Nokia VP Blames Microsoft for Slow Windows Phone Growth
July 29, 2013 9:44 AM
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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. (
) has captured most of those sales, spurring the Finnish phonemaker to a minor recovery, at least one executive at Nokia is taking Microsoft Corp. (
) to task for not doing more to make the platform a success.
I. "You Can't Sell a Phone Without the Apps"
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
, acknowledging that Windows Phone is "not even Microsoft's second, third or fourth priority."
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
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. (
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. (
sold 31.2m iPhones in the quarter
) is outselling Nokia roughly 4-to-1, while Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
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 (
) 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'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.
International Business Times
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RE: Blames MS ?
7/29/2013 12:21:42 PM
The man's comments were probably a strategic jab to sham MS into action on the apps front. Let's face it their initial Windows 8 apps were pretty horrible, I can just imagine what their Windows Phone 8 apps are like.
As far as blaming Nokia for choosing the wrong platform, well, they accepted a high level Microsoft executive as their new CEO and coincidentally were given a boatload of Microsoft cash at about the same time. Folks this was Microsoft acquiring Nokia for all intents and purposes. Who's phone platform do you think they were going to "choose".
RE: Blames MS ?
7/29/2013 1:23:01 PM
You may be right... Good luck with that though. If there is ONE thing MS isn't doing lately is listening to their customers wants and needs.
RE: Blames MS ?
7/29/2013 9:33:53 PM
Whilst the initial Windows 8 apps were fairly awful (and the critical mail app still is), Windows Phone was actually in MUCH better shape. The default apps in Windows Phone are superb (easily the best email client IMO, unless you primarily use Gmail, then Android rules) and a keyboard that actually craps all over everybody else (the next best probably being the BB keyboard, which is almost a direct rip off).
The problem for Windows 8 isn't what's built in (because I think out of the box without installing third party apps, Windows Phone absolutely slaughters its competition) - it's the third party apps. There's a decided lack of quality games and some very popular services still don't have apps. The situation is improving, but like Nokia says, very slowly.
RE: Blames MS ?
7/31/2013 2:38:31 AM
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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