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Nokia says it's trying to explain to Microsoft that its current app efforts aren't good enough

Windows Phone is growing, but it is doing so very slowly.  And while Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) has captured most of those sales, spurring the Finnish phonemaker to a minor recovery, at least one executive at Nokia is taking Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to task for not doing more to make the platform a success.

I. "You Can't Sell a Phone Without the Apps"

Comments Nokia VP Bryan Biniak:

People rely on applications for their day-to-day life and if you don't have something which I use in my day-to-day life I'm not going to switch [operating systems] because I don't want to compromise the way I live my life just to switch to a phone.  It's not just about the hardware, it's about the tools that are on the hardware. You can't sell a phone without the apps, you just can't.

But the Nokia VP gives Microsoft a bit of a pass in the International Business Times interview, acknowledging that Windows Phone is "not even Microsoft's second, third or fourth priority."

Nokia Bryan Biniak
Nokia VP Bryan Biniak [Image Source: NokiaMob.me]

He compares the slow start of Windows Phone to Microsoft Xbox run.  Today the Xbox is the top selling console on the market, but when it first came out, it badly trailed its veteran rivals and many sneered at the prospect of a Microsoft gaming console.

Ultimately, the one place where Microsoft support is falling short, Mr. Biniak indicates, is with apps.  He remarks:

We are releasing new devices frequently and for every new device, if there is an app that somebody cares about that's not there that's a missed opportunity of a sale.  We are trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say 'time is of the essence.' Waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets, doesn't do us any good when I have phones to sell today.

To give you a reason to switch, I need to make sure the apps that you care about on your device are not only on our phones, but are better. I also need to provide you unique experiences that you can't get on your other devices.

On the hardware end Nokia has arguably held up its end of the bargain.  In the past year it has released 10 new Lumia models.  And rather than simply releasing yet another 1080p, Snadragon 600-powered big-screen smartphone, Nokia went a unique route offering a phone with more modest hardware, but with the best camera of any smartphone in the business (the Lumia 1020).  Nokia was rewarded with Lumia sales of 7.4 million units.  That's up 85 percent over last year's sales of 4 million in Q2 2012, and marks the first time Lumia sales passed sales of Blackberry, Ltd. (TSE:BB).

Nokia Lumia 1020

While Nokia lost less money then expected (€227M, versus an analyst consensus of €258.8M), it fell substantially short on revenue and narrowly missed analyst expectations of 7.8 million Lumia units for the quarter.

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) (who sold 31.2m iPhones in the quarter) is outselling Nokia roughly 4-to-1, while Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) is outselling Nokia roughly 3-to-1 with its Galaxy line, or 10-to-1 with its overall "smartphone" line (which includes non-Android, low-end models).

II. Nokia Plans to Fix App Shortage, With or Without Microsoft

As Mr. Biniak says, one major value shortcoming when it comes to Windows Phone is a lack of apps.  While Windows Phone has a number of great apps in its catalogue of 165,000 high profile apps, some high profile hits from other platforms are still missing.  Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android platform has over a million apps, while Apple's App Store has over 900,000 apps.  Windows Phone fans tend to dismiss this advantage, saying they'd rather have a better device than every app on the market, but even they must recognize that many buyers will simply refuse to make that choice and reject Windows Phone automatically as long as its app catalog remains anemic.

Windows Phone marketplace
Windows Phone's app selection still trails its rivals. [Image Source: WinSource]

Nokia isn't giving up on Microsoft and Windows Phone.  But it also isn't going to wait around for Microsoft to get serious about apps.  It's paying developers aggressively to port their most popular apps to Windows Phone.  Mr. Biniak, who helps lead developer outreach efforts, says:

[By the end of 2013] people will be hard-pressed to say '[Windows Phone] doesn't have this app' and it makes a material difference. I don't think there will be any [app developers] we don't have commercial agreements with, and so maybe it's not published by the end of the year but it will be published before the end of [March].

As a company we don't want to rely on somebody else and sit and wait for them to get it right.

 
That commitment will fix the issue of "select applications that need to be there", which aren't currently in the catalog, according to Mr. Biniak.  He just wishes his company's partner, Microsoft, was doing a bit more to help the cause, by the sound of it.

Source: International Business Times



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Its funny...
By inighthawki on 7/29/2013 11:14:28 AM , Rating: 2
Because the only thing keeping me from getting a windows phone is the extremely poor selection of cheap plasticy bulky phones offered b Nokia and htc. If Microsoft made a phone with the build quality of a surface, I'd probably buy one in a heartbeat.




RE: Its funny...
By GPig on 7/29/2013 12:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
The lumia 925 is cheap, plasticy and bulky? You should go check one out. Beautiful piece of hardware.


RE: Its funny...
By inighthawki on 7/29/2013 4:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
I have. I've played with all of the different WP8 nokia hardware. It all feels exactly as I described. It's made of plastic, so that isn't much of an argument, and I also consider plastic to be low quality, hence cheap (I'd much prefer aluminum or if Microsoft made a phone with the same magnesium casing of the surface), and compared to various android phones and the iphone, the nokias feel extremely large and bulky.


RE: Its funny...
By inighthawki on 7/29/2013 4:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
I apologize, when you said 925 I was thinking about the 920. I have not actually seen the 925 in person.


RE: Its funny...
By JPForums on 8/1/2013 1:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd much prefer aluminum or ...the same magnesium casing of the surface
I'm guessing you don't much favor the Samsung Galaxy S3/S4 either, as they (like the Lumia 920) are built primarily of polycarbonate. I'd take the Lumia 920 build quality over them any day. Admittedly, the Nokia is on the large side (4.5" screen) and definitely bulkier (large battery), but that doesn't bother me so much as I already sacrifice those to get extended battery life with (5") Samsung phones.

Now, the HTC One has a build I could get behind. If they'd just use the same (or very similar) chassis for their next WP8 (HTC 8?), Nokia would have something to worry about. The HTC 8X already has a fairly slim profile. The aluminum chassis (along with their other niceties) would set HTC's offering in its own class as a premium Windows Phone.

Frankly, I've never much cared for Apple's form factor. The combination of smaller size, softer aluminum (less rigid than HTC One), and screen material they use gives them a fragile feel in my hands. Though to be fair, I have meaty hands. They are more resistant to minor scraps than I expected, but it's still pretty easy to crack the display. The Galaxy phones feel worse as they have more flex, but their larger size helps a little. The Nokia 900/920 feels more solid to me. They aren't any harder to scuff than the Galaxy phones, but they are pretty resilient to meaningful damage. The HTC One feels the best in my hands by far. Though, a little more bulk for, say, a larger battery would be even better. Doesn't have a scratch on it yet, so actual durability is currently an unknown.

Now, the magnesium used in the surface is a very interesting prospect. I wouldn't mind the slight increase in weight and I believe it is more rigid and scratch resistant than aluminum. High quality indeed.


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/29/2013 2:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia 925?

Its not plastic either. We don't issue cases for Nokia Phones because they don't need them. Go ahead drop it you might be able to chip or scuff the plastic but you don't need to bother to protect it in with a lousy case that just adds to the bulk and ruins the functionality.


RE: Its funny...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/29/2013 2:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We don't issue cases for Nokia Phones because they don't need them.


Who is "we"?

This statement definitely implies you are involved with Nokia or Windows Phone directly in some way from a business standpoint. Which would explain your postings, but why not just come out and be honest about it?

I think this "we don't issue cases" is proof positive I've been right all along about you.


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/29/2013 2:37:36 PM , Rating: 4
My company doesn't need to issue cases with Nokia phones. When we hand out iPhone and Android they come with a case because they break too easily.

You are the dumbest fucktard on the planet.


RE: Its funny...
By sprockkets on 7/29/2013 4:12:44 PM , Rating: 2
You said:

quote:
Go ahead drop it you might be able to chip or scuff the plastic but you don't need to bother to protect it in with a lousy case that just adds to the bulk and ruins the functionality.


That's what cases are for, you know, like, to protect phones from chipping or scuffing.


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2013 8:59:50 AM , Rating: 2
If you need a case for the device because it cant take a few drops its poorly designed. Its like wrapping a car in couch plastic because your too afraid to get a finger print on it. The scrapes I have on Nokia devices are like badges of honor they are hard to obtain and even then way less annoying than any case. They also seem to disappear somehow.

Ever drop an Android you have to put 10 parts back together. Its like the phone went into yard sale mode parts everywhere. iPhones whats with the cheap glass on them? Oh look another cracked screen.


RE: Its funny...
By Cheesew1z69 on 7/30/2013 9:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ever drop an Android you
Yep
quote:
you have to put 10 parts back together.
Never


RE: Its funny...
By ResStellarum on 7/30/2013 11:10:23 AM , Rating: 2
It's pretty obvious by the comments in this article that Mitch101 is a pro-M$ shill.


RE: Its funny...
By Cheesew1z69 on 7/30/2013 11:13:08 AM , Rating: 2
It sure is...


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2013 5:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
Am I pro MS I guess I am My Windows Phone, X-Box, and PC have done me well and continue to do so. Ive had some quirks with Windows PC but once ATI/AMD got their drivers sorted out its been good and the quirks there are in Windows 8 are resolved for me in Windows 8.1.

My 6 or so Android devices have all had poor to no support or upgrades abandoned, buggy, crash, hang, fall apart, etc but not just me the Wifes Android devices as well. Oh yea I bought into the Samsuck hype only to listen to the wife complain about pulling the battery every month and being unable to sync with a PC. Been out plenty of times with friend and watched them tell me how great their Android device is and then pull the battery to make it work again. I found it amazing people tolerated that and still loved the device? It was like watching Windows ME on a phone only they didn't complain when it failed. Maybe its gotten better but Windows Phone has been so solid why would I change from Working to possible headaches again? Its not worth chancing to me.

Of those Droids Ive owned 3 Android phones and learned to hate them passionately and Im not buying the hype any more. Ive owned one Windows Phone for 2 years and never once had it hang, freeze or need to be rebooted and replaced it with another Windows Phone because of it. But I guess that makes me stupid or a fan because I don't like having to pull the battery monthly. On my latest Windows Phone there is no way to pull the battery but luckily I dont ever need to.

So if that makes me a fanbois because my Windows Phone works flawlessly then so be it. I'm a fan because I like devices that work.


RE: Its funny...
By retrospooty on 7/30/2013 9:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
Android didn't even get really good until last year. Its a totally different game now. If your opinions are based on 2+ years old androids you need to either educate yourself on todays phones or stfu. Its as if you are saying the iPhone doesn't have a voice controlled assistant because you are talking about an iPhone 4. if you like Windows Phone stick with it, I agree it's good and I'm not suggesting you change. But if you're going to talk about other platforms, at least educate yourself on them because you're just looking like an idiot.


RE: Its funny...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2013 9:58:25 PM , Rating: 1
This is like the third time he's pulled the "my wife" card. For fuks sake, she's probably the type who can't even get the microwave clock set. How are we supposed to know?

And wtf kind of husband is he? Get her a new phone asshole! Sheesh. He can't spend the $35 upgrade fee for his own wife and get her a new handset?

How do we even know it's Android's fault anyway? Sometimes phones just go bad! Even *gasp* Windows Phones!

Also why won't he tell us WHAT phones he's talking about? I want to know. What models is he talking about, why the big secret?

His entire argument is myopic. And yeah, I'm really sick of people who speaks of Android as if it's the Android from two years ago still.


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2013 10:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
Even if I were female I would have a bigger penis than you.

Shes had 3 phones in the last 2 years. Ive more than said which ones they are. Its why I say Samsuck. Ive paid them enough to be able to call them what they are.

I'm as myopic as you are vacuous.


RE: Its funny...
By retrospooty on 7/30/2013 10:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe, but on a clueless scale you are far superior.


RE: Its funny...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2013 10:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even if I were female I would have a bigger penis than you.


That's the second penis reference you've made just today alone.

First off I'm not in middle school and I kinda doubt you are. Act like it.

Secondly are you trying to compensate for something? Because I'm pretty happy with my penis and so is your mom :)


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2013 11:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
You say act like it but I see many of your posts are offensive way before anyone elses.

If they don't ban you from DT Ill be glad to leave the site. You win. DT can enjoy your contributions.


RE: Its funny...
By retrospooty on 7/30/2013 11:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
You gonna cry by bro?


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2013 11:59:22 PM , Rating: 2
Nope just not worth wasting my life with you two. Enjoy your little circle jerk with Reclaimer


RE: Its funny...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/31/2013 12:08:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they don't ban you from DT Ill be glad to leave the site.


Man if I had a dime for every time you've cried wolf and said you would leave and/or stop debating me...

Ban me on what grounds by the way? Just curious.


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2013 10:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
Bull you don't have to buy a 2 year old Android to experience the pain of them abandoning updates within 6 months or freezes or stuttering etc. The Samsung S4 had major stuttering issues.


RE: Its funny...
By retrospooty on 7/30/2013 10:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
I agree Samsung bloats it out to way beyond rediculus, but that is Samsung, not Android. Its like blaming MS for the 20 bloatware apps Dell puts on every system.


RE: Its funny...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2013 11:05:30 PM , Rating: 1
Good point.

Hey Mitch, Windows 8 sucks!!! You know why? This Windows 8 PC I bought came with all kinds of crap that made it "stutter"!!

Whaaaaa!!!! Whaaaaa!!!!

I love how he defends Windows 8 because you can install programs that bring back the Start menu. But he won't take the same few simple steps to do the same with his Android phones. What the fuck is that all about?


RE: Its funny...
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2013 11:23:50 PM , Rating: 1
Ill be a little bitch like you whaa we shouldn't have to Samsung should do everything for us.


RE: Its funny...
By retrospooty on 7/30/2013 11:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
No, I am just not buying Samsung... Or MS until they deserve it. Neither of them needed to "do" anything. Both just keep adding useless crap no one asked for, pushing their own agendas, ignoring what customers want, making once good products bad... So, you don't get my money.


RE: Its funny...
By df9shdf2f on 8/1/2013 10:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
If the Luminas are cheap, plastic, bulky, etc, what phone is not? Almost all smart phones are enclosed in plastic, save for, say, the HTC One and the iPhone 5.


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