Windows Phone 7 has yet to really make waves in the smartphone market, and here’s why, say Nokia: too many vendors hedging their bets on multiple operating systems. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has said recently that Android wasn’t an option given the raft of OEMs whose product line-ups were dominated by Google’s OS. No one vendor has really taken Microsoft’s OS to heart until now, and Nokia clearly needs to do something to end its slump: as our data below shows, the company’s share of the smartphone market has fallen from just under 40% in Q1 2010 to just under 15% in Q3 2011.
One reason is Nokia hasn’t cracked the biggest market for smartphones: North America. Is that about to change with the launch of its Lumia 900 on AT&Ts 4G network? Nokia isn’t the only OEM trying to make it in the States: Sony’s buyout of partner Ericsson in its handset collaboration means it is also going to be pushing its brand strength in that market. Furthermore, there are already a number of 4G handsets available.
Certainly one of the things that have been lacking with Nokia’s previous smartphones has been processing power; this can’t be said of the 1.4 GHz Lumia 900. While all but the tech-savvy consumer won’t care too much about this, games dominate the app charts, and user experiences in this space are heavily driven by processing power. Bigger screens are also the in-thing now, and the Lumia 900 has this too, with 4.3-inches of AMOLED Corning Gorilla Glass.
Nokia’s new smartphone ticks a lot of the boxes, but will it crack the US? The company really needs this device to do so, because its shipment volumes are flagging and the smartphone market is awash with premium smartphones. Differentiation is key: we’ve seen the success of Samsung’s 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, a super-sized smartphone that stands-out, literally. Will the “first true Windows Phones”, as Nokia is calling the Lumia range, raise the profile of its devices and this platform in general?