Why wireless charging won't save Nokia

Why wireless charging won't save Nokia

Summary: Both Nokia and Microsoft's Windows Phone platform are having a hard time gaining traction in the face of iOS and Android. Will innovative features like wireless charging be enough to give Nokia a sales boost? Probably not.

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Can innovative hardware features save Nokia and Windows Phone?

It's no secret that the Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has been struggling in the face of stiff and unrelenting competition from the iOS and Android platforms. And it's also no secret that Nokia's fortunes have gone from bad to worse since declaring its love for Windows Phone over its own Symbian platform.

With new handsets expected to be unveiled at Nokia's Windows Phone 8-related event in New York City on Wednesday, Nokia appears to be pinning its hopes on better hardware.

If the rumors are to be believed, Nokia is preparing to unveil at least two new handsets.

Buried among the leaked specs for the upcoming Lumia 920 is a reference to an innovative new feature: wireless charging.

According to The Verge, both the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 will have built-in support for the Qi wireless power standard. This will allow users to charge the handset without the need for cables. By supporting this standard, the handsets will also be compatible with a number of other wireless charging products on the market.

An image of the alleged Lumia 920 charging pad has been leaked to Twitter by the often-reliable @evleaks.

Wireless charging is an interesting idea. A number of devices -- such as electric toothbrushes, remote controls and a few smartphones -- already support it. In theory, it's a great idea because you can just pop your device on a charging mat and not have to mess with cables and connectors.

In practice, however, there are downsides. You have to devote space to the charging pad 24/7, and if you want to wirelessly charge your device at more than one location then you'll need to buy additional charging pads, which works out a lot pricier than buying a regular charger or using a free USB port and a connector cable.

Both of these are big negatives for both consumers and enterprise users. 

Yes, wireless charging is a nice feature, but it's little more than a gimmick. It's not going to be what saves Nokia from the death spiral it is in, and it's not going to help Windows Phone grab ground from the competition. Good, solid marketing is what Windows Phone needs, and it's something that it just doesn't seem to be getting.

The new Nokia phones are expected to be available in October or November.

Image source: @evleaks.

Topics: Nokia, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Smartphones

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74 comments
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  • hmmm

    Struggling?

    if they get 100% + year on year growth for another 2-3 years they will be at 20% + in virtually every country.....

    I dont think they would call that failing.
    danjames2012
    • Jump first then boast.

      The same can be said about Starships and mind reading devices.
      Once they reach 9000% penetration there is no stopping them, right?
      tetraclit
  • What a dumb article

    It's been shown the phones come with a mini USB port that will allow USB charging, exactly the same way it works now.

    And I don't know exactly how you charge your phone, but mine sits next to an area where this a cable attached either to a wall, or my PC... in other words, a "dedicated charging area".

    Honestly, saying a phone company (any company) will fail just because the provide the option of wireless charging is stupid, and disappointing.
    ItsBeenALongDay
    • Wireless charging coils add up to the weight of the device

      Also, magnetic inductive circuits are not good for your health if you plan on sitting next to it.

      And article clearly addresses a more solid issue here - new types of interfaces dedicated to a single function - charging stations.
      Now go back and cry troll elsewhere with your phoney "Votes".
      tetraclit
      • Seriously?

        Interestingly, they have been preaching mobile phones as the cancer inducing devices that will kill us all for quite a while now. Good to see you're still flogging that dead horse.

        This article doesn't address any kind of issue at all.
        ItsBeenALongDay
      • don't know where you got your info, but you are completely wrong.

        The coils are in the charger, the phone only needs tiny contacts... the "magnetic" field is no more than a magnet.

        Considering what magnets can do to electronics, the fact that they are used for a cell phone, speaks for itself as far as the effect or strength of it.
        imfallen_angel
        • Nope

          If there are contacts, that would be WIRED charging, not wireless.

          If the article is correct, they're using the Qi wireless charging system, which is well documented. This is inductive charging -- there's a transmitter coil (or several) in the charging surface, and a receiving coil in the phone. It will add weight; whether that's significant or not, remains to be seen.

          The standard inductive charging works at about 5mm distance, though the Qi specs now also support a resonant inductive mode, which works at up to 40mm. But this isn't going to charge your phone in your pocket when you walk in the house, which is what some people are thinking when one says "wireless charging".
          Hazydave
    • How's this . . .

      AKH,

      Some sort of Wire"less" charging is the future. So how on earth could this be a bad thing? I for one would love to just set my phone down and not have to connect it via a mini-USB type adapter.

      Absolutely clueless and even more one sided.

      Again, please go away, AKH.
      jjworleyeoe
      • I need say nothing

        Except thank you. I see the micro-USB, so it can be charged that way, so the article is bogus. But, then AKH wrote, so of course it is bogus.
        AudeKhatru
      • It's the wrong phone!

        "So how on earth could this be a bad thing?"

        It isn't on iphone 5, that's how. ;)
        Benson9000
  • wider telco support

    Windows Phone 8 coming to Verizon (110 million mobile subscribers) and China Mobile (655 million mobile sbuscriber) will make a huge difference.

    Both megaproviders have not yet taken to WP7 yet but are expected to do so with Windows Phone 8. Likely with Nokia.
    That feat alone would almost double the telco exposure of Windows Phone worldwide.
    IE9
    • really?!

      Windows Phone came to Verizon already... and failed miserably. You don't think 110 million subscribers will remember how badly it sucked the first time around? Especially when Android and iPhone are already #1 and #2 respectively, and backed by the two biggest technology companies in the world?

      Exposure does NOT equal adoption. Microsoft better do the biggest marketing push in company history. It will take at least that.
      Matthew Lum
      • Wait, who are the two-biggest technology companies you are referring to?

        Apple sure, as they're #1 overall. But who is #2? Wouldn't that be the guy behind WP?
        x I'm tc
      • Really..

        I'm a VZW customer and I'm looking forward to buying one of these Nokia Win8 phones. I didn't buy one of the first gen handset because the HTC was very underwhelming in design. Now that MS has finally open up the spec requirements the sky's the limit for Win8. My only issue is that I wish VZW was getting one of the higher end handst and not the middle of the road handset.
        Speedracerkb1978
        • I did buy one

          I like Windows Phone enough to buy the Trophy and I haven't regretted it. It is as fast as any phone I have seen and never goes wrong. I wish it was a bit larger and a bit better looking, but until recently I haven't seen anything I wanted more...on Verizon.
          AudeKhatru
      • Oh Wait...

        "Especially when Android and iPhone are already #1 and #2 respectively, and backed by the two biggest technology companies in the world?"

        FYI - apple and google are NOT the two biggest technology companies in the world, not even close. Their share price may be high now, but it wont take to go from hero to zero.
        owllnet
        • Maybe not Google, but Apple, yes

          As usual with your trolling, you play fast and loose with facts.
          First, Apple IS the biggest technology company in the world. In fact, they are the bigger company of any kind in the world.
          And they are bigger than MS and Google combined, so Apple can take up the number two position, too!
          And to appropriate your own words, no one else is even close.
          As to that last bit, so what? That can be said about any company that every rises to the top.
          .DeusExMachina.
          • LOL

            Have a look, Samsung is biggest:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_largest_technology_companies#Top_50_IT_companies_ranked_by_annual_revenue
            Giles Jones
      • Yes, really.

        Verizon had--what?--maybe one or two mediocre WP7 devices that were barely marketed. It's not at all surprising they weren't big hits.

        And "exposure" really hasn't happened yet with Windows Phone. I've lost count of the number of people who ask me what kind of phone I use (a Lumia 900) and then say they've never seen a Windows Phone device.
        ParrotHead_FL
        • And your point is?

          .DeusExMachina.