Nokia's big drive to reinvent itself as a Windows Phone only smartphone maker has come up short according to four major European telecoms operators speaking to Reuters.
The report has come back that Nokia Lumia handsets, such as the Nokia Lumia 800, Lumia 710 and Lumia 900, aren't selling and simply aren't good enough to overhaul the Android and iPhone dominance. "No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone," said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator, which has sold the Lumia 800 and 710 since December. This is despite operators being very keen to "reduce the dominance of Apple".
However, while Nokia may be bearing the brunt of this, the blame seems largely to be pointed at Microsoft. Indeed one executive said that "If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell."
"Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market," he further said.
"Ultimately, Nokia and Windows are challengers and they either need to come to market with a really disruptive, innovative product or a huge marketing budget to create client demand. So far they have done neither," added another operator executive.
While part of the problem is that neither Windows Phone nor Nokia's hardware quite competes with iOS and Android devices, such as the iPhone 4S of Samsung Galaxy S2, the issue is also to do with tempting people away from the ecosystems. Consumers have invested cold hard cash in Apps and Games and currently there's no way to transfer these purchasers to another platform – a growing grievance of ours. That and Windows Phone still trails both iOS and Android when it comes to the breadth and depth of apps on offer.
Such is the situation that telecoms consultant John Strand reckons that "even if the operators start to give away the Nokias for free, it will not make Nokia a success."
We tend to agree. Nice as the Lumia's are in terms of physical design, they simply don't pack in any compelling hardware. Likewise the software is merely a competent alternative rather than one that does anything better than the rest. It all further adds to our scepticism regarding Nokia's decision to take this route. Then again, if the company can get a Lumia device packing the stunning 41MP camera of the Nokia 808 PureView to market quickly, we could well see its fortunes take a turn for the better.
Disagree with us and the operator execs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.