Nokia's big problem: 'nobody comes in and asks for a Windows Phone'

Nokia's big problem: 'nobody comes in and asks for a Windows Phone'Nokia has bet the farm on Windows Phone being a success, as with demand for both its Symbian and Series 40 devices dropping rapidly it now remains pretty much the only way out of the hole the company now finds itself in.

So it's safe to say, then, that Stephen Elop and co won't be too pleased to see a Reuters story quoting European operators as saying Nokia and Windows Phone simply not in the same league as their Android and iOS rivals.

Nokia must be dreading its quarterly financial announcements at the moment, as each one somehow manages to be worse than the one before. It's now clear that any turnaround on the wings of rising Lumia Windows Phone market penetration will only start to have an effect in the second half of the year, by which time there might not be any value left at all in Nokia's shares.

All of which is the plan, if you're of the opinion that former Microsoft exec Elop is simply softening the company up for a Microsoft takeover.

Time will tell on that one, but in the meantime the battle for Nokia is far simpler: convincing anyone at all that a Lumia phone is better than a rival Android or Apple device.

And according to representatives from two European mobile carriers, it's just not getting the job done.

“No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows Phone,” was the blunt assessment of one, who pointed to high price and lack of marketing as the chief reasons why.

The latter point is particularly interesting, as Nokia looks to have been highly selective in how it's allocated its marketing resources for the Lumia brand. In the UK we saw a huge push for the Lumia 800 before Christmas, while in the US we've seen the carrier-subsidised Lumia 900 given even more exposure over recent weeks.

But in areas where Nokia hasn't pushed the Lumia range's credentials hard, demand remains extremely low, with Nokia having not only to sell the merits of the Windows Phone ecosystem, but also to repair the damage done to its own reputation at the top end of the smartphone market, where Symbian devices have consistently been seen as inferior.

“Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market,” the executive said.

“If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell,” he added.

However, despite a spokesperson for a second carrier saying that “it's good for operators if we can reduce the dominance of Apple”, the major issue from a mobile operator point of view is that iPhones and leading Android devices remain the handsets that are offered to the customer first, with Windows Phones – whether made by Nokia or anyone else – normally coming way down the list, if they feature at all.

When will that change? When a truly game-changing Windows Phone comes along that doesn't need millions upon millions to be spent just for anyone to notice it. Needless to say, we're still waiting.

Read more about: Windows Phone

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SpeedyG  Apr. 17, 2012 at 16:19

So is the Lumia 710 on sell for 120-150 pounds not going to help Nokia out a bit later in the year? :p

Pondlife  Apr. 17, 2012 at 16:38

I'll repeat what I said when Jan mentioned it on another thread.

No one came in and asked for half the stuff I ended up selling them when I was in retail, do some bloody work sheesh. Especially given that according to much of that article it's in their interest to sell them.

equ  Apr. 18, 2012 at 14:05

But why would the sales people push Nokia WP7? If they can make an easy and quick sale of a S2 or a iPhone4 why would they? Unless networks want to push the phone for some reason and offer a higher sales bonus. And that bonus is lightly payed by Nokia in reduced handset cost to the network. (Their margin is already very low...)

Ultimately to be successful you need demand from the clients

Pondlife  Apr. 18, 2012 at 14:24

Well the linked article says that the networks do want these as they see them as less costly over contract duration and quote seemed to be from network retail.


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