As expected,Nokia on Oct. 26 showed off its first line of Windows Phone 7-based smartphones, called Lumia. The Lumia 800 is the more capable of the two devices and will be available in several countries around the world starting next month.
The Lumia 710 is a little less capable and will be available to users later this year. Customers in the United States, however, will be forced to wait until early next year to finally get their hands on these Nokia Windows Phone 7-based devices.
Now that Nokia has shown what it has planned for its Windows Phone 7 handsets, it's a good time to evaluate how they might impact Android- and iOS-based devices. Currently, Android devices and Apple's iPhone line are dominating the handset market. Nokia, once the world's most dominant handset maker, has watched its market share plunge. But with Lumia's help, all that might change.
Nokia is back in the smartphone game in a big way. And the company's current and future Windows Phone 7-based devices might just threaten Android-based handsets and Apple's iPhone.
Read on to find out why:
1. Nokia understands design
One thing about Nokia is that it knows how to create nice-looking smartphones that people actually want. The Lumia 800 is especially appealing. The device comes in several colors with a prominent 3.7-inch touch screen to trump the iPhone's 3.5-inch option. It also features a 1.4GHz processor and an 8-megapixel camera. Does the Lumia 800 match the iPhone 4S on design? No. But it certainly bests the vast majority of handsets out there. And that could have a positive impact on its sales.
2. It's an international game
Nokia has already been criticized for only offering its Lumia handsets outside of the U.S. But further inspection reveals that it's a good idea. Too often, people in the U.S. think that their country will determine the success or failure of a device. And every time, those people are wrong. Even if a device sells poorly in the U.S., it might be a huge success internationally, and vice versa. Long an international player, Nokia understands that and realizes that with the right marketing, it could start winning back a significant portion of the international handset market that it has lost in recent years to the Apple's iPhone and Android handsets.
3. The company still ships boatloads of devices
Beyond that, it's important to consider that although Nokia's market share has declined over the last few years, the company is still selling millions of mobile devices every year. That installed base of customers who continue to purchase Nokia handsets could play into the company's favor as it starts to capitalize on its Windows Phone 7 partnership with Microsoft. The last thing critics should do is marginalize the reach and influence Nokia has around the world.
4. Nokia can pump out new handsets with ease
As Nokia has shown in the past, it has no trouble developing a line of handsets and getting them onto store shelves within just a few months. That could be integral to the company's ability to gain market share from Android handsets and the iPhone. The fact is the Lumia 800 and 710 arejust the beginning of what will likely be a long line of Windows Phone 7-based handsets to leave its factories. A year from now, handset vendors might be looking down their barrels at a dozen Windows Phone 7 smartphones designed for many different customers.