Nokia VP Blames Microsoft for Slow Windows Phone Growth
July 29, 2013 9:44 AM
comment(s) - last by
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
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: WP8 user here
7/29/2013 10:41:47 PM
You make some good points for sure. And I think we can have an honest discussion when we don't degenerate into insults. Gmaps Pro has been around for several years, I don't see it going away. It had new features before the official iPhone app did, such as the house layouts and mall mapping. I don't think this is being done by an amateur developer but I understand your point/concern.
As far as lack of Gmail push, I had it set to sync every 30 minutes when it still supported push on 7.x so to me it's not a big deal. I don't need my personal email in real time. I have to deal with that nonsense for work 24x7, plus the more push mailboxes you have the more it impacts your battery life. But for some people it's a bigger issue.
As for Nokia's mapping being superior to Google's, that isn't an opinion. The fact that I like the program better and the interface of their navigation better is opinion. That Navteq has more accurate data than Google maps and supports full offline mapping are facts that make it superior to Google Maps.
I'm pretty open to platforms though. I was burned by Android badly early on and just not interested in giving it another go. I think iOS is a very poor OS and I think their keyboard is absolute crap. That left Windows Phone as the best option for me. Especially since Email is the most important feature a phone provides, followed by texting and calling. The apps are a bonus. And Windows Phone isn't as far in apps as many make it out to be. But there are some that would be nice for many. Starbucks is one I've heard mentioned. I don't care as I think their coffee is terrible but some people love their Starbucks and the app makes payment easy.
I also think Nokia was smart to choose WP over Android or over both. By going just WP they get all sorts of special treatment from MS, have more input on development and got a bunch of money. On the flip side you have the option of going with Android, which maybe would have worked but it's hard to say. I think the HTC One is the only Android device I'd seriously consider to try Android again and it's done absolutely terrible. People are unpredictable. Nokia could have made the most amazing Android phone ever, say the Lumia 1020 with all the cutting edge features that people on this site find important, and it still could have flopped. Because right now it's Samsung that everyone wants. Next year it might be LG. Or maybe Apple again. Or, who knows, Lumia. It's finally hit critical mass on market share.
I was talking to the CIO of HEB, which is a massive grocery chain here in Texas, and I asked about their app on Windows Phone. He told me they were going to wait until it hit 10% market share in sales for a quarter. We're not far off. So we're close to the more specialized apps being developed for the platform.
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
Samsung Ties Apple in Profit, But Disappoints Analysts
July 26, 2013, 10:50 AM
Apple's Q3 Earnings, iPhone Sales Beat Analyst Expectations
July 24, 2013, 12:00 PM
Nokia Announces Flagship Super-Shooter, 41 MP Lumia 1020
July 11, 2013, 4:50 PM
HTC Unveils Flagship 4.7" 1080p HTC One Smartphone
February 19, 2013, 12:47 PM
Ex-Microsoft Exec: Sony's PlayStation Worried Gates, Convinced Him to Make Xbox
February 7, 2013, 4:57 PM
Microsoft Admits Lumia 925 and 1020 Have Sleeping Sickness, Bug Fix is Planned
November 24, 2014, 1:12 PM
Report: Samsung Galaxy S5 Sales Have Come in 40% Below Projections
November 24, 2014, 6:58 AM
Quick Note: Google Chromebooks Now Coming with 1TB of Google Drive Space
November 21, 2014, 1:20 PM
Xiaomi Aims to be #1 Smartphone OEM Within 10 Years, Apple Urges Caution
November 21, 2014, 9:33 AM
Quick Note: Samsung's Request to Dismiss Microsoft Lawsuit is Rejected
November 20, 2014, 12:53 PM
Amazon Offers "The Washington Post" Free for Six Months to Kindle Fire Owners
November 20, 2014, 7:41 AM
Most Popular Articles
Wal-Mart: Miss Thanksgiving, Get Xbox One + Master Chief Collection for $299
November 17, 2014, 9:40 PM
Nokia Lumia 635 LTE Windows Phone is Only $40 at Best Buy on Black Friday
November 18, 2014, 11:59 AM
Uber Exec Threatens to "Spend Millions" to Stalk Female Reporter and Her Family
November 19, 2014, 12:31 PM
Toyota’s Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Priced from $57,500 in the U.S.
November 18, 2014, 10:23 AM
Apple Replaces “FREE” Label with “GET” on App Downloads in iTunes App Store
November 19, 2014, 5:38 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information