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  1.    #1  
    Since we've had several hardware releases, let's sit back and wonder: Which phone will be the hit that drives Windows Phone to popularity?
    In my opinion, it's the Lumia 620.
    Well, if you've wondered why, this phone shares a lot of qualities with the 3310. It's cheap, it has replaceable shells and battery, it's cheap, it's rather portable, it's cheap, it is rather capable for a low-end phone, and yes, it's cheap. It can be just as durable as the 3310.
    If you're wondering why, here's the situation: This quarter is the period of time when people normally have little money to waste. This quarter is also when Nokia releases its WP8 Lumias to the emerging markets. Now, in those markets, you normally buy unlocked phones, or a dual-SIM phone. Since people normally have to save money, they go for the ultra-cheap Android phones.
    However, Android phones in the price point of the 620 are normally rather laggy. What's low-end for Android phones is mid-range for anyone else (or high-end for Symbian).
    What held back the 510 and 610 were 256 MB RAM. What's holding back the 8S, and most likely, the Ascend W1, is 4 GB storage. What's holding back the 820 is the fact that it's too high-end.

    Well, that's assuming Nokia has no plans to release a Lumia 720.
    What are your thoughts?
  2. Ray Adams's Avatar
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    #2  
    IMHO. No one right now. Every top WP phone has its own bad sides. I am not going to list it.
    Nokia should think better about next Lumia if they wants to be success.

    Middle range phones cannot be "the fuel" of WP. We need Über phones! Which can fight with last android phones like SGS3 and Sony Z
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  3. AngryNil's Avatar
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    #3  
    Agreed on it being the 620 as it stands. I think the high end moves too rapidly for Windows Phone to be the objective top pick year-round. The low to mid range on Android actually isn't that spectacular (see Galaxy S3 Mini), devices like the 620 can carve out a market as an affordable device that isn't orders of magnitude worse than a high end device. Flagships are still important and I think manufacturers bringing hardware innovation to Windows Phone first will see their efforts pay off. The 920 was not an iPhone slayer, but despite the tech media pooh poohing the device, consumers were genuinely excited about it. That's rather rare for a Windows Phone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Adams View Post
    Middle range phones cannot be "the fuel" of WP. We need Über phones! Which can fight with last android phones like SGS3 and Sony Z
    The 8X, Ativ S & Lumia 920 can't compete with the SGS3? In fact, the Ativ S is pretty much a repackaged SGS3.
  4. paulm187's Avatar
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    #4  
    Samsung have the capacity to make WP a success. They are the king maker. If Samsung release a Galaxy brand for Windows phone, it will sell like hot cakes. The Galaxy brand is getting bigger than Android that in fact Samsung can fork off Android and create their own OS and people will continue to buy them. I know there is the Ativ but its the brand that matters.
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  5. SnailUK's Avatar
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    #5  
    Forget Hero devices, its the low end stuff Nokia & HTC are churning out that really matters.

    WP8 desperately needs sales. Every cheap contract should have the option of a good free WP8 device, they should be dirt cheap pay as you go, cheap and everywhere.

    If someone is buying a high end phone, they are most likely to have had a iOS or Android device before, and therefore have a list of apps they must have, and that just wont happen until the sales numbers go up, and the easiest way to do that is the low end phones.
  6. KorJax's Avatar
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    #6  
    I don't really get this thread. Isn't WP succeeding already?

    Oh sure its not beating android or apple but right now, that's not the point. That's not what it wants, nor needs to do at the moment to succeed.

    The Lumias are single handedly saving nokia from potentially going out of buissness. Windows Phone 8 sales on the average are on the rise and are selling pretty steadily. This is the first smartphone I've ever had, and I just bought it yesterday (lumia 810). I'm exceptionally impressed with WP8.

    The big selling point to me was how everything was integrated like an iOS device would be, but yet it has a lot of the flexbility (but not all) that you'd expect from android. All for $300 off-contract. The device is solid, the speed is fantastic, the fact that everything on the phone is so well integrated with each other in an easy to understand way is great. There are some things that I'd like (chat/threads that support ALL chat clients including AIM, browser that supports posting in large text fields for forums, richer app selection [though honestly, the app selection is really great for my needs, and more importantally ALL the apps I've tried are top notch in quality, stability and performance unlike most of the stuff I've used for my android tablet], etc) but none of these things are blocker issues for me, and are easily fixable in updates or as time goes by.

    If anything, it's the mid-range devices that are going to be pushing WP8 IMO, and affordable carriers. There are people like me out there who do their homework, who are familiar with all the ecosystems but just have not taken the smart phone plunge yet. Windows Phone 8 is what drew me in finally. For $300 I get a kick *** smart phone that made my iPhone $600 user at work want to trade. I also get t-mobile's monthly 4G for $30/mo, which means it's actually affordable to keep using (and that includes unlimited data and texting). I have the power to influence a lot on my phone but all the features I loved from my ZuneHD are there on top of being really efficent/clean OS to use as a phone (which is what I want from a phone).

    To me, I see iOS as superior to Android as a phone device because its straight and to the point. But yet its also flawed because its so restricted, locked down, and requires to to spend exclusively large amounts of money on something. I'm willing to fork over $300 for a solid smart phone on a cheap plan, because these things are as much tools as they are time wasters while you are waiting at a DMV. Android is too open for my phone tastes, and its too unstable and the app suppport is just all over the place in my experience on my tablet. This is where Windows Phone 8 came in. It's exactly what I wanted out of a smartphone, without being terribly expensive for a device that feels top end.

    The only thing Windows Phone 8 really needs to succeeed is to continue carrying the momentum, and for MS to not make phones outdated less than a year after release with manditory OS updates only avalable on a new phone. The app library is sparse but feels quality and makes me want to actually spend money on it. I hear the tools are easily the best to develop with as well compaired to iOS and Android. As long as MS doesn't pull a zune and then just change gears or never keep the momentum going, I'm positive WP8 will succeed. Who knows if it'll succeed by beating Android/iOS or if it'll succeed by simply carving out a strong niche that is hard to penetrate by the other markets, but there is enough going on here that makes me confident that they can have a solid user base and market that can do nothing only but grow (even if slowly) as long as they keep things going.
  7. rocketwiz's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by SnailUK View Post
    Forget Hero devices, its the low end stuff Nokia & HTC are churning out that really matters..
    I agree, just bought a 620 for my wife and I suspect she'll love it when she gets it (once I've set it up). Having had a good play with it I'm not likely to make my next personal phone a WP one though. There are quite a few OS shortcomings that MS really need to address - no need to go through them here again - for high end WP phones to succeed. But I feel that the 620's price point really has the ability to make the phone a winner for those users who don't need these features and a wide range of apps.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by KorJax View Post
    I don't really get this thread. Isn't WP succeeding already?
    My definition of succeed:
    1. People view this as on par (or even better) than both iOS and Android. As in, there's no inherent bias against WP. In non-WP fan sites.
    2. Enough to keep Nokia on its feet. (Achieved; 2.9 million WP8 devices with an ASP of at least $550 is more than enough, assuming S40 sales don't crumble)
    3. Enough high-profile apps.
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  9. jlynnm350z's Avatar
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    #9  
    The next one
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  10. ImAdrian23's Avatar
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    #10  
    I'm more than sure that HTC's unreleased phone or a 8X with 920 features (wireless charging + camera).
  11. Mahdi Ghiasi's Avatar
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    #11  
    not a single phone has the capacity to make windows phone succeed. I think "Nokia Lumia" has the capacity.
    All of these phones are needed for Windows Phone to be succeed. Lumia 920/820 is the right choice for many people, But 620 is a key also. Because those who want to taste WP8, those who want to buy their first smartphone, and those who live in 3rd world countries may prefer 620, due to the price.
  12. #12  
    Many good and interesting points!

    I'm of the opinion that WP is currently failing. I define success as owning enough market share and momentum to be self sustainable.

    Nokia slashed away everything they could, without shutting down operations, and they can now just barely break even. That isn't sustainable. Microsoft's WP development efforts suck away billions while returning only very little. That too isn't sustainable. On the consumer side of things, WP's market share and momentum doesn't suffice to garner coequal app development or media attention. That too isn't sustainable. WP is failing. In some countries, WP isn't failing as fast as it was last year. However, in the U.S. and China, the two largest smartphones markets, WP is failing just as bad as it ever was. Again, not sustainable.

    IMHO, WP8 is comparable to Vista. Just like Vista, the changes made to WP8 were almost all under the hood. In both cases, the changes were comprehensive, dramatic, and extremely important in terms of executing a long term strategy. For consumers however, particularly those wanting to buy today, those changes are practically irrelevant. Just like Vista, WP8 is also suffering from widespread stability issues (shutdowns/crashes). IMHO, Microsoft is lucky WP8 isn't as ubiquitous as Windows. I think that is the only thing saving them from a Vista level PR nightmare.

    On a more positive note, Vista was also the most important technical advancement to Windows during the last decade. Without Vista, no Windows RT. Without Vista, no MinWin and no Windows Kernel in WP. The project that lead up to Vista constituted most of the major reengineering efforts that made those things possible. WP8 is similar to Vista in that way as well. Windows 7, which isn't much more than a re-skinned Vista, then went on to become one of the best desktop operating systems ever. I don't know if WP9 will mimic that development too, but I hope it does.

    At this point, I no longer expect WP8 to become successful (according to my definition of the word). So, I don't think the 620 will be that device. I'm not expecting any device to turn the WP tides until WP9 ships.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by KorJax View Post
    There are people like me out there who do their homework, who are familiar with all the ecosystems but just have not taken the smart phone plunge yet.
    Hey KorJax. Welcome to WPC!

    I think you make a lot of good points! However, just the fact that you realize that the main differentiators are Android, iOS and WP... not Samsung, Apple and Nokia puts you in a minority group of consumers. Just like you, those consumer are willing to tread off the trodden path to buy a WP8 device. Unfortunately, that is uncomfortable for many people, particularly when it comes to technology. So, while there are people like you out there who do their homework, your numbers are too small to carry WP8 to success.
  14. #14  
    Hero devices only get you so far. The key for any OS is to flood the market with budget phones, something Nokia is trying its best to do. The only OS/company that doesn't have to follow that strategy is Apple.
    "Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
  15. KorJax's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by a5cent View Post
    Hey KorJax. Welcome to WPC!

    I think you make a lot of good points! However, just the fact that you realize that the main differentiators are Android, iOS and WP... not Samsung, Apple and Nokia puts you in a minority group of consumers. Just like you, those consumer are willing to tread off the trodden path to buy a WP8 device. Unfortunately, that is uncomfortable for many people, particularly when it comes to technology. So, while there are people like you out there who do their homework, your numbers are too small to carry WP8 to success.
    This is true, but the power user is a powerful market. People often discount niche markets or the power user because having an install base of 3 million power users versus the an install base of 30 million of everybody's looks less impressive. But ignoring the fact that such "power user" are often much more brand loyal and much more likely to spend money on services/good/etc from your brand, success is simply a matter of perspective. It's the power users and the niche that really make a platform or device relevant because they are the ones that keep the brand alive for the longest time. If you don't have any power users or niche markets in your platform but you have the "popular" market that's called being a fad.

    Android was once a niche device and now it's huge. It's literally responsible for making it so "smartphone" wasn't just something apple did, but now its something everybody has on some level, and it arguably made it popular widely among many different niches and a huge market of people who pay $30-50/mo for their service but never had a smart phone. The market is more open, and perceptive, to "smart" devices now than ever. TV's are even starting to cash in on it.

    I guess you could say I have humble perceptions though. To me company success depends on its lasting power it has and how well that company met their budget and expectations of their goals. If their goals are to be #1 then sure, Windows Phone is certainly not succeeding (at least, not yet). If their goal is to get rich quick, there are probably much cheaper and more garunteed ways to do it that don't involve consumer electronics. If their goal is to remain relevant and strong in a competitive market, even if they only have 15-20% of the whole market on their platform once its matured, then I'm confident WP can succeed at that. Of course the problem with being a publicly traded company is that your shareholders are often only concerned about the high end profit potential, and I think we are slowly moving into a business world where private owned mega-corps will become more and more common because of this (in my eyes it's unhealthy and largely unsustainable as you are at the mercy of your stocks unless you happen to be a top dog or a 100% purely niche market, but that's for another day).

    Valve corporation for example make more profit per employee than both Google and Apple but you never hear about that because they are private owned - and they largely did it by nurturing a niche market and creating strong brand loyalty. Eventually as the market evolved their name became pretty well known in the game industry to the point where that niche turned pretty mainstream as their install base kept snowballing. Or you have a game developer companies like CCP manage to run the same game for the past 10ish years, and still get new subscribers, not because it beats the competition in money made (it doesn't) but because they have their own role, their own niche that they fill in the market.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by KorJax View Post
    To me company success depends on its lasting power...
    <snipped>
    If their goal is to remain relevant and strong in a competitive market, ...
    I defined success in terms of "sustainability", while you called it "lasting power" and "remaining relevant". I would say our definitions of success are at least very similar. We differ only in our assessment about how relevant power users and niches are in achieving that sustainability:

    Quote Originally Posted by KorJax View Post
    It's the power users and the niche that really make a platform or device relevant because they are the ones that keep the brand alive for the longest time. If you don't have any power users or niche markets in your platform but you have the "popular" market that's called being a fad.
    Your examples show that some companies can survive really well on servicing niche markets, like CCP and Valve. I absolutely agree. However, I don't think that works for all products. I don't see how it can work for smartphones. Why? Because the hardware and operating systems bundled and sold as smartphones are just general purpose platforms. Consumers don't buy platforms for the sake of the platform. Consumers buy them for the applications they can run. Windows sells because of software like Office, Eve Online and Steam (the later two are niche markets developers carved out for themselves on the Windows platform). The Xbox sells because of the games it can run. Smartphones sell because of the apps they run. What niche does that leave for smartphones? None. A smartphones job is to be the best general purpose platform it possibly can. Carving out and servicing niche markets isn't a smartphones job... that is what apps are for.

    For an example of how well platforms do that attempt to be their own niche market, you need only look at the success of Apple's Macintosh during the 90's. Apple almost went bankrupt. Microsoft isn't going bankrupt anytime soon, but the position WP currently finds itself in isn't much different from the Macintosh's back then. For a general purpose platform, finding a niche isn't good enough.

    I agree with you that power users are important, but as I said in my previous post, our numbers are too few to sustain WP.

    I also agree that finding a niche market and servicing it better than any of your competitors is a good way to break into a market! That is something WP desperately needs at this point, but which Microsoft has yet to attempt... WP is still in catch-up mode.
  17. conanheath's Avatar
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    #17  
    Right now, none of them. OS needs to be complete before you even worry about hardware. Nokia is only one fully committed to WP and quality control with first Gen has been bad. But, if Nokia goes Android, which they will sooner or later, MS will have to bring a Surface phone. I hope they do. RT and Pro are top notch quality and I would expect same with phone. I don't know what Samsung has against WP and MS but I think the Ativ could carry the torch nicely if it was released in US.

    Who knows, knowing MS and their screwed up product launches, I'm sure they could find a way to eliminate any phone as a contender.
  18. AUCLABruin's Avatar
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    #18  
    At least in N. America, people go for subsidized contract phones, and those phones have to be the top ones or a large brand name. The Ativ S needs to come out in the US to get the WP8 ball moving.
  19. BeaverJuicer's Avatar
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    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by a5cent View Post
    IMHO, WP8 is comparable to Vista. Just like Vista, the changes made to WP8 were almost all under the hood. In both cases, the changes were comprehensive, dramatic, and extremely important in terms of executing a long term strategy. For consumers however, particularly those wanting to buy today, those changes are practically irrelevant. Just like Vista, WP8 is also suffering from widespread stability issues (shutdowns/crashes). IMHO, Microsoft is lucky WP8 isn't as ubiquitous as Windows. I think that is the only thing saving them from a Vista level PR nightmare.
    As an aside, I have noticed that as of yesterday, there is a concerted push, on these forums and others, to try and equate WP8 with Vista, specifically mentioning "under the hood" changes by seemingly unconnected people. It's almost like "talking points" sent out by political parties prior to an election.

    Astroturfing much?
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  20. conanheath's Avatar
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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by BeaverJuicer View Post
    As an aside, I have noticed that as of yesterday, there is a concerted push, on these forums and others, to try and equate WP8 with Vista, specifically mentioning "under the hood" changes by seemingly unconnected people. It's almost like "talking points" sent out by political parties prior to an election.

    Astroturfing much?
    And as with Vista, MS needs to get back under the hood and give us a SP1 to make it usable.
  21. reckoner79's Avatar
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    #21  
    I think Nokia has already screwed up with their horrible quality control. The At&t Lumia models are full of build problems and if someone was lured away from Android/iOS by Nokia they will have a bad experience and will avoid Nokia in the future (unfortunately Nokia seems to be the face of WP 8 right now).

    I think Samsung can save WP 8 if they create a Galaxy Windows 8 phone and release the same model on all four carriers like the Galaxy S3. The Galaxy name is iconic now and if Samsung really got behind WP 8 it would have a good chance of suceeding.
  22. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by BeaverJuicer View Post
    As an aside, I have noticed that as of yesterday, there is a concerted push, on these forums and others, to try and equate WP8 with Vista, specifically mentioning "under the hood" changes by seemingly unconnected people. It's almost like "talking points" sent out by political parties prior to an election.

    Astroturfing much?
    Really? And I'm doing this for free? Stupid me!

    Seriously though. It would surprise me too if many people came up with the exact same analogy on the exact same day. Any links?

    It sounds like you aren't happy with my analogy. Just don't forget, I have a much more positive view of Vista than the general public. A few posts in my WPC history demonstrate that. Vista was a very good OS with terrible 3rd party driver support and some missteps in Microsoft's marketing department. Vista, the OS that everyone hated, was in fact the single most important step towards making Windows 7 great. I think/hope WP8 is that same stepping stone.

    It wouldn't surprise me if many other people made the same analogy (edit1: just not all on the same day). I don't think I'm so smart as to be the only person able to see those similarities.

    edit2: just out of personal interest, who do you think I would be astroturfing for?
    Last edited by a5cent; 02-20-2013 at 09:06 PM. Reason: see edits
  23. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by conanheath View Post
    And as with Vista, MS needs to get back under the hood and give us a SP1 to make it usable.
    No. MS made very few "under the hood" changes going from Vista to Vista SP1 (nothing of importance really). Even Windows 7 and Vista are very similar, almost identical, under the hood.

    I think WP8 needs more under the hood changes than Vista did, but what it needs most is additions/tweeks to user facing features.
  24. aubreyq's Avatar
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    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by conanheath View Post
    right now, none of them. Os needs to be complete before you even worry about hardware.
    +100000000000
  25. jlp34876's Avatar
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    #25  
    Budget phone like lumia 620 is the key for WP, I cant recommend 8S because of its 4gb memory. Some of the people living in third world countries dont want to spend too much money too try new things. Imagine you can buy 2 Lumia 620 in a price of one high end phone, the more OEM sells midrange phone the more poeple will notice WP8. Android sucks at mid/low range phone, Apple doesnt have it, so its an opportunity for WP8 to target this type of market. WP8 high end phone is just on the right track.
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