LAS VEGAS--Microsoft will place more of a marketing focus on the signature features of the devices its partners produce as well as on the connections between the mobile platform and Windows 8 and Microsoft's Xbox gaming console, according to a Windows Phone executive.
Absent from the CTIA Wireless 2013 conference here this week were the big, company-sponsored product unveilings or parties (or combination thereof) that used to dominate this show. In fact, many big-name companies, including Samsung Electronics, BlackBerry ( NASDAQ:BBRY ), HTC, LG Electronics, Nokia ( NYSE:NOK ) and others did not send their mobile executives to the show.
Nokia cannot afford to lose its nerve now despite calls for a Plan B from some irate shareholders. It needs to keep its focus and not undermine its best efforts.
LAS VEGAS--Nokia is still struggling to gain traction with its Lumia-branded smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. However, now that it has flagship products with three of the four Tier 1 carriers, the company is starting to align its marketing messages with Microsoft and its carrier partners to a greater degree than before, according to a Nokia executive.
Microsoft said it will start rolling out a software update to existing Windows Phone 8 phones "later this summer" that will include a handful of new features.
Nokia stopped teasing and formally unveiled its latest high-end Lumia Windows Phone smartphone, the Lumia 925, which T-Mobile US will exclusively launch for the U.S. market.
Verizon Wireless confirmed it will exclusively launch the high-end Nokia Lumia 928 Windows Phone later this month. The Lumia 928 will be available May 16 for $99.99 after $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year contract.
The jury is still out on the future of Nokia. The company still has a lot of support in its home market from domestic investors and that will be crucial in the months ahead, but patience is clearly running out.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop defended his company's embrace of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform as its primary smartphone strategy amid scathing criticism from shareholders who urged the company to try a new tack in its battle to regain market share.
Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said the carrier will deploy Voice over LTE technology in early 2014, and promised that the carrier will not deliver a poor experience in terms of voice quality when it does so.