We’ve been accustomed to hear only Apple in the news and how the company is breaking every record in the book so far, but Windows Phone is out there in the world as well, and comes packed with a variety of very interesting features. So, why aren’t people more readily embracing the new evolution? Is loyalty part of the problem?
Windows Phone vs Android, iOS
For example, Nokia, has produced some amazing Windows Phone models, but regardless of the fact it has been selling a lot of cell-phones in the entire world, it has been somehow excluded from the United States for years now, so iPhone and Android platforms have eaten up all the market space. Customers did not bother to take into account Symbian, Maemo or MeeGo when going to the shop and purchasing a smartphone. But why is that?
Android comes with a flavour of new, of something that is always updated with new, more powerful versions. Nokia didn’t seem to let go easily the Symbian or MeeGo dream, as they packed it inside Nokia N9 and believe it or not, Symbian Belle (later renamed as Nokia Belle) is the latest update to Symbian, released in 2011. It was released, obviously, to ease the transition from Symbian to Windows Phone. But what was wrong with Symbian, folks? I personally still think it is a great mobile OS, but one that hasn’t been marketed enough.
Nokia Lumia, Not Enough For a Comeback?
It’s quite puzzling to witness the fact that the extraordinary Lumia line shippe in Europe very low numbers. Nevertheless, Nokia did not back down, and promised an even classier experience to buyers, especially those located in the United States. And it did. But did somebody notice? Just a handful of people, maybe. The Nokia Lumia 900 comes packed with a super-fast LTE connection from carrier AT&T and featuring a 4.3-inch OLED screen.
The screen size seems to be perfect for the Windows’s Phone Metro interface which sports a big layout that is screaming for your hands to come closer and touch it. The phone comes with a polycarbonate casing plus some very durable bumpers that will protect it in case of some accident. It has a camera of 8 megapixels which offers 720p of resolution. Even if Microsoft doesn’t not allow multi-core chips on Windows Phone yet, you don’t even notice while browsing through the menus via touch gestures.
You get immersed into the whole interface as you use it, and this is probably a very important aspect of the user experience. What about apps you might ask? Well, for starters, the phone offers some extra apps like Nokia Drive that works in concert with Nokia Maps. There are the Metro apps for CNN and ESPN which look very promising especially in the video category. How about eBay? Sure .You also get Spotify, Foursquare, Kindle, Pulse, Foodspotting. Even so you might feel something is missing and you are right. There’s no available Flipboard, Instagram, Pinterest at the moment.
Windows Phone, Still a Midget
With the App store hosting almost 70, 000 apps, Windows Phone certainly has some work to do. Android, has, on the other hand, almost 450, 000, at the time of the writing. Apple’s App Store (iOS) has almost 600, 000 applications and rumour has it that iOS applications are much more profitable than the Android ones. Now, compare that to Windows Phone’s collection of 70, 000 apps…Windows Phone is pretty small, right? However, if Nokia manages to make its Windows Phone devices popular, despite of its recent financial troubles, then the number of Windows Phone applications will increase.
Recently, speculation has been floating in the air with regards to Samsung having some plans for Windows Phone; they are going to release at least 3 smartphones with Windows Phone inside. That would certainly boost Windows Phone and add a little power for the brand, but that would certainly not be enough. In order to succeed, Microsoft needs a much, much bigger army of smartphones with Windows Phone inside. Here is the list of the most important devices that have, at the moment, Windows Phone inside:
- Acer Allegro
- Dell Venue Pro
- Fujitsu Toshiba IS12T
- HTC 7 Pro
- HTC 7 Surround
- HTC 7 Trophy
- HTC 7 Mozart
- HTC HD7
- HTC Titan
- HTC Titan II
- HTC Radar
- LG Optimus 7
- LG Quantum
- Nokia Lumia 610
- Nokia Lumia 710
- Nokia Lumia 800
- Nokia Lumia 900
- Samsung Focus
- Samsung Omnia 7
- Samsung Focus S
- Samsung Omnia W
- ZTE Orbit
- ZTE Tania
According to this list, there are only 23 smartphones that come with built-in Windows Phone. Indeed, there’s only the iPhone, iPad or iPod for Apple, but hey, we’re talking about Apple here, the company that has the potential to become a superhero. Unfortunately for Microsoft, they are very, very distant from the huge success that Apple or Android sees. If you are curious, see the list for Android devices. I didn’t have the patience to count them all, but I am sure that there are a lot! Add to that the no-name Chinese phones and avalanche of cheap, incognito Android tablets and you”ll realize just how big Android is!
Windows Phone 8 – The Saviour
Microsoft was well aware of the fact that they simply can’t beat Apple in the smartphone/tablet battle (or they were that naive to think they can?) and they’ve started to develop a bigger, much more important project – Windows 8. It will be the biggest change in the OS from Microsoft in the last years and it will join the touch interface with the old user interface that we’re accustomed to. Windows 8 for tablets will become a serious competitor for iPad and for Android tablets, that is for sure.
Why is that? Well, first of all, think about the mass adoption and about the fact that many users out there will want to use the same softwares that they’re using at home, office or on-the-go. We can not neglect the impact of Windows and Microsoft Office on our digital lives and activities. We may be using iPads, iPhones or Android but many of us still use Microsoft tools. Tech savvy people would stick to their Apple gadgets or Android devices, but what will happen to those that aren’t educated on this matter?
Smartphones With Windows Phone 8 Will Appeal to Consumers
What do you think a regular customer will buy? Something that he is accustomed with, like Windows, or something new, unknown for him? Many will choose to stay with Windows, because that will come with the security and promise of keeping your work secure and use experience constant. You’ll use Windows 8 on your desktop PC, then you’ll leave with your Windows 8 tablet with you, resuming the work or the fun along the way.
Now, it only makes sense for me for Windows to have Windows Phone 8, I really don’t see why they should stick with previous, old versions. Windows Phone 8 would appeal to manufacturers and stimulate them to release more devices with Windows Phone 8 inside. Knowing that users will have the same operating system on desktop, tablet and smartphone, big players will understand the importance and need for a Windows Phone 8 – it’s all about familiarity and making it very, very easy for the consumer to use the product.
That’s why I think the guys at Microsoft are not stupid, neither are those at Nokia. Sure, they are not invincible and anything can happen, just like it happened to Kodak or RIM (who are seeing their sales plummet recently) but they are learning from mistakes. To use an iPhone, you’d have to switch sides to Apple; to use Android, means to have access, sometimes, to an obscure and huge list of choices. To use a Windows Phone 8 smartphone will mean just to be a casual users. And that’s why Microsoft will be coming strong from behind.