BlackBerry continues to suffer stories of long-time users, even in once BlackBerry strongholds such as government, making the switch to more consumer-desired devices like the Apple iPhone. So it was surely a particularly sweet win for Nokia when Mall of America announced it was leaving the BlackBerry platform for the Lumia 920.
Nokia said the Bloomington, Minn., mall—the largest plot of retail and entertainment madness in the United States—cited the 920's tight integration with Microsoft services and its built-in Microsoft Office suite as motivations.
"With more than 400 events every year, from music acts to celebrity book signings, the ability to capture, edit and share images from the Nokia Lumia 920's PureView camera enables team members to provide instant high-quality imagery and real time updates," Janette Smrcka, IT director at Mall of America, said in a Feb. 21 statement.
Combined with the Windows Phone 8 platform's business capabilities and an affordable price point, Smrcka added, "We've got a device we're really proud to use."
It turns out quite a few people are feeling good about the 920.
Tech site Engadget recently asked readers to vote on the best products in various categories, and more than 280,000 did. While some results were easy calls—the Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display won Laptop of the Year, and the Tesla Model S won the transportation vote—others were rather surprising. Like the Lumia 920 winning the category of Smartphone of the Year.
And not just winning, but sweeping! (Did Nokia CEO Stephen Elop know that readers could only vote once?) The Lumia 920 received 44 percent of the votes—13,449 in total—while the second-place finisher, the Samsung Galaxy S III, received 4,808 votes, or 16 percent total. The Apple iPhone 5 was the final podium finisher, with 4,135 votes for a 13.4 percent share of the votes.
"We're not quite sure if it's because of innovations like PureView, wireless charging or the amazing super sensitive touch display, but we're happy and we have all the Nokia customers and fans to thank," Nokia's Jason Harris blogged on the Nokia Conversations site Feb. 21.
Nokia introduced the Lumia 920 Sept. 5, 2012, and began shipping it in late October; in the United States it's offered by Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
While it'll never win awards for being thin or light, it features a 4.5-inch Nokia PureMotion HD+ LCD display with Super Sensitive touch technology that can be viewed even in very sunny conditions; a really very excellent PureView camera—Gizmodo earlier this week declared it the best camera on a smartphone—and a suite of strong mapping applications, in addition to features like LTE and NFC support, and wireless charging capabilities.
While Nokia has faced tough times of late, struggling for shares of a market overwhelmingly dominated by Samsung and Apple, during the fourth quarter it showed signs of progress. The Finnish phone maker shipped 6.6 million smart devices during the quarter, 4.4 million of which were Lumias.
"We are very encouraged that Nokia's execution against our business strategy has begun to translate into results," Elop said during a Jan. 24 earnings call. With Nokia reaching profitability during the quarter, and the full year 2012, Elop added, "We see this as a tremendous accomplishment."