800 xpress music even after belle came out.Nokia never loses edge over service and support.

      ………………New tech always looks better because of marketing gimmicks and hypes.

  • Abc

    I dont know why anyone read your Nokia reports Stefan… no matter what Nokia does youll never have a good word to say… still carrying a chip on your sholder I think…

      why dont you swap to reporting on other manufacturers that you dont have  a personal axe to grind against….

     Consumers want a change they are board of Android and IOS.. yes really… but you just dont get this do you…

  • Anonymous

    Wha? You serious? 😀

  • sss

    Nokia needs money before October. That’s one good reason to try to sell more.

    • Funny thing is that Nokia actually loses money on smartphones. Their feature phone unit meanwhile generates profits. Six months isn’t a long time to wait. Remember the Nokia N97 and how much damage that thing did to their brand? Something tells me the Lumia 900 will do the same thing.

      • But the N97 was an awful phone, the Lumia 800 is actually really quite nice (most people who reviewed it thought it compared favourably with most Androids).  The bugs are now mostly fixed too which is a bonus.

        The smartphone unit is losing money because that is the one with all the R&D and all the risk. Nokia’s feature-phone selection is relatively static, and it has pretty solid control of that market – wheras its trying to break into a new market with smartphones.

        I’m not saying the Lumia 900 is going to be a better phone than the iPhone 4S or Galaxy S3, but it is a very nice phone at what is a very attractive price. Nokia has decided that for the time being it needs to compete on price, and then I imagine it will be competing on features as well once WP8 drops and they already have people talking about them again, and the userbase is big enough that more apps are running across three platforms.

  • Interestingly, this editorial mirrors a comment I left on another site about the Lumia 900. I’m at a loss why Nokia/MS didn’t push the Lumia 800 for the market, now, and save the Lumia 900 (with upgraded specs — screen, camera) to roll out with WIndows Phone 8. I must admit that I have not seen the device in person yet, but the screen resolution, alone, is enough to make me pause. What gets me is that it took MS, seemingly, forever to bring WP7 to market. Why rush out a device that you hope will bring a wave of iPhone and Android converts. I hope Windows Phone is successful, but this strategy seems to only provide more support for the argument that MS doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing with mobile devices. 

  • Miguelverdelho

    All windows phones (1gen and 2 gen)  will be upgraded to windows phone 8. Will see. I believe.

    • Anonymous

       Keep dreaming, they may call it Apollo, but it wont be the same kernel.

  • I think Microsoft had better get their smart phone programmers to  work out a way to upgrade
    windows 7.5 mango smart phones to windows 8. Smart phones today are really mobile mini computers surly windows 8 drivers can be created for the chip-sets in the Windows 7.5 mango mango smart phones. Windows 8 OS will run on computers with a single core CPU so there is no excuse for this action except microsoft intends to have 3 types of smart phones for sale in the Market place which would be 1= Windows 7.5 tango for very cheap smart phones, 2=Windows phone 7.5 refresh that is on the Nokia Lumia 710,800. 900. samsung focus S and F and the HTC Titan 1 and 2 and 3=Windows phone 8 for High tech smart phones. this IS FRAGMENTATION. BUT COULD WORK AS THERE WOULD BE MICROSOFT  SMARTPHONES FOR EVERY ECONOMIC LEVEL FROM POOR PEOPLE TO MODERATE INCOME PEOPLE TO RICH PEOPLE. The questions are does Microsft have the courage to do this and will it work in the smart phone market place

  • Hevianus

    Nokia new design is most beautiful phone made ever, why would they change it now??? You should write to Apple and ask them chance iphone, it has been same looking since …..

  • Dude, this is Nokia. What makes you think they won’t announce the successor to the Lumia 900 a few months after it gets released anyways? They’ve pretty much always done that.

  • Of course not only Nokia will launch new devices for WP8, so will HTC, Samsung and all.
    New Kernel? That is seamless for the user, and I’m 99.9% sure it will be no issue for developers to quickly port the apps (just recompile). Lumia 900 is just the peak of the iceberg.

  • Anonymous

    Nokia will have phones out when WP8 comes out. The have no major presence in the USA. This phone has people in the USA talking about Nokia.  Just for being in the conversation they have won with this device.

    • I don’t buy this whole “being in the conversation” bullshit. Remember the Palm Pre? People couldn’t shut up about it … now look where Palm is. They’re dead.

      • Ben Boultinghouse

        But yet here you are, talking about it?

        •  And yet, here it is still as dead as ever.

    • I don’t buy this whole “being in the conversation” bullshit. Remember the Palm Pre? People couldn’t shut up about it … now look where Palm is. They’re dead.

  • Anonymous

    I think the Lumia 900 is fine for the U.S. but I don’t think it should be the device that gets the $200 million marketing push. Get it out there like the 610 to get your brand back out there and to have relations with the carriers and then blast it out in six months with a new Windows 8 phone and aggressive promotions. I like the Lumia 900 but it’s going to fall short of the competition. 

    • wpGrunt

      Would you rather that money be placed behind an Android or Iphone? What do you care? It’s not your money.

  • Anonymous

    “So is it worth it for Nokia to release a smartphone today that uses a year old design and will be obsolete in just six months?”

    You got to be kidding me! Lets start that this device is beautiful(still, even for an “old” design), I’ll
    continue by asking: Are you telling me that every day when we see a new
    Android device they are not “obsolete” after 6 months?

    • Most of the Android 2.3 devices that are worth buying (Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note, Motorola RAZR) are going to get updated to Android 4.0, whereas the Lumia 900/800/710 are not going to get Windows Phone 8. That’s the difference.

      • Ben Boultinghouse

        All the phones you mentioned are not $99 as the current Nokia WP is, so what if you cannot upgrade it, your not out $2-300 or bucks that you spend on the other phones.  When the new/updated/upgraded Nokia WP8 comes out, you get it.

        • Anonymous

          What he said 🙂

  • So Stefan Constantivns#%#&*…whatever, you are basically saying that N9 design family is old?, Funny how people like you loved the iPhone 4S and it’s “Refreshed” look when it came out long after the practically same iPhone 4. But, maybe in your universe, apple launched a different looking iPhone 4S.

  • Elie Sokhon

     but why take it like this?
    i’ve seen dual core processors perform better than quadcore and why are u so optimistic? have you used a windows phone?
    the interface will make people fall in love with the platform and the 900 design is basically the tool to push it
    great move by nokia and never undersestimate a sleeping giant 😉 especially one like Nokia 😉

  • Duane Swaby

    Six months. Two quarters. Half a year. You think a company should sit on their hands for six months waiting for the next big thing?!? In the TECH INDUSTRY!?!?!

    You were either high when you wrote this, or just woke up.

  • Anonymous

    obviously this guy hasn’t used Windows Mobile 7.5 (Mango) before. He know nuts about Microsoft technology. Having duo core or quad core means the newer variants of OSes needs more CPU processing power because it’s getting more complex. what about the older android platforms? can every single one of them runs ICE CREAM SANDWICH without severe degrading in performance??

    • You can read my Windows Phone (not Mobile) 7.5 Mango review here: http://www.intomobile.com/2012/01/29/review-nokia-lumia-800-its-either-smartest-dumbphone-dumbest-smartphone/

  •  this man is crazy, I smell conspiracy

  • Yeipr

    As I see it, we have two marketing hot topics surrounding the Lumia 900 launch. The first of both is regaining presence in a market where you are being left out (the case of Nokia and MS in the smartphone industry). Regarding this aspect, this massive launch hits right in the point it should. 

    On the other hand, we have what Mr Constantinescu cleverly points out here: there’s no worse failure for a brand than making big hype and publicity on a mediocre product. This could ruin your image in the long run. The price point ($100) is a big help to excuse this fact, but it won’t be funny to see yourself trapped in a 2-year contract with such an underspecd phone. Usually it’s not worth waiting for new technologies to arrive since you would be waiting forever, but waiting for the WP8 wave seems worth it for those interested in this OS.

    So, this move has an ambigous effect indeed. Put your name on everybody’s mouth is a good thing, but only if they’re saying good stuff about you and  not the oppossite way (cough Palm, cough RIM). I’m not emotionally attached to neither Nokia or MS, but for the competition’s sake, I hope they get this move right or this could be their final struggle in the smarphone world.

  • rhoward

    Wow, you’re Americentric.  It’s okay to peddle this crap for “Europe and Asia” in other words.

  • Anonymous

    jesus you talk some shite dont you….

  • I personally just got this phone from Rogers, Canada. And it is one of the best phones I’ve ever used. The os needs some getting used to, just as anything else for the first time.

    Functionality aside, I think Nokia did the right thing for releasing this phone now. And the marketing campaign they’re running is worth every penny. Why? Because in Q4 2012, when Microsoft releases Windows 8, as you said people will see it and want a windows phone. 

    And whats the first manufacturer that will come to mind then? Not Samsung, LG, HTC etc. Windows phones will be Nokia. I don’t think the Lumia 900 was ever intended to be an all-or-nothing shot for Nokia. It was always about making Nokia to WP, what Samsung is to Android.

  • I got my Lumia 900 on April 6th after waiting a year for a fast, fun and sexy Windows Phone. The Lumia 900 is a blast to use and does smoke the competition. I didn’t want to wait 6 more months and don’t give a damn about upgrading to WP8. I’ll buy a W8 tablet and new WP8 phone as soon as higher end phones with WP8 are available. Maybe AT&T will give me an upgrade credit and pass my Lumia 900 to someone with a Lumia 710. There are way too many anal-ysts making FUD and hay over the upgarde topic and trying to tell both Microsoft and Nokia what to do. I’ve been developing and using Microsoft products for 26 years of my 42 year IT career and don’t give a rat about industry and product guru’s opinions. Retired and having a lot of fun.

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