Nokia dials desperation
By Adarsh Matham
16th September 2012 12:00 AM
Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft. We have a love-hate relationship with the companies that provide us with our daily tech-kick. The one company that is difficult to hate is Nokia.
It is not an exaggeration to credit Nokia with single-handedly democratising mobile telephony. With its great phones that are designed to have ease of use, to be sturdy, all while being very reasonably priced, Nokia has entered the Indian psyche like no other company. In the process it has produced some iconic phones like the veritable 1100, which has the record of being the world’s best selling handset with 250 million phones from India to Nigeria. When in 2005, a famous Tamil hero sang, Kannum Kannum Nokia, it looked like Nokia was destined to be that rare commodity which is called by the brand name. Like Xerox is for photocopying, it looked like Nokia would be for the mobile phone.
But since then things went downhill. By neglecting the smartphone market Nokia gave way to the likes of iPhone and the zillions of cheap Android phones that are released every week. To get out of the rut it finds itself in, it hitched up with Microsoft hoping that the Redmond-based software giant will pull it along in its quest to become relevant again in the phone market. Last year when Nokia finally came out with its exquisitely designed Lumia 800 and 900, running Windows Phone 7.5, it looked like the Finnish company was on the way back to the big table. A year later, the Lumia brand is yet to take off as Nokia expected. So this September, Nokia introduced two more new phones. The Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, both running the latest Windows Phone 8.
But in showing off these phones, Nokia may have committed some blunders that could well worsen the status of the company we hate to love. Admittedly, both of the new Lumias, particularly the 920, are stunning pieces of equipment. The 920 features a huge 4.5-inch Puremotion HD touchscreen, has 1GB of RAM and runs on a dual-core 1.5GHz processor. These impressive specs are accentuated by party tricks like touchscreen that can be used while wearing gloves, wireless charging and bodies in number of colours with matching accessories. Apart from showing off Windows Phone 8 on that impressive screen, Nokia focused on one feature that it hopes will make the 920 a must-have device, an 8.7-MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss Tessar Lens. To show how great the camera is Nokia showcases some pictures and videos that showed the amazing capabilities of the new great camera. What Nokia failed to recognise is that tech bloggers are an eagle-eyed bunch. Within hours of the presentation, some bloggers found a reflection of DSLR camera in a glass in a video, which forced Nokia to admit that the video that was supposed to showcase the great camera was in fact not shot with the camera but with a professional DSLR camera. With this admission Nokia has lost an important ingredient that it needs to entice people back, namely trust.
The major problem though was that, while Nokia presented these two great phones, two things were absent from the presentation. A release date, and a retail price. Without those, and the announcement just a week before the new iPhone launch it was plain that Nokia is getting desperate to entice customers. Here is to hoping that Nokia will get its mojo back.
The writer is a tech geek.
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