Sept 5th, the day we have all been waiting for, by we I mean Tech Bloggers and the few tech savvy consumers (like myself), because let's face it, only a niche of individuals knew what was about to go down!
In a 2-Hour Press Event, Nokia with little help from Microsoft unveiled their next generation WP8 Lumia phones; the Lumia 820 and 920. While we were hit with the awesome news of some kind of new PureView technology on the Lumia 920, one different from what the Nokia 808 had, we got to see Microsoft's man Joe Belfiore show us a demo of the Start-screen... again! You 're kidding right?
Nokia just put out 2 impressive and innovative phones, and one in particular (the Lumia 920) packed so many features, that right there and then while I was watching the phone get unveiled, I subconsciously uttered "It's the Swiss Army knife of SmartPhones" (I should coin that phrase).
Immediately the web was abuzz about the news of this beautiful soldier, Twitter trending topics from A-Z that whole day ranged from #switchtolumia, #goNokia, #WP8, #Nokia. Needless to say, everyone was excited. We finally had that Apple iPhone competitor we have been waiting for from Nokia for the past 5 years, A phone that when you walked into your carrier's store you would for the first time contemplate critically between getting the iPhone or going for the prestigious Lumia.
But it doesn't look like that's going to happen now, see while the event was going on, Nokia's stock value fell more than 12%, a complete 180 degrees from what I expected to happen on that day. See, a few months ago, I was so sure Nokia was going to show us something spectacular, something new, something innovative, something so sophisticated that investors will be in awe and jump at any Nokia share lingering and that would in turn boost Nokia's stock value by at least 50%, but alas, on that day I realized I am no stock analysts, neither am I in any way or form supposed to be giving stock advice to anyone. Nokia's stock fell pretty bad on a day that it was supposed to go up uP UP!
Ok back to the event, so we saw the Lumia 920, 820, wireless charging, wireless accessories and the awesome cinemagraph app. the next question was.. when can we get this, surely it will come within a month or maybe even sooner so it can compete directly with the iPhone 5 (which was schedule for launch a week later). But the event drew to a close, and it was Q&A session and of course the first question was "when will we get this?". A question Nokia wished would never be asked, because in a 2-hr presentation they carefully omitted any info on availability or pricing, but thank God for Q&A sessions, even after the question was asked, We didn't get a straight answer, they said "coming months" you have got to be kidding me, I got goosebumps when it slowly dawned on me that this phone wouldn't be out in time to compete with the iPhone.
I thought Nokia's strategy would be to lure iPhone users to Lumia (hence the hash-tag #switchtolumia), but how on earth are they going to switch when there is absolutely nothing in the market for them to switch to??
The rumor is that the Lumia phones will be available at the end of Oct, with more general availability in November, and by then iPhone would have sold a Billion iPhone 5.
but at the end of the day, I guess Nokia's plan was never to compete with the iPhone 5, all along they wanted to get these new phones out and ready for the holiday season.
personally I think if Nokia had a release date the same time as Apple's iPhone 5, that would have shown intent, it would have possibly changed Apple's estimation of how many units they would have sold, and given them something to think about, I am sure someone at Nokia thought about it this way.
So why the delay till Christmas? The Nokia Lumia 920 in particular isn't something new, we have seen its design starting from the N9, even S.Elop said that the positive response they got about the appearance of the N9 was overwhelming and that they would work on it, so it's pretty obvious Nokia had the design for the 920 already worked out and ready for manufacturing, and Nokia even presented the finished hardware to us that day, but what wasn't finished? the software! yes we have a culprit finally; Microsoft already told its OEM partners that the software wouldn't be ready till end of october, and when your #1 software provider company tells you this, there is little or nothing you can do about it. This is obviously not something Nokia is used to, being at the mercy of a software provider, up until 2011, Nokia developed their OS, Symbian (we all know that story), so being told when to release devices and what to show on those devices is all new to them and I am sure a few of their top minds are adjusting to this quite nicely. #sarcasm.
I reckon the Lumia 920s are sitting in a gigantic warehouse somewhere just waiting for the final consumer build of the WP8 OS to breathe life into them, but until then, they lie dormant, waiting. We are waiting too.
At the end of the day, Nokia had to do what it had to do to survive and the 2 year long debate of whether Nokia should have gone android will never get a winner until the new Lumia 820/920 are out in the market, giving them a 6months period to see how they do, will eventually tell us what road we are heading, and if it's a dead end or not!