Nokia World, the company's annual developers' conference, is set for next week in London. Nokia will reveal its new Windows Phone devices that it has been working on with Microsoft throughout 2011. With Mango already out in the wild and three new Windows Phone builds coming from Samsung and HTC, there is a ground level expectation for the Nokia Windows Phones.
There are rumored to be two Nokia Windows phones coming next week: the Nokia 800 Sea Ray and the Sabre. We already knew that Nokia will focus its Windows Phone distribution in North America as the company believes ground swell in the United States will be a boon to later international sales. We will be at Nokia World in London next week. Outside of new devices, what else can we expect from a company that is still one of the largest handset manufacturers in the world?
Selling Out To Microsoft
Check out the agenda for Nokia World. You may notice that it is almost exclusively oriented to Windows Phone development. There are aspects in some side sessions dedicated to supply chains and the location ecosystem, but most remnants of the World of Ovi have been cast aside.
Nokia needs its Windows Phones to be impressive. It needs to be different. If it is indeed going to be the savior of the company, the phones need to eclipse the other Mango devices that have been released this week, as well as be competitive in terms of price, functionality and user experience to Android and the iPhone.
That is the trick, convincing users that Windows Phone in general (not just Nokia's version) is just as good or better than the other smartphone systems out there. In that regard, Nokia should target the ripest fruit in the market share tree in Research In Motion. Enterprise and security minded consumers trust BlackBerry. They also trust Microsoft with their business functions. Nokia and Microsoft have a window at the end of 2011 to really push down RIM's doors before the new BBX smartphones are released early next year.
The Adventure Starts Now
One of the prominent sessions of Day 2 during Nokia World is called "The Adventure Starts Now" by Steven Overman, VP of marketing creation for Nokia. It is an apt phrase. Nokia is essentially starting over. The company reported its quarterly financials yesterday and it was not nearly so bad as everybody had thought they would be. Still, it was not good. Nokia has a large global supply of smart and feature phones on the shelf that it is has been pushing to liquidate ahead of the Windows Phone release, which has certainly helped boost short term sales.
What an adventure it will be. Or maybe just a logistical headache. Its incumbent smartphone platform, Symbian, still sells well in many parts of the world. Nokia is likely to move its manufacturing of those devices closer to the markets. Nokia will then need to monitor how long it keeps Symbian a viable system before attempting to switch those markets to Windows Phone. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has tied the future of Nokia to Windows Phone, so that switch will have to be made eventually, even if it is three to five years down the line.
"We will over time see that on hundreds of millions of PCs and tablets. That accrues to the overall power Microsoft will have in the marketplace [and to] ourselves as a lead vendor," said Elop, as reported by CNET.
Does a Nokia Windows Phone excite you? What can Microsoft and Nokia do to get you to drop your iPhone/Android/BlackBerry and come on over? Let us know in the comments.