It’s easy to forget, but before the iPhone and Android smartphones, Nokia was the phone to have. While still one of the largest mobile companies in the world, the age of the Finnish mobile giant has come to and end, or has it? Still considered to produce the most robust and well built phones, basic handsets continue to sell well in many countries. The major problem for Nokia has been the Symbian OS, an out of date software which pales compared to iOS or Android. That is until last year when Nokia announced its deal with Microsoft.
Windows Phone 7 is widely seen as one of the most well built, if under used smartphone OS’s on the Market, while still only with a minor share it’s set to grow this year, hugely. What has stumped it really is a lack of marketing, combined with handsets which don’t stand out from the crowd. This is where Nokia comes in, and it’s relabelled N9 design. With a curved,crisp screen this really is a gorgeous device and certainly stands out from the crowd.
The Lumia 800 is the first Mango phone, but also boasts NFC technology and a look that really sets it apart in form and function, not just from previous Nokia’s but also from the rest of the smartphone crowd. With the announcement that Nokia is set to ship 1 million of the phones this year, having claimed to have already sold a million, it’s a more positive outlook than has been seen for their other handsets, like the flagship N8 which was impressive, but failed to impress in sales.
The arrangement between Nokia and Microsoft has been met with negativity on both sides, claiming that Symbian or Meego are viable OS’s for the modern market. However, with serious compatibility issues and poor app options, the Symbian store was dying on it’s feet. Microsoft also has seen it’s empire decline slowly in the wake of Apple’s rise. With the traditional strongholds of tablets and laptops being left to MacBooks and iPads, Microsoft is desperately trying to reinvent itself. The only way to save it’s mobile arm is to align with the once all-powerful Nokia.
The road back towards dominance for both is a rocky one. While WP7 has impressed people, it is failing to sell and with Windows 8 Desktop still in development, Microsoft is still losing ground to Apple and Google who are beginning to innovate with light software and impressive designs. Nokia too continues to post losses, with Q4 of 2011 amassing a whopping loss of €1billion, they still expect that the majority of their phones sold will be Symbian with a projected sale of 150million handsets this year.
It will be an uphill struggle, but with some clever marketing and a rework of both brands, Nokia could once again become a serious player in the smartphone Market.