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Hot Lumia 900 phone may receive WP8 update, after all; Nokia's WP7.5 PureView 808 41 megapixel coming to U.S.

After a brutal year which saw investor faith in its board and executive leadership waivering, Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj (OMX:NOK1V) finally has some good news to report.  The company has at last wrapped its head around the U.S. carrier model, and is showing strong early gains for its troubles.

I. Tasting Success -- Nokia Sees Wild Lumia 900 Demand

The U.S. is the world's second largest smartphone market behind only China, but the U.S. remains the world's largest phone market in revenue.  Unlike some foreign markets where customers tend to seek out product on their own and buy unlocked handsets, most U.S. customers come in to the phone store not knowing much about the products (other than what little they've seen in television ads).  Thus it's up to the carriers to tell them what products they might want.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), maker of the Windows Phone 7 smartphone operating system which Nokia uses, suffered badly from this scheme.  Due in part to lacking outreach to carriers, most carriers who had Windows Phones made no effort to sell them, versus the Apple, Inc. (AAPL) iPhones and Android flagship phones which they trumpeted to customers.

Of course, part of the problem might have been that they did not have a Windows Phone worth selling.  Most hardware makers like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) relegated more demure designs to Windows Phone, while saving their most eye-catching products for Android.

But Nokia changed that, when it launched the eye-catching Lumia 900.  Thanks to a strong commitment from America's second largest carrier, AT&T, Inc. (T), customers began to hear about a "new" operating system -- Windows Phone.

Lumia 900 in Hand (3/6)
Nokia can't keep up with cyan Lumia 900 demand. [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]
Nokia U.S. President Chris Weber confirms in a PC Magazine interview, that sales of the Lumia 900 are so strong that Nokia is facing something it hasn't faced in a long time globally -- or perhaps ever in the U.S. -- it can't keep up with demand.

States Mr. Weber, "Demand has been outstripping supply for the first couple of weeks, and we've been working hard to rectify that.  The demand for cyan [phones] is significantly outpacing supply. When you give people something different from a design perspective—colors, etc. —it really stands out, and consumers want that."

II. Nokia's Followup, PureView 808, Will Land Shortly in the U.S.

At last tasting success and eyeing a recovery in its post-Symbian era, Nokia isn't content to rest on that success.  Mr. Weber confirms that the Windows Phone variant of the PureView 808 will soon arrive in the U.S.  He comments, "We'll figure out a way to make that available in the U.S. in the next couple of months."
Nokia PureView
The Nokia PureView 808 [Image Source: Nokia; Modifications: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

Mr. Weber says the early plan is to sell it unlocked to customers.  The phone will be a HSPA+ design, compatible with AT&T's network.

If Nokia is wise, it will try to work out an arrangement with AT&T to feature the unlocked handset in AT&T stores.  

Like the cyan Lumia 900 the PureView 808 is an eye-catching design.  In a market full of bland, relatively uniform handsets, the PureView 808 is an exception to the rule.  It's slender, but at its crest, a bulbous camera module rises up from the smooth back-face.  

The camera is a 41 megapixel design, and the sensor itself is estimated to be 4-5x the size of the sensor found in the Apple iPhone 4S, one of the largest sensors in a currently available handset.

III. Verizon and Nokia Appear to be in Talks

But Nokia's fragile young sucess needs a key element to grow -- access to America's largest carrier Verizon Wireless.  Verizon -- a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- has warmed to the Windows Phone ecosystem in recent months, surely taking note of AT&T's strong commitment and the distinctive new Nokia designs.

Mr. Weber states, "We're not making any announcements, but we understand the importance of Verizon and we're working hard to make that a reality."

Verizon Banner
[Image Source: Hot Cell Phones]

In other words, Nokia and Verizon are in talks -- not terribly surprising given that Verizon recently called Windows Phone a key "third ecosystem".  Verizon's adoption of Android helped propel the platform from 1 percent market share in 2009 to roughly 50 percent of U.S. phone sales last year.  Now it may give Windows Phone a similar boost.

The PureView 808 seems the most logical choice for an exclusive handset, given that it's Nokia's highest profile handset other than the Lumia 900, which can be safely assumed to be an AT&T exclusive for the time being.  Even if Nokia could slide its way out of exclusivity with AT&T, it still is barely keeping up with that carrier's sales, so a Verizon Lumia 900 seems less likely than a Verizon PureView 808.

IV. Lumia 900 May Receive Windows Phone 8 Update

Now that Nokia is starting to see Windows Phone success, it must also beware burning bridges with its new customers.  In that regard their was much alarm that the company might be denying Lumia 900 an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 or "Apollo" as it's codenamed.

In reality, this speculation may prove unfounded.

Hardware-wise there's no clear reason why the Lumia 900 or PureView 808 would be incapable of handling the new operating system.  And it's important to bear in mind that for all the rumors, Windows Phone 8 has not been officially announced by Microsoft.  The only confirmation of any kind comes from third parties like Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and Leap Wireless Internation, Inc.'s (LEAP) carrier subsidy Cricket, both of whom expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming platform.

Windows Phone 8 is -- according to these rumors or leaks -- going to land in September or October.

Microsoft and Nokia are mum on the release.  But Mr. Weber did give a comment that leaves hope that Nokia may provide an upgrade path for users.  He comments, "Both Nokia and Microsoft understand the importance for consumers to keep their devices fresh and updated. Without any announcements being made, we're working to make sure people have fresh and updated experiences on any device they may have."
So if the time comes and Nokia denies customers an update, perhaps then its fair to grouse.  But for now, Mr. Weber's words suggest that customers and potential buyers should follow the famous advice of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- "Don't panic."

Source: PC Magazine

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RE: Wild demand?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/12/2012 1:25:07 PM , Rating: -1
lol Wow that's amazing. You mean a much cheaper phone that AT&T literally gave away with a new contract is "outselling" a flagship phone that's currently nearly $400 with a contract? WP7 must rule!!!

'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'"

RE: Wild demand?
By Mitch101 on 5/12/2012 5:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
Works for Apple why not Android? Shouldn't you have to pay much more for it?

The $50.00 Nokia WP7 device gives you all you want with none of the sacrifice. If you don't think so wait till WP8 devices which will give you the hardware you think you need and the integration youll never have with any other device on the market.

I think people are discovering this $50.00 Microsoft/Nokia phone is every bit as good as an iPhone/Android and does what they want at a bargain price. What more are you going to get for $200-$400 more a higher resolution screen which is pretty useless when its 4"-5" or 1080P video recording?

RE: Wild demand?
By sprockkets on 5/12/2012 7:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
His point is, if the phone was at $200 under contract and actually making anyone money, would it be at the number 2 on the list?

Judging by the Nokia 800, that answer is no.

RE: Wild demand?
By Mitch101 on 5/12/2012 7:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
There should have been enough Android fans that want the most powerful and newest phone out there? After all dont Android fans brag about how many Androids sell and how little the Windows Phone sells?

I think the shine of Android is starting to wear off. The specs are great no doubt but the execution is poor as everyone rushes out too many devices instead of making polished ones. Look at the reviews of the Android devices and realize they have a quality standard problems. Too many garbage Android devices are released and rushed out the door. You think those cheap tablet knockoffs are helping Androids image? LG blamed Microsoft yet look at LG's rating on Android phones. Apple has a point its better to release one good product than allow everyone to make 95 out of 100 bad products. Microsoft is what Android should be and act like. Its probably why Google is going to make their own low cost tablet soon.

This is why Microsoft wont allow the cheapo brands to make Windows Phones because they lack quality and the experience in making quality devices and the experience would be lousy ruining the overall name and that happening to Android. Ill even go so far to say that the top quality manufacturers are releasing too many Android devices way too quickly and not putting the polish on them they should so Android as a whole is getting worse and ruining what they started.

Its like people buying knockoff name brand ram, cd-rom drives the cheapest cd media and motherboards from companies that no one ever heard of and then saying Windows sucks. Thats whats happening to Android.

Nokia makes great devices, Windows Phone 7 is an Excellent OS it makes sense that they are selling really well because Quality and for $50.00 is freaking awesome. I wont be surprised if this is the combination that finally starts to steal people away from the iPhone.

RE: Wild demand?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/12/12, Rating: -1
RE: Wild demand?
By Mitch101 on 5/12/2012 10:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
Lets revisit this argument in say 8 months and see what happens.

RE: Wild demand?
By Aries1470 on 5/13/2012 6:59:23 AM , Rating: 2
Hi Mitch101,
As much as I would love to agree to disagree with you, you do have a point.
I am not going to say my phone preferences since they are known, BUT, I wish I could have gotten a Futitsu IS12T Last year. Preferably the neon yellow :-)
Here is a link:
buuuutttt... was not available for me to "buy" - aka get on contract - in Australia, so I went with a Moto Razr with a bunch of accessories that came with it :-)
Now, my other plan is due for November this year ( I have two, one for me and one for my better half)... just have to wait and see. At least over here, you can grandfather a plan, and get nearly all the time a "free" handset or just pay like $5-$10 per month, even if it is a flagship one :-D

That will be 6 months but who is counting :-P

RE: Wild demand?
By Mitch101 on 5/13/2012 11:08:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think with 3 real competitors its a win for consumers as all 3 have deep pockets and will all be trying to outdo one another. Consumers Win.

Me personally the Windows Phone is already every bit as good and better than the others and I really have never had to reboot my Windows Phone. Its never hung or frozen once which blows my mind. Its more stable than my Commodore 64 of yesteryear. With Microsoft's other platforms its only going to get better and more integrated than any other product can.

The only thing I'm going to change is carriers. Sprint in North Myrtle beach blows (Condo there) and its sprint because my wife has an Android Samsung Epic and her device had no signal either. Second my company is negotiating a contract with Verizon and they are going to wire the buildings for signal. Ill finally have signal in the conference rooms. I have a BB with Verizon for work and got signal in North Myrtle but not in the conference rooms until they wire the building so Verizon it will be plus Ill get a corporate discount on a service plan. :)

RE: Wild demand?
By diplomat696 on 5/12/2012 11:12:29 PM , Rating: 1
first of all Nokia is and never has been a "cheapo" brand of phones. The quality of work they produce surpasses anything almost all other manufacturers put out there. They innovate not duplicate/replicate android devices....,2817,2404122,
Best screen for outdoor use = lumia 900 due to their innovation!!

The guy was right regarding why MS has not allowed cheap brands and has kept tight controls on the early versions of the OS. Being that it is a less than 2 years old as of now and that they are only just starting to expand the customer base they want the experience to be fluid and enjoyed not "ohh shit I have to reset my handset again because my malware infected app is giving me problems and had not been properly vetted before it was side loaded onto my hand set ala android.

If google had any sense they might realize that a fractured eco system for their phones is not good and try to fix it while they still have a chance.

Basically everyone I talk to about android who owns an android phone says they have problems, bad battery life (because they have no phone/os optimization), random freezes or need to reset the phone. Yes they love all the apps but they also had no education when it came to actually picking a phone in the first place.

The best line I ever heard in a cell phone store was at AT&T a sales guy talking to a woman probably in her late 30's his reason for why she should buy an android phone was "there are tons more hand sets" wow I didn't realize I should buy an android phone because then I can look at all the other hand sets I didn't buy and droool and troll on ms websites to say how they suck lol.

I would put money on most people being 100% satisfied if they switched from an android phone to a windows phone and the kicker is that they have not even started in with phones that are close on the specs of android phones. At that point google might start to sweat because the experience right now is as good or better on wp7 and I hate to think how much better it will be once u get a wp8 with a pureview camera sensor running 1080p on a smooth dual core processor as well as the fact that with the release of wp8 for desktop pcs you are going to have a ton of devs coding apps for metro already, I am confident this will translate to much more support for wp8 as well in terms of the main stream apps it is missing right now.

Enjoy it while u can android fanbois, wp is comin and theres nothing you can do to stop it :)

RE: Wild demand?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2012 1:31:30 AM , Rating: 2
They innovate not duplicate/replicate android devices....

LOL umm, you know the Lumia 900 has Samsung parts in it right? That "best screen"? Yeah, Samsung SAMOLED+ technology born and bread. But yup, Samsung doesn't innovate at all. They only make the screens and memory and other components for just about every call phone out there.

Samsung spent a record $9 billion in R&D in 2011. But okay, keep fooling yourself into thinking they "duplicate/replicate".

Honestly your post is so fanboish and childish this as far as I'm going. I don't understand what it is about smartphones that brings out the worst in people, but it's depressing.

RE: Wild demand?
By themaster08 on 5/13/2012 4:10:16 AM , Rating: 5
At the same time, Nokia have probably done more for the mobile phone industry than any other manufacturer.

Nokia was one of the main developers of the GSM standard, long before the mobile phone market was even a twinkle in Samsung's and Apple's eyes.

RE: Wild demand?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2012 9:48:52 AM , Rating: 1
And Samsung pretty much developed the 3G wireless standard, and who knows what else. I mean we could do this all day. But I'm not going to argue with you or run Nokia down. Nokia was truly a pioneer in the early days and definitely made a contribution to help us get where we are today. Although I think you're exaggerating a bit, given that Samsung's first cellular car-phone was released in 1986.

I just take exception to his assertion that their quality is so amazing that the Lumia 900 cannot be matched and that everyone else is "cloners and duplicators".

RE: Wild demand?
By Skywalker123 on 5/13/2012 5:26:02 PM , Rating: 3
"I don't understand what it is about smartphones that brings out the worst in people, but it's depressing."

Take your meds and lie down.

RE: Wild demand?
By sprockkets on 5/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: Wild demand?
By Mitch101 on 5/13/2012 10:40:46 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I've been burned before with MS and I'm not going to give them another dime for the sht they pulled for the past 17 years

I think that sums up you right there nothing Microsoft ever produces will be good to you so anyone interested in a Microsoft product must be wrong too.

I love my X-Box 360 and even my original X-Box sure the PS2 had more titles but I did so much more with my original X-Box that its still used in my Arcade cabinet. Yet everyone laughed when Microsoft said they were coming with a game console and I bet you were the type that was screaming you saw it blue screened in Walmarts across the nation which wasn't true trying to convince anyone who would listen not to buy it because it will have problems or just that you hate Microsoft for some unknown reasons.

Microsoft has a great product in the Windows Phone device. Its different and works great to this day I have never had to reboot the device its ROCK SOLID. It must be 15 months now not a single reboot required with the Windows Phone how amazing is that?

RE: Wild demand?
By sprockkets on 5/13/2012 11:10:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think that sums up you right there nothing Microsoft ever produces will be good to you so anyone interested in a Microsoft product must be wrong too.

You make it seem like it would be hard for me to back that up with facts.

WP7 is the first phone MS ever made that was worth buying. Now, consider that fact, why after only years and years and years did they finally bother to make a decent phone OS? Was it competition? Apple's ideas?

Let's just focus on one factor: the browser. Up until WM6.5, it was stuck with IE4. That browser couldn't even do much back in 2005, let alone 2009. Why didn't they update it all those years? I guess they didn't give a crap. Only when the iphone put it to shame did they bother updating the browser on it - too little too late. Sad too, since right before the iphone came out, a lot of people started to buy WM smartphones.

MS's common theme is this: They get things right on the 3rd try. The first try sucks, the 2nd is what the first should have been, but still not up to par, then the 3rd is actually worth buying. The Zune, their a/v product, Vista, WM6.5 to WP7 to WP7 7.5, the xbox, XP to XPsp1 to XPsp2, I could go on and on.

That, is why I left MS years ago.

I love my X-Box 360 and even my original X-Box sure the PS2 had more titles but I did so much more with my original X-Box that its still used in my Arcade cabinet. Yet everyone laughed when Microsoft said they were coming with a game console and I bet you were the type that was screaming you saw it blue screened in Walmarts across the nation which wasn't true trying to convince anyone who would listen not to buy it because it will have problems or just that you hate Microsoft for some unknown reasons.

Well, after losing hundreds of millions on it and with the RRoD debacle, uh, yeah, again, I have empirical reasons for not buying it. Yet, I never told anyone to not get that console. Maybe if they came out with Kinect from day one I'd say they had some innovation, but let's fact it, Nintendo and their "gimmick" sure did stir things up a bit.

I'd rather play Rock Band on an Xbox than a Wii too, btw. I'd never buy the original console because it sounds like a jet engine during play.

Microsoft has a great product in the Windows Phone device. Its different and works great to this day I have never had to reboot the device its ROCK SOLID. It must be 15 months now not a single reboot required with the Windows Phone how amazing is that?

I don't know, I never have to reboot my HTC Sensation either! I won't deny that others have issues with Android, but I guess I'm lucky or whatever.

Personally I find the whole UI of the phone repulsive. Obviously you don't.

RE: Wild demand?
By borismkv on 5/13/2012 10:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting the Smart Phone fees that they charge. 10-20 bucks a month on top of a regular contract goes to pay for the cost of the phone. It's not a free phone. It's a foot in the door.

RE: Wild demand?
By Skywalker123 on 5/13/2012 5:29:18 PM , Rating: 3
There are three kinds fools, fools, damn fools, and Reclaimer77

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