Now that Nokia’s first Windows Phone handsets are in the market, and its next phones are already showing up in the rumor mill, the company has established a generous beachhead for itself among the other WP7 OEMs. But what comes next?
In a single sentence, a massive relaunch by the company in the United States is its next step, but there is much more that can be said. I’m going to draw on a recent interview that Nokia Stephen Elop held with Engadget, and other product news to paint the picture, as best as I can envision it, of what Nokia is set to do with the Windows Phone platform in the next few months.
Storming the USA
As we noted a moment ago, the United States is the next hardware step for Nokia. The company is set to release several phones in the US market early next year. This will involve multiple carriers, phones at various price points, and an ad campaign that will be fueled by Redmond’s cash. All told, if the Lumia 800 comes Stateside, it should have the advertising and carrier support that it needs to start selling.
If new handsets will be a part of the launch is not known. Now that news, rumors really, of the Lumia 601 are cropping up, it could be that Nokia will launch more than the two Windows Phone handsets that it has already unveiled. This slots well with the idea of Nokia hitting as many price points as possible.
Quite honestly, from my perspective, if Windows Phone handsets can consistently undercut the prices of Apple’s hardware, and the majority of Android phones, then the platform has a much greater chance of success. Why do we constantly tip Nokia as the company to build bargain Windows Phone handsets? Because it is rumored that Tango, a coming build of the Windows Phone hardware might be a Nokia-only product, allowing the company to ship cheap phones that are low-power handsets. And that means volume.
The App Push
The second part of what Nokia is doing revolves around its set of proprietary applications. Nokia Drive, Maps, and Music are built to set the company’s hardware apart from the other current WP7 phones. If they can, it could grant Nokia a lasting edge over its rivals.
Nokia needs to do more to drive that advantage, and appears to be working to do so. News today, as reported by WinRumors, shows that the company is making progress: “Nokia is planning to ship an update to its Nokia Drive service to enable full offline maps.” That is no small change. Its apps can do only two things: Help Nokia compete against other WP7 OEMs, and make its phones more attractive to the general consumer. Both are things that Nokia greatly wants, so expect to see its set of applications receive constant attention.
That and fresh hardware in new markets appear to be Nokia’s marching orders. It’s nothing crazy, but it appears to be methodical and well planned. Nokia is back.