Windows Phone seen as driving a wedge between iPhone, Android
As Lumia 900 launch looms, analyst says Nokia, Microsoft need BlackBerry users to switch to Windows Phone
Computerworld - Nokia's Lumia 900 smartphones will reach AT&T stores on Sunday for $99.99, and one analyst said it could be the start of something big: Windows Phone as a market disrupter between the successful iPhone and Android phones.
Windows Phone, Microsoft's mobile operating system that's used by Nokia in its Lumia line of smartphones, is so far a small portion of the smartphone market, less than 3%. Still, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said in a blog Thursday that the smartphone market is "ripe for disruption ... and every player in the ecosystem (other than Google and Apple) wants a third player to wedge between Google and Apple."
Epps went on to argue that Nokia and Microsoft should try to convert every BlackBerry user to Windows Phone within two years. BlackBerry usage is declining and today makes up 8% of the global smartphone market. Grabbing those customers "would be a modest but achievable gain for Windows Phone," she said.
Attracting former BlackBerry users and a portion of Nokia's Symbian users in China and India to Windows Phone "positions Nokia and Microsoft as a viable third platform and foil for Google-Apple hegemony," Epps said. "In the dog-eat-dog smartphone market, viability in itself can be disruptive."
Epps admitted that she is a strong supporter of Windows Phone and has used the OS on the HTC Trophy and Samsung Focus Flash as her personal phones. "I will say it loud and say it proud: I love my Windows Phone," she wrote.
The coming Lumia 900, which she now uses as a review unit, is priced right at $99.99 to attract new smartphone users and to lure BlackBerry customers who are already paying their carriers for data plans. Since BlackBerry maker Research In Motion said it won't have new smartphones soon, BlackBerry customers should be a prime target, she added.
Nokia and Microsoft have "built a great product," Epps contended. In an interview, she said she likes the Lumia 900's industrial design, including the slim form factor and a body that has a "satisfying tactile feel." She said the screen resolution is better than the Trophy and has a front-facing camera that the Trophy lacks.
Epps said the Windows Phone interface uses live tiles that can keep her husband's contact information and status right on the home screen, an example of how the OS lives up to its brand promise of "putting people first." "I personally do feel a strong emotional connection with Windows Phone, and before that I had BlackBerry, so it's the first phone I've ever really loved," she said.
Some reviewers, including Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal, pointed out a weak Web browser on the Lumia 900 among other concerns. "Overall, I consider the Lumia 900 a mixed bag," Mossberg wrote. "Unless you are a big Windows Phone fan, or don't want to spend more than $100 upfront, I can't recommend the Lumia 900 over the iPhone 4S or a first-rate Android phone like Samsung's Galaxy S II series."
Epps agreed that Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T are not going to persuade an iPhone user to use Windows Phone, but maintained the Lumia 900 could attract BlackBerry and first-time smartphone buyers.
Nokia and AT&T have said they will promote the Lumia 900 in AT&T stores with more floor space and promotional signs than other phones and by training sales reps to show it off. To Epps, AT&T's support is the biggest key to Lumia 900's success, and Nokia has offered AT&T an attractive-enough profit margin on sales of the phones to promote it well.
"Carriers sell the phones they can make the most money on," she said. "He who pays the operator sells the phone."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Studies show Sprint and T-Mobile need to expand U.S. coverage
- Gear Fit: Samsung strikes again with its 'build one of any device' plan
- Nokia Lumia Icon on sale Feb. 20 exclusively at Verizon
- Samsung hints at new UI for upcoming Galaxy S5
- How 'Lenovorola' changes the mobile world
- Google and Samsung grow cozier with patent deal, Motorola sale
- Should Sprint buy T-Mobile?
- iPhone, Samsung smartphone use by U.S. consumers jumps
- A mobile app reality check
- Verizon LTE getting AWS upgrades, even as execs admit to some performance 'hot spots'
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts