Print 81 comment(s) - last by corduroygt.. on Apr 20 at 12:40 AM

  (Source: South Africa World Cup Blog)
"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 Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2012 8:46:27 PM , Rating: 1
iPhone, then Android, made Microsoft phones look archaic and it's taken them waaay too long to try to get back in the game with a serious offering. Coming from so far behind being just good is not good enough, Microsoft has to produce something that leapfrogs the competition, which their current offerings don't, and I can't see them doing that (maybe they will surprise).

Tony said something I agree with and have been saying myself. This shatters my entire world view. My brain is now broken.

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2012 10:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
Consider nearly every Android device I have ever owned, 5 so far, has had a limited life span on upgrading the OS. Now consider Every Single Windows Phone will be able to Upgrade to Windows Phone 8 OS without having to buy a new device.

That just made every Android device I ever bought a waste of money while the Windows Phone device will get an extended life when Windows 8 comes along.

This move by Microsoft is why they will win a lot of people tired of having to refresh good hardware just to get the new OS.

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By Tony Swash on 4/18/2012 8:56:19 AM , Rating: 2
Consider nearly every Android device I have ever owned, 5 so far, has had a limited life span on upgrading the OS. Now consider Every Single Windows Phone will be able to Upgrade to Windows Phone 8 OS without having to buy a new device.

Apparentlt that is not true

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By themaster08 on 4/18/2012 2:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By curelom on 4/18/2012 4:13:37 PM , Rating: 2
Possibly, it doesn't bode well anyway. Also, no upgrade path could also mean that you can't upgrade, but have to install from scratch. Microsoft has to give us more details before we know for sure.

I would think that this leans toward us current users are out of luck. If I were Microsoft and we weren't going to let old phones be upgraded, then I'd keep it as secret as possible till the last minute so people keep buying the old phones. However, it you could upgrade your old phone, I'd be publishing that data out to the users so people would buy current phones with hope to upgrade. Since Microsoft is being secret, the leans toward the former scenario.

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By Rukkian on 4/18/2012 11:48:53 AM , Rating: 1
I do not understand why people buy a phone thinking they are entitled to everything new that comes out. When you buy a phone, buy it for what it has, or don't buy it! Do some research, don't listen to the idiots in the store, and figure out what will work for you.

If you want to stay up on the latest O/S, either buy a new phone that has extra power and should be able to handle it (hint: not the free and under ~100 phones). If you buy the low priced phones, they are either old (12-18 months is old for such quickly evolving tech) or they were crap to begin with.

RE: Jason Like Windows Phone
By corduroygt on 4/18/2012 2:30:36 AM , Rating: 2
How about finding out that I agree with both of you as well?
Will you ever recover? :)

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