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The first Nokia Lumia phone in the Lumia series, was launched back in November 2011 with the Lumia 800 and with that they tried to respond to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy series. Of course they entered the race pretty late, iPhone had been a runaway hit since its launch and Galaxy series earned Samsung the reputation like never before.
Nokia stuck to Symbian long after almost all other major mobile companies, except for Apple of course, had turned towards Android. The increasing craze of smartphone’s and multitude of apps it offered was beginning to crush Symbian. It is difficult to understand why the Finnish company, who until last year one was the largest phone seller in the world, would take so long to respond.
Nokia embraces Windows
Nokia had pinned its hopes on Microsoft when their plan with Meego (Now Tizen) didn’t work out. After dropping Meego from their plans, Nokia confirmed their partnership with Microsoft in the first quarter of 2011 and announced of their plans to release their first smartphone with Microsoft Windows mobile operating system. Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 was announced amidst much fanfare, boasting competitive processor, memory, storage, camera, a large display and powered by Microsoft Windows Phone 7 at the time of launch (which was later upgraded to 7.8). And so, 4 years after Apple revolutionized the mobile phone and 1 year after Samsung launched the first Galaxy phone, Nokia had their own Smartphone in the market.
Nokia was very optimistic and confident about their product and rightly so, they thought they had hit the bull’s-eye. Nokia later went on to release many phones in the Lumia series, the most recent being Lumia 928, announced just a day ago.
Unlike other smartphone’s, the price range for Lumia series is very reasonable and affordable by most. Lumia 510, termed as an entry level Lumia phone had, like all Lumia phone Windows Phone OS, carried a price tag of about $200 – $240. Samsung’s Galaxy S costs about $350 while Apple iPhone 4 costs anywhere between $450 – $480.
The struggle continues
Unfortunately for Nokia, even after almost a year and half of launching their first Windows powered phone, they are still trying to find a foothold in the smartphone industry. Nokia did its part very well by launching the kind of device with the hardware that users want, and more importantly making these devices affordable. However, in a way, it still faces the same problem as it faced before. Apple currently has more than 800,000 apps in its AppStore, Android has about 700,000 while Windows on the other hand recently crossed 145,000 apps.
However, it should be noticed that Microsoft has been very careful to focus on the quality of apps rather than the quantity. It is sad that many people are not buying Windows Phone because they have this misconception that the apps they use on iOS or Android are not available on Windows Phone, which is not true. Unless we are taking some very specific apps such as a citrix app for a business user or a specific navigation app to name a few, most of the apps are there. What’s more sad is the fact that none of the companies have stressed enough on these points as required.
It wouldn’t be surprising if this partnership ends in the next few years or if Nokia ditches Windows over Android (You never know!). A few days ago they introduced a low end capacitive touchscreen phone in the Asha series, named Asha 501. It is difficult to predict if they will chose to focus more on the Asha series in future or the Lumia series. In any case, the struggle for them, is by no means coming to an end anytime soon.