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"No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone." -- Euro executive

It's been a wild ride for Nokia Oyj.'s (HEL:NOK1V) first Windows Phone super-phone, the Lumia 900 LTE.  The last week has brought strong salesembarrassing bugs, and even a bit of respect from the American market.

I. Sampling the Hatorade

But Reuters reports that the increasing Nokia Lumia Windows Phone buzz is met with icy disdain across the pond in the UK.  One of Europe's top markets, UK carriers appear to be giving up on Nokia's Lumia, after hardly giving it a chance to shine.

An executive at a European telecom who had been selling the Lumia 710 and 800 complained, "No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone.  Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market."

The executive is quoted as praising Windows Phone for its "tons of cool" features, but then throws the OS under the bus, stating, "If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell."

The curious thing with the European carriers is that they claim to be frustrated with Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android legion and with the pricey iPhone from Apple, Inc. (AAPL) -- a device that may never turn a profit for carriers.  But when it comes to selling the Lumia's Reuters reports that the carriers are making hardly any effort.  Nokia's Windows Phones are tucked away in unseen corners and clerks peddle Apple iPhones and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) Galaxy phones on smartphone shoppers.

It's a tale of two continents.   In Europe, carriers are still eagerly ponying up the 600 to 700 euros (~$800 to $900 USD) to sell iPhones to customers, despite the fact that they may never turn a profit on the device.  Even Samsung phones are fetching an impressive 300 to 500 euros (~$400 and $650 USD) from the EU carriers.

Meanwhile, U.S. carriers appear to be adopting a different philosophy.  Encouraged by discounted handsets from Nokia and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the carriers are finally giving the platform a chance and pitching it to customers.  AT&T reports strong sales of the Lumia 900 LTE, which is prominently featured in nearly every U.S. store.  T-Mobile USA -- a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) reported that the Lumia 710, an entry-level Nokia Windows Phone, as among its most popular handsets.

II. Some Say Lower the Price; Others Say It's Hopeless

Richard Windsor, global technology specialist at investment bank Nomura predicted Nokia Lumia phones to take in 300 Euros on average.  Their actual haul is about 220 euros on average.  Yet, carriers seem to have no interest in these bargain devices in Europe and aren't even trying to sell them to customers.

The carriers seem to contradict each other.  One executive is quoted as saying, "If they could lower the price we think they could sell more. It might be worth making it a bit of a loss leader to get it out of the door. It's not rocket science."

Nokia Lumia 900 LTE
EU carriers are giving Nokia contradictory advice about how to bump sales, while reportedly putting little effort into trying to push the Lumia line. [Image Source: Nokia]

Another suggests that price is not enough.  They state, "We can open our stores to them and train our staff to sell the phones, but that's it.  Ultimately, Nokia and Windows are challengers and they either need to come to market with a really disruptive, innovative product or a huge marketing budget to create client demand. So far they have done neither."

The perplexing situation has to be particular frustrating for Nokia who is seeing accelerating U.S. sales, but has been largely scorned in its home continent.  If there's one thing illustrated by all the European criticism surrounding the Lumias, it's that while EU carriers may complain about Apple and Samsung's profit-seeking, they really don't mind all that much or have much desire to seek out and promote alternative options.

That's bad news for Nokia and anybody who isn't named Samsung or Apple.

Source: Reuters

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RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By JasonMick on 4/17/2012 6:32:15 PM , Rating: 2

Replying To: Jason Like Windows Phone
by Reclaimer77 on April 17, 2012 at 5:29 PM

If you don't, you're wrong and are a "hater" and he's going to write another 50 articles defending his purchase.

These executives steer ships worth millions, sometimes billions of dollars. They're as much of an expert in their field as anyone else out there. Instead of meeting their comments with disdain and a conspiratorial tone, we should see things from their point of view in a proper context.
No, you can love Windows Phone or hate it for all I care. (The images were just for amusement's sake.) True I own a Windows Phone, but last I checked it's a free country. So what if I appreciate some of the differentiation Windows Phone offers over Android/iOS??

The point is that I don't care what anyone thinks about Windows Phone, in so much as I am not a Microsoft, Nokia, or AT&T shareholder.

However, I do find it somewhat inconsistent for a carrier to make no effort to sell a product -- and then to turn around and complain that consumers don't want it.

This is a problem that I have noted regarding Windows Phone for over a year now -- long before I ever bought a Windows Phone. Until recently when you went into U.S. stores Windows Phones were tucked away in some special corner and salespeople would always try to hard sell you iPhones and Android... it's simply a matter of commissions.

No conspiracy involved. Bad decision on Microsoft's part, but that doesn't change the fact that carrier's claims that consumers don't want Windows Phone are largely assumption as they have never really TRIED to sell them.

That is my point I am making and it is the point I have been making back when I was an Android owner, and now as a Windows Phone owner.
Americans think the Lumia 900 is "cheap". It's not. In Europe and the UK they don't do the subsidized contract deal like we do as much, they buy their phones. For what a Lumia 900 costs over there, you can get a top of the line 720p dual core smartphone. Again, understanding the CONTEXT of his statements.
And again, I would argue that some customers would prefer the Lumia 900, if they were actually presented the choice.

And FYI, you're speculating.

Did you know that the Lumia 900 hasn't been sold in any European nation yet?

The article is referring to the Lumia 710 and 800. The 900 has thus far only been slated for a May launch in the UK, and from what I've seen pricing will follow a U.S.-like discounting model.

So would you be able to buy a Lumia 900 for the same price as a dual-core Android in some OTHER EU nation? Uh, no, because the Lumia 900 has not been announced for sale or priced yet.
Where's the contradiction? He's saying what everyone already knows. Microsoft waited WAY too late to take this platform seriously, and they needed to come out with a game-changer like the 2007 iPhone. They haven't done that, not even close. That's why it's hard to sell Windows Phone. This isn't rocket science.
Again, the article is relatively clear cut. The different carrier executives were giving conflicting/contradictory advice.

Case and point -- one said discounts would help sell the phone, another said that Nokia didn't need discounts it needed a better product.

The point is the suggestions are inconsistent.
Translation: I'm losing money keeping these things on the shelf. Microsoft and their hardware suppliers haven't done enough to make this platform competitive with Android and Apple smartphones. Microsoft waited way too long to make this platform competitive, and 9 out of 10 of my customers want an Android or Apple phone now.

Jason I realize that YOU think Windows Phone is great. I'm glad you're happy. But it seems like you're now way too personally invested in the platform when you start taking all these executives opinions personally and out of context. If WP7 was making them money, they would love it I'm quite sure.
Whoa, boy. I think Windows Phone has some advantages over iOS and Android as well as some disadvantages. But that's aside the point.

Again the fundamental issues here are carriers' lack of enthusiasm in pushing WP7, inconsistent advice about what Nokia should do from the various carriers, etc.

My commentary has been very consistent since I first started covering Windows Phone, and if you review my past articles you (should) realize that.

I didn't suddenly wake up yesterday and realize some shocking Windows Phone revelation.

If you follow this stuff on a daily basis, it's easy to see some of the big picture problems in these kinds of situations -- that's the perspective I've come from, since day one.

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By EnzoFX on 4/17/2012 6:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
His point is that the point of view is skewed/biased. It is Jason, its subtle but its there. I find it annoying when I'm just trying to get some facts in the article. Wow I never thought I'd agree on something with Reclaimer lol.

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By EnzoFX on 4/17/2012 7:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
Its either biased or that of one surprised that WP7 has an uphill battle ahead of it. Don't know which is more concerning for someone covering tech news.

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By foolsgambit11 on 4/17/2012 7:35:43 PM , Rating: 3
It's like everybody can agree that Jason is biased, but nobody knows where his biases are. He was an Apple lover, then an Apple hater, then an Android lover, now a WP7 lover. Perhaps he just appreciates quality, unbiasedly?

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/2012 12:12:32 PM , Rating: 3
All I know is several major phone launches took place with barely a mention on Daily Tech. I think the Galaxy Note got ONE article. The HTC One X, none at all. Some Blackberry phone and tablets, a now defunct product, get's more coverage on DT than Android.

Suddenly MS announces the Lumia 900 and we have three articles about the phone and WP7 before it's even released, then another five and a review by Mick after he buys one. The phone itself is quite average, still being bested by year old Android and Apple products, so what exactly is the deal with this hype? The OS is basically the same Mango OS that's been out for for a while now. What justifies all this coverage besides the fact that Mick bought one?

Also another curiosity. Daily Tech has been hammering AT&T and basically calling them evil for a year plus now. Suddenly the Lumia 900 is announced as an AT&T exclusive and that's all forgiven, AT&T isn't so bad, and Mick is gathering the troops to make pre-orders on AT&

Go to other tech sites, there's not anywhere near this level of attention being paid to this phone or WP7 in general. It's making waves, sure. But on DT it's a tsunami!

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By foolsgambit11 on 4/18/2012 8:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
We have had fairly similar coverage of some Android phones, especially flagship phones like the Galaxy Nexus. This phone is something of a flagship for both Nokia and Microsoft, so it's understandable it would get more notice than some Android releases.

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By ncalipari on 4/18/12, Rating: -1
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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