Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

Moderated by Jason Hiner | December 12, 2011 -- 07:00 GMT (23:00 PST)

Summary: Microsoft and Nokia could be a potent combination. But can they dent iOS and Android domination?

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Yes, huge growth ahead

or

Short term, probably not

Lawrence Dignan

Lawrence Dignan

Best Argument: Short term, probably not

Closing Statements

Baffled by the slow adoption

Matthew Miller

I was pretty surprised at the significant voting support for huge growth in the platform. I agree with Larry that growth likely won't happen immediately because people need to get these devices in their hands and some carriers (Verizon and Sprint) are not helping get them out there. I expected to see Microsoft pass 5% in 2011 and am a baffled by the slow adoption rate of such a good operating system. Then again, the hardware has lagged behind iOS and Android.

Nokia's Lumia 800 is one of the best pieces of mobile phone hardware ever made, with just the right screen size for pocketability, curves that make you want to always hold the device, and a display that has you staring for hours. The form factor is drop dead gorgeous and unique in the Windows Phone world. It's amazing that Nokia was able to get this out in just eight months and I look forward to seeing what they can do with more time and an advancing operating system.
 

Skeptical about smartphone tandem

Lawrence Dignan

Unlike Matthew, I'm decidedly less optimistic about Nokia's Windows Phone prospects in the U.S. First, carrier support at the moment is lacking. Carriers want a No. 3 platform, but don't seem to be convinced that Microsoft and Nokia can step up. In addition, Nokia is unproven in the U.S. market. And finally, Nokia and Microsoft lack a device that can work on a 4G Long-Term Evolution networks. Nokia and Microsoft need to get a LTE device to market before a 4G iPhone launches.

I'll give Nokia some props for getting a device out quickly, but the reality is that the device maker and Microsoft need to cook up a leapfrog innovation to compete. That’s a tall order considering most folks in the U.S. remain skeptical about this smartphone tandem.

WP7: Going back to Windows on a phone

Jason Hiner

This was a tough one to call. In one sense, Windows Phone 7 market share has nowhere to go but up and Nokia still has great sales distribution so that alone will naturally give the platform a nice shot in the arm in 2012. Although WP7 is a solid product, it's still saddled with the same problems that have caused it to do a belly flop in the market for the past year. People like smartphones and tablets because they aren't as complicated and cumbersome as PCs -- especially Windows PCs. People just don't seem to want to "go back to Windows" on a phone.

I'm not just trying to be a contrarian here. The audience has overwhelming voted that WP7 has big growth ahead, but I have to give Larry the nod on this one. The key is that Matt was arguing for "huge growth ahead." I have a hard to time seeing Windows Phone 7 overcoming it's slow start and stealing a big chunk of market share from either Android or iPhone in 2012. I think WP7 will definitely take a step forward and make modest gains, but nothing that you'd characterize as "huge."

Talkback

254 comments
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  • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

    Nokia chose to abandon the US market, I cant accurately say what the US Nokia fans will say. I cant even say that Nokia has any fans left in the US, outside of Nokias world HQ in Redmond WA.<br><br>The real test will come when Nokia starts selling theses phones in the US. Will those that railed against the iPhone for not having a removable battery complain? What is the price going to be? If they charge $300 for a 16 GB phone (based on prices listed elsewhere), will it be deemed too expensive? Too many questions, too few answers.
    Rick_Kl
    Reply Vote I'm Undecided
    • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

      @Rick_Kl

      I think I and probably quite a few others still have some goodwill for Nokia. All my best feature phones over the years were Nokias. But I just don't associate them with smartphones at all so I'm not sure how far that goodwill really gets them.

      Even if WP7 does well in the rest of the world via Nokia (anecdotal evidence coming in seems to indicate its a possibility) I suspect the US will be a challenge.
      SlithyTove
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

        @SlithyTove I personally do not like it, but for others it might make sense. If you have bought 100% into a Microsoft lifestyle, it would not make sense to own an Android, or iPhone. Since I choose things that [b]suit my needs[/b] rather than blindly run out and just buy what others have. I understand that there is no one device that suits everyone. But I am a firm belier in not giving up everything to any single company.
        Rick_Kl
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

        @SlithyTove
        The US buys what the marketers tell them to, so it all depends on their marketing.
        kstap
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

        @kris_stapley@... The old stand by talking point, it's all about marketing. Sorry to burst your bubble but marketing only gets you so far then the devices have to stand on their own.
        non-biased
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

        @Rick_Kl, I think most people do what you do. They haven't bought 100% in Apple, Google or Microsoft. They did not give up everything to any single company. And why whould they? Most services from these companies are available in the cloud. So most people mix and match services with or without native support on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
        Forrestall
        Reply Vote I'm for Yes, huge growth ahead
      • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

        @kris_stapley If it were simply marketing, there would not be the repeat customers, nor would the product rank so high in the customer satisfaction ratings. I would also be very aware that the ???it is just marketing??? line can be turned around on every Microsoft product.
        Rick_Kl
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
    • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

      @Rick_Kl <br><br>The US market needs something more...Apple is a niche and a lot of people don't like their crap including me. Android is another one of those players that I personally do not trust or like. Trust is an issue because Google is all about advertising dollars and they'd probably sell their workforce to a sweat shop if it meant an increase in profits. MS has the Corporate sector and a big shot at integrating home, work and play they just need to execute and spend big advertisement dollars to do so. If I'm MS...I go straight at Apple with a bunch of commercials to cut them down just like they did to MS over Windows!
      Rob.sharp
      Reply Vote I'm for Yes, huge growth ahead
      • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

        @rob.sharp@...
        "I'm a Windows Phone ... and I'm an iPhone." LOL ... That would be pretty dang funny and it would probably work extremely well. You could have the iPhone disconnecting people for being "held wrong" and all kinds of fun stuff.

        I think you have to look at how many rungs of the ladder can really be supported in a down economy. 2 or 3, at most. Blackberry is struggling, webOS has who-knows-what kind of future, and Microsoft has a chance to be a solid #3 player. They should press that advantage now. Don't worry about being #1 - get your feet firmly planted in the market now and move up when the next Google or Apple failure hits shelves.
        zaq.hack
        Reply Vote I'm for Yes, huge growth ahead
      • RE: Great Debate: Can Windows Phone 7 and Nokia become players in the U.S.?

        @rob.sharp@... I totally agree! This is Microsoft's turn. Google I really dont trust, they are soooo open sourced with android, and so many android devices, you know some of those droid devices WILL NOT get updates cause there are so many, and Apple really your just paying for the name. Microsoft does need to work on their marketing strategy. If they marketed the Zune HD Im sure it would of been super popular among xboxer's. Luckily they have Nokia on the team, have you seen what they have done with the Lumia? Im excited to see what they have to bring to the US market.
        Ryanthelyon
        Reply Vote I'm for Yes, huge growth ahead