Second place for Windows Phone 7? Yeah, quite possibly

Second place for Windows Phone 7? Yeah, quite possiblyWandering around Mobile World Congress last week, one of the things that struck me – one of the biggest disappointments (other than Samsung) – was the rather lackluster showing from Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

According to various analysts with their all-seeing crystal balls, Microsoft will take second place in the OS race by 2015, and I have to say: I can absolutely see that happening.

Mobile World Congress was, once again, utterly dominated by Android. Everywhere you looked there were devices - of varying quality, admittedly - running Google's ubiquitous OS.

Meanwhile, in the comparatively meager world of Windows Phone 7, the only attendees were the Nokia Lumia 900 (which we met at CES last month), the budget Nokia Lumia 610 (whatev’s) and the cheapish ZTE Orbit. Was that it?

And, while Android raced into the quad-core era with the likes of the HTC One X and LG Optimus 4X HD, Windows Phone 7 debuted Tango, which introduces lower specs; slower processors and less RAM. That’s not exactly easy to get excited about.

Having said that, it’s easy to forget that we phone-loving geeks are actually in the minority. In fact, this is a great time to plug my recent feature Smart phones, silly people. On that theme, one of my lady friend’s picked up a new phone over the weekend, and when I asked what she got, she replied: “Who knows? It’s a Sony Ericsson and it says ‘HD’ on the back.” Sigh. Imagine investing hundreds of pounds in a TV and not knowing what it was. “It has a screen… and some channels…”

Oops, I’m off on a tangent. What was my point? Ah yeah, I was about to quote the great Jan Stoolmaker, who described the quad-core wares at Mobile World Congress as “esoteric nerd-fodder”. Brilliant.

Sure, there’ll inevitably be a significant number of people getting hot and bothered about the advances in specs, but the other end of the spectrum is just as important.

The big advantage Android has over iOS is a maaaaassive range of devices, with low-end handsets starting for just a few tenners, going aaaaall the way up to several hundreds of pounds. There’s truly something for everyone.

If you fancy an iPhone, however, the cheapest option is an iPhone 3GS (now almost three years old), weighing in at £319. Jeez.

Price is something that’ll be crucial to Windows Phone 7’s success, and Elop and Ballmer know this. At the moment it’s hard to imagine any one phone making as much impact and becoming as iconic as the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S II, but, with a range of prices and some quality low-end stuff, there’ll inevitably be an upshift in Windows Phone's market share.

Heck, we’re already seeing the Nokia Lumia 710 for £150 from Vodafone, and it runs Mango. We can only assume that the Tango-rocking Nokia Lumia 610 will settle around the £100 mark.

We nerds are all too aware of Nokia’s recent floundering; faffing around with MeeGo and yielding just one handset – the Nokia N9; arguably clinging onto Symbian for too long; siding with Microsoft when it had 1% market share; the Trojan Horse rumours. But all of that means absolutely nothing to Joe Average.

Indeed, as I mentioned in All I want is a Nokia 3210, I’ve spoken to lots of people recently who still fondly recall the days when Nokia dominated. With a pretty decent handset on offer at £100, it’s easy to imagine how things might change very quickly.

And going back to Windows Phone specs; while it’s still stuck on single-core till Apollo arrives, its high-end devices are just as nippy as some of Android’s dual-core efforts (as evidenced in the Windows Phone Challenge).

So, yeah, it might not be the most exciting development for us nerds, but the Nokia Lumia 610 (alongside other Tango-based offerings) will undoubtedly have a major impact on those pie charts. Second place for Windows Phone by 2015? Why not?

Read more about: Nokia Lumia 610Nokia Lumia 710Nokia Lumia 800Nokia Lumia 900Windows Phone

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18 comments

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 14:09

If you fancy an iPhone, however, the cheapest option is an iPhone 3GS (now almost three years old), weighing in at £319. Jeez

That kind of contradicts what you're saying in the paragraph before, though. Those "silly people" you so cruelly destroy ( :p ) do not pay that kind of money. It's us folks who buy sim-free. All the iPhone 4/4S sporting folks I see daily wouldn't dream of even paying £200 hundred for a phone - nevermind £600+ - it doesn't matter that frequently they do, of course (via 24 months contracts, poorly tailored add-ons etc)...

Ahem, where was I?
Yes, I think WP, via Nokia's budget bludgeons, may actually become a force. Number 2? Possibly. Appstore aside, WP is the closest to clever featurephones there is. Nokes still rules the dumbphone market anyway.
And lets not forget - soon a gazillion people will experience the Metro UI on Win 8. Good consumers that 'we' (not me) are, we will all move on (up?) to Win *, and oh, look, my phone looks just like it.
That is the closest to the 'unified user experience' that Nokes so successfully maintained - people use Symbian or Series 40, and though it may not be perfect, upgrading to another Symbian or Series 40 phone is indeed convenient when a phone is a necessary tool rather than a hobby. No learning curve, no new settings, no new apps...
Familiar is good. And then there's us. We don't matter, though.

lcurdie / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 17:22

If you fancy an iPhone, however, the cheapest option is an iPhone 3GS (now almost three years old), weighing in at £319. Jeez

That kind of contradicts what you're saying in the paragraph before, though. Those "silly people" you so cruelly destroy ( :p )...


I jest, I jest. The "silly people" simply recognise there are more important things in the world than phones. Like Dancing on Ice :p

And my point was that the iPhone - even the humble 3GS - is not cheap. But you know this. Troublemaker (_;)

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 17:39

Just keeping everyone on their toes... :p

Treab  Mar. 5, 2012 at 18:27

I was about to quote the great Jan Stoolmaker, who described the quad-core wares at Mobile World Congress as “esoteric nerd-fodder”. Brilliant.

let us remind us of the nerdiest phone around the nokia n9... a phone not released in ireland or the uk... so jan how can you call others 'nerds' when you own an n9... :p

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 18:38

I was about to quote the great Jan Stoolmaker, who described the quad-core wares at Mobile World Congress as “esoteric nerd-fodder”. Brilliant.

let us remind us of the nerdiest phone around the nokia n9... a phone not released in ireland or the uk... so jan how can you call others 'nerds' when you own an n9... :p

The N9 is not the N900 - it's actually boringly straightforward.
Yes, it has a dev mode, a terminal etc etc... But it's not nerdy. It's needy :p Folks who claim "the N9 is brilliant" are just craving something "different"!
When Elop said, over a year ago, that MeeGo wasn't ready, he must have been right, because MeeGo is still not ready. If Nokia had simply polished the N900's MaeMo, and given it some proper hardware, they would have achieved more. I'm not buying the N9=geeky/nerdy, really. It's different. And maybe it suits some people just fine.

Treab  Mar. 5, 2012 at 18:41

i thought you had an n9 in your cupboard?

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 18:44

i thought you had an n9 in your cupboard?
I do. I'm needy. :p
I had swapped X7 for the N9. N9 sucks. So now, I'm getting rid of it.
I'm using a Pre 3 and the Liquid. Could change any mo, though ;)

Treab  Mar. 5, 2012 at 18:53

which was never released in ireland?

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 19:02

which was never released in ireland?neither. Why? Is that relevant?
Your custom-rom'ed SGS2 (or Galaxy Mini ;) was never released anywhere.

Treab  Mar. 5, 2012 at 19:07

well you cant call anyone nerds for wanting a quad core phone. you imported a phone just to be 'different' :p

AND OI i do not have a custom rom :p or galaxy mini :p now bow down to my shexy galaxy s2 :p

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 19:18

Galaxy S2 with stock FW and a stock kernel is nearly as bad as buying an iPhone...there I said it... ;).

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 19:31

Treab, I did NOT import the phones. I got them locally, 2nd hand.

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 19:32

also: yes, WP will be the number 2. One day.

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 19:34

Number two to what is the interesting point, I feel. Android or iOS for #1?

Pondlife  Mar. 5, 2012 at 20:06

As it's 2nd place in 2015... maybe 2nd place to WP8 ;)

.....in the which windows phone sells more competition but nowt else.

Treab  Mar. 5, 2012 at 20:47

Treab, I did NOT import the phones. I got them locally, 2nd hand.

still nerdy :p

and matt... :O all im saying...

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 5, 2012 at 20:56

Buying into the big name, using it like a technophobe, people instantly recognise it...smacks of Apple to me :p!

equ  Mar. 19, 2012 at 18:14

I think its "2nd Place" behind "IOS and Android" lol

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