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.