AT&T Says Lumia 900 Launch Will Blow Away the Every iPhone Launch Yet
March 29, 2012 6:22 PM
comment(s) - last by
Big update also planned for the Lumia 800
Two of the biggest factors against Microsoft Corp.'s (
) Windows Phone 7 operating system when it
launched in late 2010
were lack of compelling packaging and lack of carrier support.
Were more interested in Android.
Figured WP7 would be low volume.
Ironically, noticed that WP7 performed great on low-end hardware.
Thus they shoved the OS onboard their most ugly budget models. Ironically, many of these handsets still performed well, although they were far behind Android and Apple, Inc. (
) in the looks department. This -- along with Microsoft
not paying carriers sales commissions
-- led to a general lack of interest in carriers pitching WP7 handsets.
I. Nokia and AT&T Are Windows Phone's Dynamic Duo
Well, all of that is starting to change, thanks to Nokia Oyj. (
) and AT&T Inc. (
Nokia offered the
first piece of the puzzle
-- attractive packaged phones. Nokia wowed with sleek handsets like the
4.3-inch display LTE-enabled Lumia 900
; its "little brother", the 3.7
-inch HSPA+ Lumia 800
; and the
upcoming Nokia Lumia 808 PureView
, which featured a
41 megapixel camera
, and potentially will get LTE treatment.
The Nokia Lumia 900. [Image Source: Nokia]
The next trick was finding a carrier to pitch the phone to customers -- a vital step, given the general public apathy with regards to high technology. As Apple has demonstrated, a strong pitch can win over the masses.
AT&T long considered itself
the "premium" WP7 vendor
, yet its new efforts eclipse anything it has previously done -- or which
U.S. carrier has done, thus far, with Windows Phone.
Jeff Bradley, AT&T device chief says that the April 8 launch of the Lumia 900 will be a bigger launch than the exclusive
2007 Apple iPhone debut
for that matter). In a
, he states, "At all levels, this is a notch above anything we've ever done. Before you walk in to the store, you know this is our hero phone. We're going big. We're really bullish."
AT&T says that the Nokia Lumia 900 launch will be bigger than any iPhone launch to date.
[Image Source: Geek.com]
Nokia and AT&T are being careful not to overhype too early, as has been the case with some Android devices that were hyped months before then sold poorly. Instead, they plan to unleash
a flood of advertising
almost consecutively with the launch.
Recall that even Sprint Nextel Corp.'s (
) -- a distant third in subscribers -- was able to give Android a big 2010 boost with its resounding 4G-backed commitment to the platform. When it's AT&T -- America's second largest carrier, Windows Phone may just have found its hero. Or perhaps given that AT&T is looking for the next great thing, with the end of iPhone exclusivity, perhaps the situation is the other way around -- AT&T has found an unexpected hero.
II. Truly Modern
AT&T could pick a worse superphone to stake its reputation on.
While Apple and Google are still stuck with 90s-era Chiclet icons, Microsoft's bleeding edge UI has been delighting the
small crowd of early adopters
with its rich modern tile-based UI. Windows Phone screams of a smartphone OS that isn't trying to be on the defining edge of modern -- it
the defining edge of modern. The only thing it is missing has been sales and handsets.
In recent months Windows Phone's Marketplace has soared in apps:
Aug. 2011: 30,000 apps [
Dec. 2011: 50,000 apps [
Mar. 2012: 70,000 apps [
At this pace, it's on track to cross the 100,000 app mark by sometime mid-year. That places it in a lofty crowd that its current and former rivals like Research in Motion, Ltd. (
) and Hewlett Packard Comp. (
) have struggled to reach. Recall that in mid-2009, Apple still only had 65,000 apps a year after the launch of the App Store.
With Apple and Android both reaching the saturation point, Microsoft is seeing soaring developer interest. And that ultimately means that most of the most beloved apps of Android and iOS are on Windows Phone.
At this point the only thing holding Microsoft back is the learning curve, but given that Microsoft's core apps are quite intuitive, it seems like customers could be talked into taking the plunge. A sub-$100 Lumia 900 could sweeten the deal substantially.
III. Nokia Lumia 800 Gets a Boost
While the Lumia 900 may be getting the bear's share of AT&T's hype -- and marketing dollars -- it's also important AT&T puts forth a well-rounded lineup. To that end, the Lumia 800 is receiving a major update.
While it's not official yet, write-ups have indicated the Lumia 800 is compatible with AT&T's network and may be headed to it later this spring/summer.
The Nokia Lumia 800 (left) and 710 (right). [Image Source: Nokia]
The new Lumia 800 software -- V1600.2487.8107.12070 -- is being moved forward from April 18 to starting this week. The four-week global rollout marks Nokia's third major update to the Lumia 800, which launched in November globally.
Nokia offers the humorous analogy that the update is like shepherding,
The real-life analogy that I can think about to describe this is herding sheep through a gate. For a Windows Phone partner, developing a smartphone is like that: there’s always a balance to be struck between what you can do and what you’d like to do, between what you can offer now and later. But due to the urgent need to get this update in the hands of people, we were able to bring the schedule forward, although not all at the same time.
The update focuses on battery life and is supposed to bring total battery life up to around 25 to 30 hours on the stock 1450 mAh battery.
Again no U.S. carrier has officially launched the Lumia 800 -- yet. But both AT&T and America's top carrier Verizon Wireless (a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (
) and Vodafone Group Plc.'s (
are moving towards deploying LTE-enabled variants. Together, the two giants account for around three quarters of the U.S. market in terms of subscribers.
For now AT&T is the clear leader of the Windows Phone charge.
But as happened with Sprint's Android pickup and AT&T's iPhone pickup, don't be surprised if Verizon Wireless jumps on the Windows Phone bandwagon in a big way this year or next.
Suddenly Windows Phone has gone pencil pushing shy nerd to the cool new kid in town. It's hard to say exactly how far it will rise, but it's safe to say that the Lumia 900 launch will be the first of its kind for Windows Phone.
Looks like Microsoft finally
made a smart investment
in the phone space.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
3/29/2012 8:10:20 PM
It's not that far off the iPhone 4s, which while it has two cores they run at 800mhz, 512MB Ram, 640 x 960 resolution.
3/30/2012 7:23:58 AM
GPU wise it's pretty far from the Iphone 4S but as already mentioned it doesn't matter, it's all about the experience not the specs. These are phones not PC's.
3/30/2012 1:05:37 PM
These are phones not PC's.
Weeeelllll....power wise, they pretty much are if you think about it.
Not sure why people on a tech website are poking their heads in here to parrot that specs aren't important. Really? Cause correct me if I'm wrong, but the iPhone 4S - you know the most popular top selling phone ever made to date - is certainly bursting at the seems with specs that would make a 4 year old PC blush.
If phones are all about the user experience, then how do you explain Windows Phone's absolute abysmal market share?
Specs are important. They have always BEEN important. And they always WILL be important. Apple didn't even improve the user experience in the iPhone 4S. It's the same phone as the 4. All they did was mega-pump up the hardware. But that created BUZZ. Even that stupid Siri, which proved to be a gimmick, created buzz and hype. Microsoft needs to try something, anything, to generate consumer interest.
Microsoft acts as if they are in a position to rest on their laurels and release mediocre phone after mediocre phone. They don't get it. Apple and Google do. You have to WOW the consumers. You need to make hype-worthy products. You have to make these people scared,
, that they are missing out on something. That if they don't buy your phone, their lives will be incomplete. That they'll be missing out on the COOLEST FREAKING THING EVER if they do NOT run -not walk- to the nearest retailer and sign a contract in their own blood and give away their soul for the next two years just to be PRIVILEGED to be able to use your phone.
When's the last time anyone camped out all night on a curb just to be in a line to buy a Windows Phone? I'll tell you when...NEVER. Microsoft has the power to change that, they just do not have the will.
3/30/2012 1:20:29 PM
"If phones are all about the user experience, then how do you explain Windows Phone's absolute abysmal market share?"
In a word: Marketing.
Also, I think they budgetted their investment in WP7 and got relatively what they expected out of it for this point and time.
Expect big synergy and a big pick up in WP advertising right between Windows 8's launch and subsequent WP8 launch which will likely be another distro of Win8 Arm.
That's an educated guess, but I'd wager I'm on the right track.
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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