Nokia last week unveiled its first smartphones running Windows Phone 8 (WP8) – the Lumia 920 and 820.
Here, principal analysts Tony Cripps of Ovum and David McQueen from Informa Telecoms & Media explain the significance of the new devices, beyond the introduction of wireless charging to the mainstream.
“The company’s focus on improving the imaging capabilities of its smartphones is a reasonable strategy in an age when meaningful differentiation between different makes of smartphone can be hard to identify. This also applies to the design language of the new Lumia 920, which while it follows closely that of its predecessor, remains distinctive and not overly familiar as yet.
“There could be a real opportunity here for Nokia and Microsoft to exploit any shortage of Samsung’s Android-powered smartphones in the market, following the US court ruling against the Korean giant in its patent dispute with Apple.”
“Although Nokia’s thunder was stolen somewhat by Samsung’s announcement of the world’s first WP8 smartphone at IFA, Berlin, the Finnish handset manufacturer has trumped its South Korean rival by announcing not one but two devices on the new platform.
“The new flagship Lumia 920 looks similar to its predecessor but takes the 9-series up a notch with a larger 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ display, and features a top-of-the-range Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5-GHz dual-core processor that the WP8 platform can now accommodate. It will also come in pentaband LTE and HSPA+ variants.
“The Lumia 920 will also support wireless charging using inductive technology built into the handset. While this is not a new phenomenon in the mobile space, it is here that the company will seek to grow the peripherals market, announcing a deal with bean-bag company Fatboy, among others, for stylish wireless chargers.
“Nokia also aims to build on the peripherals market further by using the wireless-charging technology, NFC, and Bluetooth in speaker systems, having set up a partnership with Harman brand JBL.
“The Lumia 920’s WP8 stable mate is the smaller Lumia 820, which is also available in pentaband LTE and HSPA+ variants with similar hardware as the 920 but with a smaller, OLED WVGA 4.3-inch display and no PureView technology. Again Nokia attempts to exploit the peripherals market with a range of changeable covers, including versions that have a wireless charger and others that are dust-proof.
“The arrival of WP8 is a welcome boon for Nokia and the wider Windows Phone ecosystem in general. The ability now to pack better hardware into the devices gives Nokia and other Windows Phone OEMs the opportunity to level the playing field against the likes of Apple’s iPhone and the best that Android can offer. With a few new stand-out features in the Lumia 920, such as the impressive screen, PureView, OIS and wireless charging, added to a host of peripherals and Nokia’s new class of navigation and mapping services, the device is undoubtedly a desirable, impressive piece of kit.
“However, it is the ability to translate this message at the point of sale and prove its value proposition to the consumer that will determine the success of Nokia’s WP devices and help grow the platform.”