Unless you were under a rock the past several weeks, the Lumia 900 made a big splash at CES. Even though it was somewhat expected, the phone was still a huge hit. Don’t believe me? Take a look at all the awards the device won before it even hit the retail channels.
There is something special about Nokia, and it all became rather apparent at CES starting with their keynote. The buzz around what would actually be shown at the 45 minutes presentation was unprecedented, the line for the event rivaled that of Samsung, and for those who don’t understand what that means, Nokia had to turn away individuals from getting into their event. Owen and I had to wait two hours to bring you our liveblog, which we might add was one of our most viewed liveblogs of all time.
But it goes beyond that: Many feel that Nokia is the key to Windows Phone being accepted by the mass consumers, not just the niche user. All of these bets are being placed solely upon the Lumia 900 as it is the new face of Nokia in the US. Yes, we are well aware that the Lumia 710 is also on sale, but let’s face it, we are talking flagship device here…a phone that can finally rival the iPhone on nearly every front and best it in other areas.
There are other great Windows Phone devices on the market too, such as the HTC Titan II, but HTC may have dropped the ball a bit, as the HTC Titan just went on sale and they may have ostracized a big part of their user base like Android currently does with vendors pushing new models every other week.
Nokia is a bit different; they're not just another vendor. They're a company that understands brand experience and carefully crafted the Lumia 900 to fit the US lifestyle. Personally, we thought this was a bunch of BS when we first heard it; but after sitting down with a few folks from Nokia, we understood what they were saying.
First off, they knew LTE was a must and that as an American, we like things big, thus the reason for the larger screen size on the 900, but also gave the choice of the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800. We hope, and effectively communicated to Nokia, that they will not bastardize their brand the way that HTC has done with its seemingly small revisions that make it near impossible to differentiate between their products.
But the Lumia 900 is not what Nokia is trying to sell; they are selling the entire brand with this device. Nokia contends that consumers do not always make a device selection based purely on specs, and that emotions play into the decision. Nokia is saying that they are not just another vendor, but they are THE vendor to have when it comes to Windows Phone. They want to show the world why Nokia is still top dog in the mobile game, and that the North American market should be ready to be graced with the presence of the Lumia family.
For Microsoft, they need the Lumia phones as they are undeniably attractive devices that can pull in the general consumer. Talk to anyone who held the Lumia 900, and none will deny that the device is one of the most well crafted phones for some time. To put it bluntly, it’s the device we need to shakeup the marketplace.
So what am I trying to say? The Lumia 900 will be the device that will separate Microsoft from the pack in the US. While it may be tied to AT&T for a small period of time, if the device hits multiple carriers and stays on top of the game, it will usher in the Windows Phone era. Windows Phone is a unique experience, it steps outside the grid and in a recent event, smoked many other devices on the market.
Even if you are not planning to purchase the Lumia 900, you should be excited. Nokia is a company that can compete head to head with Apple and force other companies to rise to their level. In this competitive atmosphere of smartphones, the consumer is winning and it's all about being not just the best now, but being the best consistently. Can Nokia achieve this? We think so, but they have to prove it and it all starts with the Lumia 900, a phone that is already turning heads.
As we head into 2012, take note of Nokia and what they are going to bring back to the US market. Not only are they bringing a tremendous product to the store shelves, but their marketing, so far, has been top notch and innovative. Couple good marketing with a great product and Nokia may be flanked by Goose and Maverick as they bring in the rolling thunder.