Nokia Makes Very Soft "Aggressive" Launch of Lumia 900 LTE Windows Phone
January 9, 2012 6:50 PM
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Phone is Nokia's first phone "built for and designed for the North American market"
As expected, Nokia Oyj. (
) -- the
world's largest phone-maker
by volume (when feature phones are included in the mix) -- made a push on Monday to stay relevant in the smartphone market with
the new Nokia 900
The Nokia Lumia 900. [Image Source: Nokia]
I. Nokia Enters America... Or Re-enters it?
Nokia's VP of Communications Susan Sheehan made an amusing stumble, commenting at the opening of the press conference that the Lumia lineup was "Nokia's entry... (stutter) reentry into the wireless market in North America."
But to be honest the first statement was probably the most accurate -- Nokia hasn't been relevant in the North American market since the days when there wasn't much of a market.
Nokia kicked off the conference with old news. The Nokia 710 was launching on Deutsche Telekom AG's (
) T-Mobile USA, America's fourth largest mobile carrier,
on January 11
. Priced at $50, Nokia pitches that the phone, "Brings an unparalleled combinations of quality and price to the American market."
Likewise, Nokia talked about how its
Nokia 710 and snazzier color plastic Nokia 800
have been trinkling out to various non-U.S. markets worldwide.
The Nokia Lumia 800. [Image Source: Nokia]
But the big ticket item of Nokia's presser was the Lumia 900.
II. The Lumia 900 -- Bigger is Better
The Nokia Lumia 900 follows the
chic Android cliche of "supersizing and 4G"
. It essentially takes the Nokia 800, bumps the screen size to 4.3 inches, and adds an LTE modem, plus a beefy 1830 mAh battery to support the new blazing but hungry communications chip. As we mentioned over the weekend, a 1.4GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of storage space is in the mix as well. The screen also saves power via circular polarizing display tech., branded as Nokia's "Clear Black" feature.
New Nokia CEO -- and ex-Microsoft Corp. (
) camera employee (and "Trojan horse" according to some) -- Stephen Elop cheered the device. He comments, "We believe that the industry has shifted from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems...[The Nokia 900 is] a smartphone designed and delivered specifically with the North American consumer in mind...[It is] the first real Windows Phone built for and designed for the North American market."
A couple of other pertinent tidbits were tossed out by Mr. Elop. The new phone will use Nokia's proprietary injection-molded polycarbonate casing to deliver black and cyan Lumia 900s whose "color is inherently innate to the material, not cheaply painted on the outside."
The phones will also have some pretty nice optics. On the rear is a F2.2 wide angle lens, with dual aspect ratio support. On the front is a F2.4 lens, which Nokia seemed particularly proud of. The company brags, "The front camera of the Nokia 900 let's in as much light as the back camera of nearly of nearly every other smartphone out there."
The phone will be carried by AT&T, Inc. (
). In a bit of fan service to tech news fans everywhere, Nokia managed to squeeze Stephen Elop, Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer, and AT&T President Ralph de la Vega all on one stage.
III. Nokia's Big Lumia 900 Suffers From Soft Launch
Sadly, the launch was very soft, with many of the most criticial deals left unsaid. Price was not discussed other than Mr. Elop's nebulous assurance that it would "aggressive. " The launch time was stated as "in coming months" (about as ambiguous a phrase as you could think up).
Mr. Elop says part of the challenge of selling consumers on Windows Phones is explaining to them that the fastest CPU does not necessarily mean the best performance. He comments, "Quad-core doesn't mean quad-performance or quad-user experience."
Of course it's hard to sell a product that doesn't exist yet, so Nokia better move aggressively to drop its Lumia 900 on the American market ASAP, particularly with HTC Corp. (
) preparing to drop its own HD, LTE Windows Phone --
the HTC Titan 2
All images © of Jason Mick and DailyTech LLC.
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RE: Big 800
1/10/2012 5:47:57 PM
Even for a mainstream user, a dual-core CPU allowed (and still does) you to play a game without worrying that your firewall, antivirus, messenger ate precious CPU cycles. Since there was a second, mostly unused core, you had plenty of cycles to spare. It also allowed you to run a CPU intensive task (e.g. compressing/uncompressing stuff) without the UI getting stuck. This continues to be the main advantage even today.
As for the AthlonXP vs Athlon64 X2 analogy, remember that the latter also featured an integrated memory controller. Better performance for memory intensive tasks (again, compression comes to mind).
Of course you didn't see these gains all the time, the PC is not always held back by the CPU. But to claim you didn't see anything? That's a stretch.
RE: Big 800
1/10/2012 6:43:12 PM
Remember back when dual core first came out, most games were still castrated by the graphics cards, not the CPU itself. It took a while for software to catch up largely with ragdoll physics and similar improvements to really start to require dual core or better systems.
RE: Big 800
1/10/2012 9:42:55 PM
I think you guys are totally missing the point about dual core CPU's....
RE: Big 800
1/11/2012 1:56:00 PM
I think there may be a disconnect between the intent of what I wrote and how you are interpreting it. My intent to say was with respect to real world applications for mainstream users back when dual cores came out, I saw no noticeable performance improvement. My browser, MS Word, Excel, Outlook etc. opened a fraction of a second faster. I call that no difference because it amounted to no additional value for me. If you want to get down to semantics, than yes, it made a fraction of a second difference.
To address your comments about AV and FW, back when dual cores first hit the mainstream desktop, the mainstream OS and applications were not optimized for dual cores and thus never effectively utilized them. There are applications of course that benefited greatly from multi-core systems, for example, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere - though I don't consider these mainstream. Further, the OS still does not perform functions on multi-core systems on some applications when the system is under load because there are other factors impacting system performance should it run the application (such as IO speed, memory, bus speed, etc.). For example, you still don't have AV system scans going on while you're working.
With my technology hat on, I SUPPORT dual cores on mobile devices because it pushes the envelope forward in the mobile space. With my business hat on, I SUPPORT the marketing behind it because it has proven to work (my AMD example).
I believe that the mainstream users are being treated like drones that are easily swayed by marketing (and they are yet again). Because of this, what I DO NOT SUPPORT at this time is the perception that having more cores is always going to create tangible performance improvements. Right now it's a marketing ploy to boost sales.
I believe that we will get to that level of core optimization in the mobile space eventually for mainstream applications, however by the time we get there, the phones we use today will be sitting in a recycling bin or a hand-me-down for our children to play with.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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