Nokia’s Roller Coaster Fortnight

My take

Here is my take on the various items:

  • Day 1 Performance: Yes it is a problem that nobody thought of the holiday, but as I see it, this is a long promotional effort for Nokia. The first day and first weekend sales are metrics important only to the extremely short-sighted tech press. The promotions are going to run for weeks, and as advertising ramps up, more people will come to the stores to purchase new phones. In the grand scheme of things, the first day’s performance is not that important.
  • Financials and stock performance: It is clear that Nokia has not been able to sell as many Lumia devices as they are losing Symbian devices. Not even close. As a result, their market share is dwindling rapidly which creates several cascading problems. However, changing platforms is not a simple effort and it does not happen overnight. Nokia will have to continue their execution focus, and maybe lose some non-performing and inessential assets along the way. The Lumia devices are being launched in new countries all the time, and are expanding the price range at the same time. Perhaps a new look at the company after a year may make more sense, rather than trying to measure their sales every month during the transition.
  • Software bug: The memory management issue is one that bothers me a bit. It is inexcusable that Nokia was not able to identify the issue before they actually launched. Also, what was AT&T, known to be notoriously rigid in acceptance of new devices, testing and how did they not find out? Although, as a side effect, I am pleased to see that AT&T is interested in the success of the device as evidenced by the quick certification and roll out of the fix.
  • NFC in “low end” phone: As for NFC inclusion in the Lumia 610, I suppose there are applications already enabled in some of those emerging countries that Nokia is targeting, which may justify its inclusion in the low-end device. In the US there is not much infrastructure set up to support NFC, so it makes sense that Nokia decided to focus on other items like LTE and front-facing cameras for this market.

As a Windows Phone user, and a new owner of a Lumia 800 (note: 800, not 900), I can say that I could not be happier to see Nokia as a pure Windows Phone OEM. HTC, Samsung and others make so-so devices (usually a copy of the corresponding Android devices), and they have other platforms to fall back on, but Nokia has only one focus and that ensures that they will commit fully to Windows Phone. It is made clear in a lot of ways – great designs of phones, fantastic set of free apps that come with the Lumia devices, and of course the influence they have been able to exert on a carrier like AT&T in the best interest of their customers.

I wish them all the best. 2012 is a crucial year, but it is only the beginning!

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Romit Mehta

Romit writes about mobile news and gadgets, and is currently a Windows Phone owner (Nokia Lumia 920). Find him on twitter @TheRomit. Personal site is