Nokia announced its first phone running the Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" OS, and plans an aggressive marketing blitz targeting the young. It's a Hail Mary, but a necessary one.
Eye on Microsoft
By Shane O'Neill, CIO
You have to hand it to Nokia. They can meet a tight deadline.
Last February, the Finnish company announced that it would be running Windows Phone 7 on future Nokia phones, and then, bam, eight months later we have the Nokia Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710, announced today at Nokia World in London.
Both phones use Microsoft’s updated Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” operating system and are built on the same 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor. The Lumia 800 has a 3.7 inch display and a sweet 8 MP camera; the 710 has the same size screen but a 5 MP camera. The estimated retail price of the Lumia 800 is 420 Euros (or $585) and the 710 is 270 Euros (or $376).
For more details on the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710, click on the IDG News Service video report below.
The Lumias are actually beautiful to look at and carry a lot of great features within WP7.5, but that price tag is hefty considering all the lower-cost smartphones out there, both on the Windows Phone 7.5 platform as well as Android, iPhone and Blackberry.
What’s missing in the Lumias? The two big ones are front facing camera and NFC (near field communication) functionality, but those won’t be deal breakers for most buyers.
Although Nokia has proved it can build ’em fast, can it sell ’em? The company’s future — and Microsoft’s mobile future — depends on the desirability of these Windows phones and the ones that follow.
During the keynote, Nokia marketing chief Steven Overman poured on the hyperbole like a circus ringmaster, using terms like “journey to the moment of truth,” “luscious” and “gadget lust.”
Whoa. That’s hot.
However, the young, hip demographic is a tough nut to crack. The iPhone and Android pretty much have it covered. Cool kids don’t buy Windows Phones — at least in the U.S. Still, this is the only move Nokia and Microsoft can make. They have no choice but to pursue the twentysomething: the most finicky, fickle, Apple-loving demographic. Good luck with that.
The international scene is different though; Nokia still has positive brand recognition in Europe. So that’s where Nokia’s Windows Phone marketing frenzy will commence. The Lumia devices will roll out in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November, and expand to Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan by the end of the year.
We won’t see them here in the U.S. until early 2012.