With new smartphones, high hopes for Nokia and Microsoft

“Nokia on Wednesday unveiled two new smartphones, the first fruits of the Finnish company’s alliance with Microsoft and a bid to recover market leadership, as well as extend Microsoft’s dominance in software for mobile devices,” Kevin J. O’Brien reports for The New York Times.

“Nokia’s chief executive, Stephen Elop, presented the Lumia 800, a €420 ($584) flat-screen device aimed at high-end users, and the Lumia 710, priced at €270, which is aimed at cost-conscious consumers,” O’Brien reports. “Both devices are being sold this month in six European countries and later this year in parts of Asia.”

O’Brien reports, “The smartphones are the result of an eight-month collaboration between Nokia and Microsoft that saw executives meet periodically in Iceland to oversee the project.”

MacDailyNews Take: Wow, eight whole months and they even had periodic meetings! How will Apple ever compete with that level of commitment to perfection?

O’Brien reports, “The new lineup aims to revive Nokia’s tarnished reputation as an innovative force in mobile phones, an industry it pioneered and dominated until Apple and Google leveraged more user-friendly software to wrest control of the smartphone business four years ago.”

MacDailyNews Take: No, Apple leveraged more user-friendly software to wrest control of the smartphone business four years ago. Google ripped off Apple (temporarily). Microsoft hopes to take the place of Android after Apple’s legal team completes their work of protecting Apple’s patented IP. If The New York Times delivered facts like this, perhaps they wouldn’t be struggling so.

O’Brien reports, “Mr. Elop said Nokia planned to introduce several cellphones in the United States, the world’s largest smartphone market, by early 2012. He did not give details on which handsets Nokia planned to sell in the United States, where it has only a 1.2 percent share of the smartphone market. He said the phones would be made to work on both the 3G and CDMA standard networks used by AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA and Sprint… ‘I have seen no evidence that Nokia and Microsoft are making a game of it — yet,’ said Jeffrey P. Davis, the chief investment officer at Lee Munder Capital Group, an investment manager in Boston. ‘Android is winning the mind space on the consumer front. The business world will probably follow.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Davis knows not of which he speaks. Business is not going to follow. They already tried the consumer-grade Apple knockoff route with Windows and they pay the price every day with high IT costs, lower productivity, and rampant insecurity. Android is the subject of some 30-odd legal actions around the world that can cripple it at any time with reduced functionality and/or higher licensing costs – higher than Windows Phone, which would prompt handset assemblers to switch to Microsoft’s OS. Sadly, nothing in O’Brien’s report indicates that he’s even remotely aware of this ominous cloud overhanging Android.

For what it’s worth (not much), the full article is here.


  1. “Nokia’s tarnished reputation as an innovative force in mobile phones” – what reputation? They never had one. They were known as the bottom based cheap, no innovation lives here, mass-produced minimal phone that people now shun as a pariah when they see the iPhone difference. Did ANYONE ever think “I need a cutting edge phone = must have Nokia!”

  2. “$584!!!?? Fully subsidized!!??”

    Seriously, the market will speak and judge. IMHO, the “tile” concept is interesting, but the tiles are way too large and take up too much screen real estate, always precious when space is at a premium. I don’t want to have to swipe five times to get to and laumch my apps…

  3. Also funny how Ballmer, after years of insisting that MS would be content merely to sell OS licenses and let the hardware manufacturers deal with the headaches and low margins of hardware production (like the desktop OS model), changes his tune and sees the value in one company unifying hardware with software. Microsoft comes around to the way that Apple has been doing business for two decades.

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