Call me a sucker, but I love “behind the scenes” type content. It’s one thing to read about the guts of a product, another to read someone’s impressions of using said product, but seeing it being put together … that’s just a totally different level. The folks at Nokia Conversations, the official Nokia corporate blog, put together a photo gallery of the recently announced and currently on store shelves Lumia 800 being assembled and packaged in Salo, Finland. To understand why these images mean so much, you have to remember that it was only 9 months ago that we saw Nokia CEO Stephen Elop get up on a stage in London and announce that Symbian is dead, MeeGo isn’t the future, and that the success of the company is going to be tied to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Now yes, Nokia was able to get the Lumia 800 out to market so fast because they didn’t bother creating a unique design, instead opting to use the exact same body as the N9, and they went with Compal to build the bulk of the Lumia 800 units instead of retooling their larger factories, but still. It took just 278 days to go from “We’re switching to Windows Phone” to putting a Nokia Windows Phone on store shelves in the United Kingdom. That achievement can’t be emphasized enough.
The future isn’t going to be easy. Consumers today see iPhone and Android and don’t have time to deal with anything else. Windows Phone Tango and Apollo are going to come out in 2012 and surely get some attention, but so will iOS 6 and whatever Google decides to call their next version of Android. That being said, there’s no doubt that Nokia’s going to make the best Windows Phones, not just because of their reputation in terms of build quality, but because if they don’t succeed then they have no future.
Update: Someone pinged me privately to point me to this article on Finnish news website YLE. Those happy Salo workers you see above? Bad news. “Savander confirmed the company planned to end the assembly of phones at the Salo plant and transfer operations to Asia.”