What brands are producing great fruits of labor regarding the smartphone market?  As digital technology ushers users into the future, what mobile phones will they be bringing along?  The New York Times reports Microsoft and Nokia hope lower prices and a robust assortment of sales networks prompt consumers to pick lower-hanging, discounted fruit.

At an industry event in Barcelona, Nokia showcased the Lumia 610 ($250), costing 30% less than the Lumia 710.  Additionally, Nokia featured its Lumia 900 Windows smartphone, a phone destined for the US and AT&T's high-speed network.

Take a look at current global mobile statistics.  Based on available data, Nokia was number one in 2011 for mobile device shipping.  Top-grossing, US-mobile brands are Google, Millenia Media, Apple, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

Nokia and Microsoft joined forces about one year ago.  Microsoft voiced plans to open online, 'local language' stores, offering phones, applications, and services in 28 countries (including China - based on stats, China has 963 million mobile subscribers) by March.  Nokia and Microsoft's allegiance is likely to be strategic than genuinely 'friendly' (read about Verizon's strategic wireless spectrum deal); the two brands must compete with Apple and Samsung (a brand largely reliant upon Google's Android operating system).

Terry Myerson, Microsoft VP estimates the new markets and lower prices will increase sales potential for Lumias by (at least) 60%.  Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics states the move would help Nokia and Microsoft ala doubling the size of the Windows portfolio.  He relates, "More products plus more distribution can equal more market share."  Will a proliferation of Windows options prompt users to buy?  Dr. Pete of SEOmoz did a recent post regarding traffic and conversion metrics.  Lower prices and a robust sales network may increase traffic but will people purchase?  Do they need the community in addition to the traffic?

Mr. Mawston also makes a pragmatic statement, observing the sense of community and presence Apple has had on the mobile phone market since its first iPhone release in 2007, stating "Nokia is taking baby steps forward in the right direction.  I think it is incremental rather than revolutionary."

As observed with desktop and laptops, operating systems are a major reference point for users.  Based on the Times stats, Windows was enjoying less than 2% of the global operating market.  Google's Android was running on 51% of the market's devices (followed by Apple and Nokia's Symbian system at 24% and 12% respectively).  Apple dines on a healthy revenue stream stemming from its orchards of followers.  Can Nokia and Window get consumers bobbing in another direction?

February 27, 2012

Todd Bailey is Director of Search, Media and PR with Gen3 Marketing and US Brand Ambassador for Majestic SEO. Also, Founder/Editor of pushStar.com

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