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Nokia's exclusive apps put into question Microsoft's Windows Phone philosophy

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Nokia's exclusive apps put into question Microsoft's Windows Phone philosophy
Nokia is certainly not the first manufacturer to announce a set of exclusive apps on a platform, and it most definitely won't be the last one, but it could very well be the most damaging example we've seen yet. Most manufacturers will say that exclusive apps are a way to differentiate devices in the market, and we all know that Windows Phone manufacturers are looking for as many ways to differentiate as possible. As yet, Microsoft is not allowing any type of skinning or UI differentiation, so built-in apps are the only option right now. 

Samsung's Windows Phone devices have a proprietary photo editor, as well as other apps. HTC's Windows Phone devices have the HTC Hub (weather, news stocks), HTC Watch (video streaming), and probably the best of all is the Attentive Phone app, which allows nice options like muting when the phone is flipped, quieting the ringer when the phone is moved, or making the ringer louder if it's in a bag or pocket. These are all small additions that make the user's experience with the phone a bit better or offers a nice service, but Nokia is going beyond that to a troubling degree. 

Exclusives

Nokia has the Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive apps, which are proprietary, although the benefits of those will be passed back to the rest of the Windows Phone ecosystem with the hybrid Nokia/Bing Maps that are coming as part of the Microsoft/Nokia partnership. But, today's announcement of exclusive third party apps for Nokia phones is dangerous, and could be worrying for other manufacturers. 

This isn't simply a matter of differentiation, this is a push to make Nokia the de facto choice for anyone even remotely interested in a Windows Phone handset. Nokia already has a better version of the ESPN app running on its Lumia handsets than other WP manufacturers do, but today's announcement adds more exclusive content and ESPN apps for Nokia for the next year, including Olympics news. Nokia announced exclusive content from two of the biggest mobile game developers around: Rovio and EA. And, Nokia is also getting an exclusive from Groupon. 

Nokia is getting all of these apps on between 6 and 12 month exclusives at a time when every Windows Phone manufacturer needs as much help as possible. The Windows Phone platform already has the reputation as an OS without many apps. This isn't exactly true given that there are now over 80,000 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace, but there is a noticeable lack of official apps and big name developers. Google has a search app on WP7, but nothing for Gmail, YouTube, Talk, Docs, or any other products (although Google+ is rumored to be coming). There is no official Read It Later app or a variety of other services. There are options available for just about anything you'd want, but the quality can be suspect at times, and you'll have to be okay with giving your login credentials to unofficial sources. 

We have seen app exclusives with Android, most notably with Skype being exclusive to Verizon for a time, but Android was established at that point and Android was on a sharp upswing, so a timed exclusive app was annoying, but an acceptable way for carriers and manufacturers to differentiate. This is especially true with Google's policy of letting Android be the Wild West. Microsoft on the other hand has tried to keep the Windows Phone ecosystem cohesive and unified and bring up the platform as a whole, whereas Google let the various Android camps fight it out until everyone was better and Android was a success. 

Microsoft's philosophy problem

Google promoted differentiation; so, when that's what we got, it was understandable and relatively acceptable because aside from a few notable exceptions, like Skype, apps were available on all devices. Microsoft has been fighting against differentiation because it doesn't want to see manufacturers succeeding and bringing along Windows Phone, as was the case with Android. Microsoft has always played it as though it wants Windows Phone to succeed and bring along the hardware partners. At least, that seemed to be the case until Nokia came along, because if the platform is the focus, this is no time to have exclusive software, especially software on the level of ESPN, EA and Angry Birds content. Those are big names, those should be standard across handsets. 

It is perfectly possible that Microsoft is allowing Nokia to become the top dog of Windows Phone simply to rationalize the partnership costs, but also to bring a focal point to the platform. For a time, Motorola's DROID line was the focal point of the Android platform, at least until Samsung started to take over with its Galaxy line. Since the Windows Phone ecosystem hasn't had a standout manufacturer, Microsoft brought in Nokia to be that standout. The question is just how far Microsoft is willing to let this go. 

It could be that Microsoft is letting Nokia take the lead in order to build consumer awareness ahead of the big Windows Phone 8 launch this fall. But, it is starting to look like Microsoft is willing to sacrifice all of the other manufacturers in that process. If Nokia continues to get exclusives, not to mention a huge marketing budget (which could very well be subsidized by Microsoft), there may not be any other hardware partners left for the WP8 launch. Additionally, existing Windows Phone users may be turned off to the platform if they see nice apps on the Nokia devices that aren't available to them.

The question is one of Microsoft's basic philosophy. The platform hasn't seen a lot of traction with the all-for-one philosophy, but at the same time it's unclear if Windows Phone can succeed with just Nokia making handsets. It seems likely given Nokia's history, and Microsoft's deep pockets. But, having other manufacturers disappear, and increased exclusives for Nokia could also lead to users being alienated as well. Word of mouth and customer recommendations are just as important as any big marketing campaign, as Microsoft must have learned from Apple by now, so Microsoft would be effectively throwing away the current user base in favor of whatever Nokia can create.  

Conclusion

It's no secret that Windows Phone is in a tough spot and it needs a boost. It has been slowly gaining traction in the market, but it has been moving far too slowly for the manufacturers and carriers involved. It has gotten to the point to where carriers have flat out said that they won't agree to deliver the Windows Phone 8 update unless there is a pretty sharp uptick in consumer interest. And, on top of that Nokia is having financial troubles and may need an extra bailout from Microsoft on top of the $1 billion a year it is already receiving as part of the Windows Phone agreement. 

So, we've already got a platform that has unhappy manufacturers, unhappy carriers, and a user base that is growing, but growing very slowly. Then on top of that we have the platform's creator paying more than $1 billion every year to support one hardware partner. Everyone has jumped on Google for purchasing Motorola under the assumption that Google would cause the destruction of the Android ecosystem by favoring Motorola over other manufacturers even though there has yet to be any evidence those fears are founded. Yet, no one seems to care that Microsoft has given ample evidence that it is perfectly willing to have Nokia be the sole supplier of Windows Phone handsets. 

The success of Windows Phone as a platform is not a guarantee right now, and if Microsoft pushes too hard for Nokia to be the lead manufacturer it could cause big problems. Sure, it may end up in an Android situation where manufacturers compete to make the best devices, and the entire ecosystem is lifted up as a result. However, there is also a distinct possibility that other hardware partners will simply abandon the platform in the hands of Nokia and Microsoft. Nokia is a capable manufacturer, but even just the PR fallout from more and more manufacturers leaving the platform could be too much for even Nokia and Microsoft to overcome. 

So, moving forward is Microsoft still aiming for an all-for-one ethos in Windows Phone, or has it become simply Nokia-for-all?

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posted on 08 May 2012, 20:40 12

1. Coolaaron88 (Posts: 6; Member since: 20 Jun 2011)


You make it sound like all of the apps that are exclusive to Nokia Lumia devices are like that forever. They are timed exclusives meaning they will be available to everyone at some point. I feel like this article is over-sensationalizing this entire exclusive app issue.

posted on 08 May 2012, 21:09 9

5. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Given the market situation of Windows Phone a one year exclusive is a much bigger deal than a timed-exclusive on an established system like Android. WP is in a very tenuous situation where no one is happy.

posted on 09 May 2012, 02:09 2

28. azafirster (Posts: 41; Member since: 01 May 2012)


Yeah I agree, try having a peek at their customer feedback website at main WP site, the number of complaints are increasing, the categories of problem are swelling, no updates as yet. The number of complaints there shows a grim customer experience. They don't just have these exclusive-with-nokia apps going on, try do a research on regionalizing marketplace. Apple and android don't do this, not to my knowledge. Singapore and malaysia has different marketplace alltogether, but geographically we are neighbours, and yet WP (in my case nokia) gives different marketplace.

posted on 08 May 2012, 21:29 5

8. AndroidShiz (Posts: 145; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


When you have a phone that sucks lizard balls in SALES already, having exclusives for 6 to 12 months is stupid. Then again Microsoft kinda forces the other manufactures to make Windows phones in exchange for not making the questionable patent fees they have to pay for parts of Android even higher. If not for being forced, I doubt any of these manufactures, except the Microsoft Manchurian candidate led Nokia, would even make them, any more than they would produce a Blackberry or Palm. Android and iPhone represent perpetual prosperity, while Windows Phone is much like a failed economy that the government keeps pouring money into even though the masses will never choose it in impressive numbers. In others words it ain't making any "REAL" money anytime soon. I'm not dissing it, it just truthfully is not the choice of most people. I tried it full heartedly, and went right back to my GSM Galaxy Sexus. Not getting another phone until the next REAL Android from Google launches again.

posted on 10 May 2012, 18:06

53. kozmo13 (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 May 2012)


you obviously totally fail at perspective. android has been on top for about 4 days. and that's because it is entirely free. here's a tip... everyone on top was on bottom one time. everyone who was ever on top, isn't any more. it's called "business cycles".

in all likelihood, android will flame out faster than rim... given their business model and upgrade landscape.

i was in verizon and att in the past two days. every sales person i talked to walked me away from android.

frankly, who cares? i'm not on a team. i just want a phone... like the *actual* masses.

posted on 08 May 2012, 20:45 8

2. Whodaboss (Posts: 173; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)


I have no problems with phone makers having their exclusive rights for certian or with any developers for any software design. None whatsoever. Each phone maker should at least attempt to make their device distinctive and pleasing to the public. Don't blame Nokia. Thank goodness for Nokia at least they are putting in the effort instead of this wait and see attitude. If WP fails it sure won't be because of Nokia. This is why I will purchase a Lumia 900 once it or if it hits TMo.

posted on 08 May 2012, 20:50 5

3. steelicon (Posts: 308; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)


http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/876/ctrlcvberry.jpg

This is what happens when you abandon something wonderful. Someone takes it away and then you realize you've thrown away the family jewels.

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:39 3

26. tigerforce7 (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 May 2012)


Aye. I never had the chance to use Harmattan but it looked pretty sweet. Hopefully Nokia can carry on some of its ideas in their Windows Phones.

posted on 08 May 2012, 20:54 9

4. ron1niro (Posts: 54; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Why phonearena? Again, painting a picture that is not exactly right. First of all, nokia maps, nokia drive and nokia transit belong to nokia and therefore, they can choose whether to share them or not. Second, the exclusive apps are only going to be so for a certain amount of time, next, Nokia is investing a lot into windows phone, the moment you hear windows phone, you think of Lumia, other manufacturers are not investing much of their time or resources on windows phone, so nokia deserves this. If samsung or htc want, they can also strike deals with other developers. This could also be good for the platform since other manufacturers may also start thinking of doing something special to keep up with Nokia. Who's playing catch up now huh?

posted on 08 May 2012, 21:11 9

6. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The issue isn't Nokia Maps or Nokia Drive, because as is said in the article, those are being distributed to the rest of the ecosystem as part of the partnership deal.

It would be great if other manufacturers try to compete with Nokia, but given that the success of WP isn't yet assured, it may end up that the manufacturers just abandon the platform instead, which could be more trouble for Microsoft.

posted on 08 May 2012, 21:20 3

7. joeymk (Posts: 100; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)


They have it under control. Don't you worry. And google ha, google is crying for buying Motorola.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:01 7

9. Glim12808 (Posts: 391; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


It's too early to tell whether the alarmist stance of Michael H. is correct or not. But I have a gut feeling that had MS left the marketing and the spreading of the WP platform in the hands of Samsung, HTC, LG, et al, marketshare of WP would still be stagnating in the doldrums of 0.5% area. These OEMs are just too invested in Android to find the time, expend effort, spend money in promoting WP. And I don't blame them. They are all in the business of making money and it is in Android where they are making the most money.

On the other hand, It was only when Nokia entered the picture that marketshare of WP begun to pick-up. And it's not surprising why Nokia is so invested in WP. They need the billions that only MS can make available to them! Google too has those billions. But why would Google put those billions out for Nokia when it has already the big boys, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, et al, in its corner?

Whether it's good for business or not, only time will tell. I think things will become clearer when WP8 comes around. But in any case, I can't blame MS for pandering to Nokia because MS needs Nokia, just as much as Nokia needs MS! As the cliche goes, it's a marriage made in heaven. LOL!

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:32 9

13. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)


As I've said before, Android has spoiled manufacturers. It used to be that they could only differentiate in hardware and proprietary apps, but then Android gave the option to differentiate the UI. Once that happened manufacturers could market devices and show off all their features. But with WP, marketing would be showing off Microsoft's UI and manufacturers now feel like that's paying to advertise Microsoft not the proprietary features.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:21 4

10. Penny (Posts: 989; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


I'm not 100% sure about this, but I was under the impression that each manufacturer can make apps exclusively for itself. So Nokia can make apps only for Nokias, and HTC can make apps exclusively for HTC (like the HTC Hub that I have).

If what I am thinking is the case, then it's not an exclusivity as much as it is something to differentiate, which all manufacturers can do. Microsoft releasing a Bing/Drive Hybrid later down the road does not seem egregious to me either. Think about it this way: due to their partnership, Nokia is continuing to develop in its own areas of specialization (mapping, camera) and is going to implement it in its own windows phones as a point of differentiation. However, because the partnership is in place, they will also share these developments with Microsoft to share platform-wide. In order to get these advancements, Microsoft offers Nokia greater access to Windows Phone's source code and development process.

Bottom line is that Microsoft definitely is favoring Nokia over other hardware manufacturers, but they are getting something worthwhile in return: more rapid development of advanced features and more dedicated marketing for the entire platform. Not saying this isn't favoritism, but it works in favor of Microsoft, and thus their platform, and thus the other manufacturers as well.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:27 5

12. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The difference is between making proprietary apps and buying exclusivity of third party apps that everyone wants.

posted on 09 May 2012, 14:28 3

48. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


If nokia is getting a rovio exclusive, I'd call foul on that. There is no reason for it.
However, the other apps, other than Nokia Drive, I dont see a problem with.

I know we've had our conversations about the devices, and just like i mentioned with you, i say to every customer... if you want a WP7 device, right now u need a Nokia so you can get the GPS/Maps integration.
Thats great for nokia, but bad for the ecosystem because that a huge and important part of any smartphone now. Having part of the ecosystem with such an important service, and the other half without makes a dangerously strong tilt towards the half that does. The HTC Radar all but stopped selling the moment the Lumia 710 came out, and the GPS was by far the biggest reason.

Will other manufacturers leave Windows Phone? Who's actually making WP7 devices right now? Its pretty much just Nokia, Samsung and HTC. I doubt any of the 3 of them will leave the arena unless its just too heavily tilted towards Nokia to the point they cant profit. Nokia obviously isnt leaving. HTC has a long and successful history with MS so I dont think they would drop it unless they had to. Samsung likes having a wide portfolio and also has a long history with MS, so the same applies to them. However, it will definitely keep other partners from entering the fray unless things change.

Those 3 manufacturers all have their points of power. Nokia has GPS integrations and cameras, HTC loves integrating and simplifying common tasks, and Samsung is the hardware king that is a solid jack of all trades and master of none.

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:25 1

11. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


This is a great thing at the day if Nokia is the only one making windows phones so b it there the best anyway. Microsoft should just let Nokia make windows phone no one else puts time in except maybe htc. Then once t takes offthe others would try to hop on but it be to late Nokia would dominate te market. When you think windows you think Nokia anyway. And Ms should never allow poems to change the skin they need to compete on apps and specs

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:43

15. paulyyd (Posts: 320; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)


lol you suck at writing articles

posted on 08 May 2012, 22:54 6

16. jimjam (Posts: 228; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)


If you want those apps that bad just buy a Nokia wp7 ... Problem solved.

posted on 09 May 2012, 04:28 1

32. raunak (Posts: 490; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


that's the point here, that if everyone is forced to buy Lumias then other manufacturers MIGHT get frustrated and abandon WP.

posted on 08 May 2012, 23:29 2

17. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


Honestly there is nothing wrong with the exclusivity of apps for manufactures. Nokia is the only manufacture that jumped into Windows Phone with two feet and I don't see the problem with getting exclusivity deals. I also don't see a problem with any other manufacturer doing that either on any OS. You have to differentiate yourself from the competition and although Microsoft wants their OS to be the top OS, the manufacturers want to be the top manufacturer as well. There are at least three battles going on in the mobile phone market right now with the OS battle, the manufacture battle, and the carriers battle.

posted on 09 May 2012, 00:15 1

18. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 600; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


Considering all these manufacturers are waiting for Windows 8 for their tablets... It is completely ridiculous that these manufacturers will do away with Windows Phone. They are not too happy, rightfully so, but all will be cured with the EMINENT rise of the market share for Windows Phones.

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:15 2

19. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)


Microsoft still don't seem to get the bigger picture. They are trying to make a mobile OS following the same principles as with a desktop one. But, as it recently turns out, PCs are just tools that enable us to do things. Even people who use their PC primarily for fun (games, movies, etc.) don't love it. They do love their mobile devices though, judging by the passionate comments and outright warfare that is going on over tech blogs and discussion forums. Ever heard of someone offending someone else over the choice of a Dell or Acer PC instead of HP?
Since the launch of the original iPhone, phones have proudly entered the category of devices that people usually develop an emotional connection with. In this category, smartphones are probably second only to cars. And because people love their phones, they expect that phonemakers should also show some love in producing them. Beautiful design, polished software, some nice features like flipping the phone over to make it stop ringing, or providing xx GB of free cloud storage, or preventing the phone from sleeping while you look at it - that's what can make customers favor one phone over the others. And I'm sure that most "ordinary" customers can't make a difference between the versions of Android and don't even have an idea how "stock" Android looks and feels. They accept OEM skins as an integral part of the smartphone experience, they love or hate it and based on that, they want it on their next phone or not.
What Microsoft has achieved is make all WP phones look and feel like they come out of a conveyor - regardless of manufacturer and hardware design. No emotions, no love - just uniform looks and features throughout the whole ecosystem. If that's what they really want, they might as well chase away all manufacturers and partner with Nokia to make a single phone model.
The PC wars were different - that was a fight between two closed systems. One of them took the path of licencing and it became a single-horse race. But in a world where Android exists, I believe there is no place for a closed system that's not made by Apple. Not in the mainstream at least.

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:37 2

25. tigerforce7 (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 May 2012)


Endless theorising in the post above.

I love my Lumia 800.

Every time I hold it, I appreciate its slim, curvy body anew. Every time I think I'm bored with the accent colour, I switch to another and I appreciate the entire refresh that brings - it really is like holding a new phone I can fall in love with all over again. And the beautiful motion and fluidity of the best parts of the interface more than make up for the odd bits.

Everything on my phone is mine. My favourite apps, my OneNotes, my playlists, my saved games, and my closest friends all pinned to my start menu. Everything I need is here.

This post may seem gushing, and it is - but it is not for the poster above to decide whether something is "lovable". In many ways, Windows Phones are more personal, less uniform than their counterparts, and that's nothing to do with Nokia's work. Identical looks and features - yes. Identical content - nope.

posted on 09 May 2012, 07:18

37. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)


Sorry, I really like to theorize sometimes. Helps me to arrange my own thoughts :)
In a way your reaction proves my point about people loving their smartphones. I don't think WP isn't "lovable". That's the thing about emotions - they are personal. I personally feel WP is too cold and uniform. The "identical looks" part spoils it for me. You obviously think otherwise.
There will always be people who like WP. But I believe their number won't ever come close to that of iOS and Android fans with the direction Microsoft is now taking. The Metro UI shows a passion for design that has to be respected. But it's still not enough. Android has spoilt not only manufacturers, but users as well. Most people will prefer the visual differentiation that Android brings to the uniform WP experience. Sleek minimalist interface with little customization options is closer to iOS territory and stealing clients from Apple... well, it's quite a difficult task to say the least.
Still, I might be wrong. And Windows8/WP8 could move the game up with PC-mobile integration. Time will tell. Currently statistics are in line with my opinion that there's no place for a third mobile OS, unless it brings something revolutionary to the market.

posted on 09 May 2012, 06:10 1

35. Altair (Posts: 298; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


I don't know what you are talking about. I have been using my PC for long time and loved everything I could do with it. I've tryed IBM OS and MAC, but always returned to Windows and good selection of stuff in there.

I've also used iPhone4, Samsung Galaxy, but returned to my lovingly Nokia N8 because of its superior camera. Waiting for Nokia Purewiev 808 or WP version of it. There are just 3 things I need from a phone. I need a phone itself, so I can keep contact to my friends. Then maps + navigator and finally a good camera.

Obviously some people wants n+1 apps for a phone to play with. I more likely play with my PC. There are a lot of good games and programs in PC, that no phones or tables can offer for long time.

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:19 2

20. Owoteva (Posts: 9; Member since: 09 Jan 2012)


Good to see the anti-WP bias still alive and strong at PhoneArena.

Personally I don't see too much difference between exclusive apps and specs. Look at Android. Want a 4.7 in screen with 8MP and ICS? get a One X. Want 12MP and a dedicated camera button? Xperia S. Plain vanilla ICS? Galaxy Nexus. Rather a small screen and potential app incompatibility? Xperia Ray, HTC Wildfire anyone? It's just a case of finding the manufacturer that makes what you want and go get it.

As for existing WP users smarting about the (timed) exclusives, they may be out of contract by the time these apps are for the whole market or they just buy a Nokia. Any with AT&T, Samsung & Sprint remaining bullish about WP8 (and let's not forget all this talk about a viable third platform) I can't see how upset they can be with Microsoft, perhaps just somewhat annoyed.

posted on 09 May 2012, 09:05 1

42. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Why is it bias to point out that alienating manufacturers might not be a good idea for a platform that still doesn't even make up 2% of the market?

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:28 2

21. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


how can you guys say that other conpanies will abandon microsoft's window phone 7 OS? Did you guys forget the samsung focus 2 already? Its only been 2 days i think. Talk about being ignorant...

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:29

22. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


how can you guys say that other conpanies will abandon microsoft's window phone 7 OS? Did you guys forget the samsung focus 2 already? Its only been 2 days i think. Talk about being ignorant...

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:29

23. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


how can you guys say that other conpanies will abandon microsoft's window phone 7 OS? Did you guys forget the samsung focus 2 already? Its only been 2 days i think. Talk about being ignorant...

posted on 09 May 2012, 01:30 5

24. snowgator (Posts: 3159; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Is Samsung investing the future of it's company in Windows (and I own the Focus S and wouldn't trade it for the 900)? Is HTC, Fujitisu, ZTE, or any other manufacturer? How about Tango, designed for low end devices in emerging markets and competing for the prepaid consumer. Anyone but Nokia trying to jump on that? How about increasing models exclusively for WP, instead of just rebranding a lower spec Android phone? Anyone??

Ummm.... let me check..... nope, don't look that way.

So Nokia goes all out, fights to get these third party apps, provides it's apps to Microsoft as part of the partnership to help MS in a couple of it's weak areas, like it's maps. (Still looking for that first person who uses Bing maps over Google maps.) But this is a bad thing?

Now, look at the timing of the exclusiveness. Nokia has this content for 6 months. So, when WP8 comes out which is when all these manufacturers said they will be releasing new top shelf WP devices and Windows tablets, that exclusive period will be over. Sure, the HTC Titan 2 could use these apps to help it's sales. So could lowering the price and HTC buying some commercial time. They aren't doing that, so why the worry on exclusive apps?

The 900 is the most important launch to date, and needs to be a hit for both Nokia and Microsofts future in WP. This is a decent article, and a couple of it's points are solid. I do not want to lose choice, and I want all these manufacturers to continue to compete in WP. But Nokia is all in on WP, and NOBODY ELSE IS.

This is the chicken/egg debate. Does increase sales mean more support from carriers and OEMs? Or do the carriers and OEM support mean better sales? My opinion is the second one. The analogy which works best in the Motorola Droid series on Verizon. Yes, Android was around before that, and had seen some success. But, Moto went all in and promoted the dog-crud out of that line, Verizon was supportive as they saw a chance to differentiate, and sales for it really took off. As a result, Android manufacturers everywhere benefited. Nokia is all in, and AT&T and T-Mobile are being supportive. The marketplace is different now, and this is a harder time to break through with a new OS with a ton of consumers already loyal to the top 3. But, if WP makes it, it will be Nokia that leads the way. The other manufacturers will benifit from it's success. These apps are an investment in the ecosystem, not a detriment.

posted on 09 May 2012, 02:03

27. Forsaken77 (Posts: 542; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


The bottom line is Microsoft launched the Windows Phone line too early and that's why they're in this position. It they waited to launch with Windows 8, with phones capable of the same hardware specs as Android, then they would've blown out the gate and people would've been in line to buy them. Now, people see WP as a second-class citizen whose hardware is limping to the finish line. Microsoft should allow some differentiation between oem's. If they're all running the same stuff, there's no incentive to buy one phone over another.You're buying the brand and that's it.They should mandate that certain features be present, but above and beyond those features is in the hands of the manufacturers.

posted on 09 May 2012, 02:26 2

29. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 627; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


You mean, they launched it too late.

Remember that WP7 specs were pretty much competitive in early 2011 when Nokia announced collaboration with MS (there was only one dual-core Android at the market), and it took them whole year before actual product.

posted on 09 May 2012, 08:51

40. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


that is so stupid what you've just written

remember how android looked few years ago?
so, google should just keep developing android and release NOW ICS without releasing froyo, gingerbread, etc?
There will be always sth missing!

posted on 09 May 2012, 13:29

46. Forsaken77 (Posts: 542; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


No, it's not stupid jackass! Microsoft came out with a product that was inferior to the competition. Google didn't have any competition to the features they offer. It was the market leader in features, ios was playing catch up. If Microsoft wanted to be taken seriously, especially after their last attempt at a mobile os, they should've paid more attention to getting their platform up to the competitions level, then launching it. If you launch a product that's half as good as the product already on the market, what reason does anyone have to buy it? NONE!

posted on 09 May 2012, 03:54 2

30. Leo_MC (Posts: 394; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Think about Opera browser? it was available only on WM6 for a large period of time, no one bothered.
What about Facebook? I don't think it ever had an official app for Symbian although up untill 2009-10 it was the king os of smartphones.
Instagram, sure it is/was a stupid app but it was (until recently) available only on iOS.
IMDb, CNN, bank apps, Amazon related were, for a time, available on a single platform (not even the best on the market but one that signed an agreement with the developer) and that was it.

On the same platform, think about Chrome (and ICS) only available on a device made by Samsung; or think about apps that give you the message "this app is not available for you".

There's nothing wrong with the fact that Nokia got exclusivity agreements with some developers (3rd party) for it's phones; this way at least it got them to create apps for W7 which is a good thing for the ecosystem.
If Nokia gets back it's Symbian users that it lost, that's good; if it gets Samsung or HTC W7 users, that's also good (for Nokia); either way, MS wins so it shouldn't care.

posted on 09 May 2012, 03:59 2

31. sadaivadai (Posts: 156; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I don't think this is a bad thing for either Windows nor Nokia . If one decided to buy a mobile he has do decide what's his priority . If he decides to choose the brand first and if it is not Nokia (and Apple) and then the OS he is definitely going to choose Android in other OEM's . But if he decided to choose the OS and if it Windows he needs to know which brand is the best OEM for Windows and if Nokia has these things he would be satisfied that this brand has some priority from Windows and he won't have the fear of being left alone by the OEM and the OS . So it's a win-win for both Nokia and Windows .

First both have to stand in this race and then only they can move along . If they think of catching the first place straight away i don't think they can even stand in the race . Nokia is falling behind and Windows still trying to join the race . If both help each other in joining the race then and reach a position where they won't fall behind then they can think of each other's individual goal (ie) Windows catching OS market share and Nokia catching mobile market share .

They are just concentrating on the first step . And nothing wrong in that and they will succeed .

posted on 09 May 2012, 04:53 1

33. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Exclusive apps, ok. Exclusive device, that's a problem. Not everyone is on ATT or wants to be there. Nokia wants to survive, gotta get those Lumias to the hands of all customers. Apps alone won't cut it.

posted on 09 May 2012, 05:24 2

34. Altair (Posts: 298; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Most people don't seem to understand what is going on here. Lets use Rovio's Angry Birds as an example.

Earlier this year Rovio clearly stated that they are not considering Angry Bird Space for WP because ecosystem is still too small. Most OEM:s didin't react in this at all, but Nokia did. Nokia is the only OEM that knows what is going to happen with ecosystem and when. They are collecting important parts in its own pockets and making attractive product. At the same time other OEM:s, mostly asians are just watching and waiting, what is going to happen. That is typical act for them. They more likely do what is already popular, they more likely use other ideas that are already proven to work well. Without Nokia, WP ecosystem would still miss Angry Bird Space.

Nokia on the other hand has always been innovator by itself. It uses a lot of money for research. It shows out in its products. While others are doing "just another plastic iphone 4 clone", Nokia is doing its own designs. It has a good programming division, which is making such quality products like Nokia Maps etc. They know how to make attractive products.

They also know that this is not the time to sit and wait what is going to happen. They are taking initiative with most important apps and bringing them in, to make Lumias more attractive. Nokia is top dog because it knows what has to be done. The same thing happened with Motorola / Droid. They maded Android popular and then Asians came in.

posted on 09 May 2012, 06:44

36. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)


I'm sorry, but recently Nokia is not among the first names that spring to mind when you say the word "innovator". They spent too much time ignoring the change in customer needs and as a result their phones slipped from the top into mediocrity. They announced their partnership with Microsoft too early and came up with WP phones too late. And the current Lumias are Symbian phone designs with WP slapped on top. It's been a stream of errors for Nokia in the last few years. At one point I really wanted them to succeed, but I'm not so sure now. I don't like companies that stay in one place resting on their laurels instead of moving on. And the recent "we'll make a tablet... no, we won't make a tablet" case shows that the guys at Nokia still aren't really sure what they're doing.

posted on 09 May 2012, 07:22

38. sadaivadai (Posts: 156; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


"I'm sorry, but recently Nokia is not among the first names that spring to mind when you say the word "innovator" .. "

41 MP camera sensor .

But i read only the first line of your comment .

posted on 09 May 2012, 07:45

39. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)


And so what? It's still on a device that's not on the market and is running a platform that is to be discontinued. And if they want to make their phones slim and light, they will have no place to fit the big sensor. Making a great feature is one thing, tying it together in a great overall package is something else.

posted on 09 May 2012, 08:58

41. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


so what?
yoy started talking about innovations. here you go.
first phone with bluetooth 3.0.
great usb otg, PENTABAND (i travel a lot so it's a blisful for me), 12 mpx camera (still unbeated), great screens (I don't talk about resolution..I'm talking about sunlight leg. which i far more important than resolution...for me, of course).
Did I forgot about sth?
Oh yeah. Nokia maps which gives you almost 200 countries in a one, single device (again, I appreciate nokia maps because I use them a lot).
No innovations? hmmm.
As far as I can see android realm is about "he did that! I'll do that too!" competition. One so called "innovative" device and lots of copycats.

posted on 09 May 2012, 17:01

49. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Well, Nokia is behind the most innovations in mobile bussiness during last 15 years.

posted on 10 May 2012, 09:52

51. Altair (Posts: 298; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Just another troll here talking trash.

Nokia is spending comparatively much more (14,5% of revenue) than others in the industry for R&D.

Lumias has nothing to do with Symbian. Design was 1st used with a meego phone N9.

When you are trolling, you should atleast learn facts instead of showing your stupidity.

Lumia series is by far the best looking series in the market.

Androids are just different sized plastic clones of iPhone 4. Apple's design team has been in vacation for 3 years. Apple is spending its R&D money for lawmans!

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:44

52. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)


Just look at your post and than speak about trolls.
Spending money and having results are very different things.
Lumia 800 = N9 design, Lumia 710 = Nokia 603 design, which happens to be a Symbian Belle phone.

And "best looking" is a subjective category. To me, the best looking phone is still the iPhone4. But that's beside the point.
NO phone looks like the iPhone4. Or did I miss the release of something else with a metal strap sandwiched between two glass plates?

Here's another fact. Check the smartphone sales for the last 5 years and follow Nokia's free fall in units, market share, average selling price, everything. Had these "innovators" brought something even remotely relevant to the market that wouldn't have happened. Nokia had a brand loyalty similar to Apple once. Takes a lot of effort to ruin that.

And please try not to be so offensive next time, will you. Perhaps some people know more facts than you and try to interpret them rather than just spit insults.

posted on 11 May 2012, 11:04

54. Altair (Posts: 298; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Finally you are using some good arguments here, but still I would like to clear something out.

With "best looking" you are partly right. These things are all about matter of taste. However, it is commonly accepted by users and those who analyze designs, that Lumia is indeed the best looking device (800 and 900).

When talking about Android designs, just look at Samsung Galaxy series and compare it to iphone. They are exactly the same, just some cosmetic changes. S3 is a bit different, but not becuse of design team. That phone is designed by Sammys lawsuit team :) It still looks like iphone, but they maded some minor changes, that they can claim it independent.

You talk about Nokias free fall. Everyone knows, that Nokias has maded some mistakes. Everyone does. Apple maded some bad mistakes before 2nd coming. Black Berry has made a lot of them. HP has made mistakes, just as Motorolla. Everyone who follows financial things year after year knows that this is quite normal. It happens.

Still Nokia is spending more money on R&D than any other company in business. It shows out. Just wait and see. People wants 3rd ecosystem and they want something new. WP is answer for that. iOS is many years old, just like BB and symbian were. Clock is ticking for iOS. It is after all, retro OS invented in 1993.

posted on 12 May 2012, 06:16 1

55. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)


I used to love Nokia once, because I tend to like most things that come from Finland. Still, the clock is ticking for them now, not Apple. They are spending all they have on R&D and marketing. Lumias are everywhere - on TV, posters, special showrooms. But if money ends before the phones have gained enough market share to speak for themselves Nokia will be in a really grim position.
Believe me, I'd love nothing more than to see Apple's dominance shaken. I love change and choice. But I'm afraid iOS is still blooming and very far from decline.
Plus, recent articles about MS not allowing third-party browsers on the future WP 8 are quickly eroding my respect for the platform. I don't think MS can succeed by acting like a bully.

posted on 09 May 2012, 09:40 1

43. Xanadu (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 May 2012)


I have 2 phones; a HTC Touch 2 with Windows 6.5 and a Lumia 800 with W7. I wanted the Lumia because it was Windows, but I am very disappointed with it for quite a few reasons. No tethering as yet, which the HTC has. The HTC has Office 2010 which is almost as good as that for the desktop, but the offering on the Lumia would be dire even described as a demo version. My HTC's satnav is a commercial offering which I am very pleased with. The Lumia, with Nokia Drive, has a problem in that if an incoming phone call interrupts navigation, the satnav system is lost, and so could I be! The Lumia has a better camera; 8Mp compared to 3Mp on the HTC, and the Lumia accesses web content faster than the HTC which is a good thing as the battery life is nowhere near that of the HTC. My wife's mobile phone is the Nokia N8 with Android, which had it been a Windows OS it would have been more to my liking. The way Nokia and Windows are going I might be seriously considering another HTC but with Android; far more apps and a more serious smartphone - I quite like the look of the 1X.

Mal, Wednesbury.

posted on 09 May 2012, 11:32 1

44. kainy (Posts: 165; Member since: 10 Aug 2011)


I think all this is good... we saw that Samsung will try to compete with Nokia when WP8 is announsed, and we all know competition is the best way to make good products. If someone is serious about Windows Phone he will speak up, nobody did so I guess it's not that important. And as I recall more than the half of the windows phone devices are Nokia's by now ... so they deserve that exclusivity ;)

posted on 09 May 2012, 11:53 1

45. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


if you wanna read something good
http://www.wpcentral.com/nokia-causing-fragmentation-windows-phone-their-exclusive-apps

posted on 09 May 2012, 14:25 1

47. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Agree with this article, i pointed out the same thing some time ago, when Michael was writing a lengthy OS comparison article.
Nokia is a double edged sword for WP.

posted on 09 May 2012, 17:12 1

50. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


First of all, it's not Microsoft who's making these apps exclusive for Nokia. It's Nokia who's paying app developers for temporary exclusivity. Samsung or HTC can do exactly the same. At least Nokia is trying hard to push WP. We all remember, how Samsung, HTC and LG failed with their 1st gen. And it is basicly the same with their current offerings.

Also, Microsoft may be paying Nokia 1 billion $ per year, but this is nothing comparing to loss caused to Nokia because of ditching Symbian in favor of WP.

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