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Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

12:30 PM -- Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) have promised their biggest-ever marketing push for the new Long Term Evolution (LTE), Windows Phone Lumia 900 and they're kicking it off by kicking the competition. (See AT&T's Nokia Lumia Drops LTE to $100.)

The handset maker has launched a new URL, www.smartphonebetatest.com, featuring former Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Parnell watching a countdown to April 6, two days before the $100 Lumia 900's launch date at AT&T. It also features videos of staged focus groups, pointing out flaws of the iPhone, including a revival of "antennagate" and digs at the fragile screen and glare.



The stakes couldn't be higher for the launch of what Nokia has called one of the first "real" Windows Phone smartphones. The company doesn't have much of a presence in the U.S., where consumers are distracted with multiple smartphone choices (particularly the iPhone, both current and future models), so the Lumia needs a stellar launch.

It's clear that if the Lumia, the first high-end device born from Nokia's partnership with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), flops in the U.S., it'll make it even harder for Nokia to grab market share with its following launches.

And while its teaser site is clever, it'll take a lot more than digging up legacy iPhone problems to convince consumers to switch from their "beta" devices: Nokia better have some other tricks up its sleeve in the coming weeks.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:37:24 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

Seems odd to remind everyone about Apple when what we're really wanting to know is what can Nokia and Microsoft possibly produce that consumers could get excited about? Have they answered that question yet?


 

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:37:24 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

That's what I was thinking. These are problems Apple had years ago. No one cares about the antenna issue anymore. It'll be interesting to see what else they come up with. It's a solid phone, but no one thing makes it really stand out. Advertising the combo of $100, LTE and the easiest-to-navigate UI may be it's best bet.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:37:24 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

I wonder how effective the "attack Apple rather than promote your own device" strategy works. Samsung did the same thing with its commercials, although it showed off the merits of its Galaxy smartphone by making fun of Apple.


This is, of course, only one part of Nokia's planned marketing push. (In fact, it's still being coy about its involvement with this site.) But I think the company will be better served by thoroughly explaining the merits of the Lumia 900 rather than attacking the competition.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:37:23 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

Price is the battleground at the moment. Amazon lists it at 49.99 with a 2-yr contract, it was even less at the weekend.


 

larryw408 12/5/2012 | 5:37:21 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

So how exactly does the L900 differentiate itself from the Galaxy or iPhone in any of the areas the very narrow focus of the survey covers?


Surveys like this are a poor predictor of consumer behavior; just ask RIM.


Saying price is the battleground in smartphones is like saying the Battle of Tarawa was about sunbathing rights.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:37:21 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

Yes, price is important. But not as important as coverage and reliability, according to what our readers say:


http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=218520&page_number=3

larryw408 12/5/2012 | 5:37:21 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

Price is the battleground?  Really?

larryw408 12/5/2012 | 5:37:21 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

Agreed.


Checking the ATT site for available upgrades/on contract.  L900 is $99, Samsung Galaxy (whatever model) is $199, ditto for 4S.  HTC is $0.01.


Considering the buyer's real cost is paid monthly x 24, the $100 +/- acquisition delta is negligible.


Features and functions are the battleground.  Which is why I'm so surprised by the marketing; everything I read to this point made me think Nokia had a winner in the L900---maybe not...

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:37:21 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

From what I can tell the L900 doesn't seem to do anything that makes it stand out, which is why I didn't understand its marketing approach. Reminding a consumer that Apple is the market leader is a silly thing to do.

andrew_ 12/5/2012 | 5:37:20 PM
re: Nokia Fires Cheap Shot at Apple

Sarah - thanks for raising the comparison with the Samsung campaign. That was smart, funny (I first saw it in a movie theater and you could hear the audience laugh), acknowledged Apple's existence without making Samsung seem weak by comparison. In short, it was everything this Nokia campaign is not.


I played with the Lumia at MWC and was impressed at its slick hardware and software design. I had high hopes for Nokia/MSFT being able to shake up the market with a differentiated product that would appeal to those who, for reasons of fashion and style rather than technology, want an alternative to Apple.


If Nokia's marketing department really thinks that people are going to buy their latest phone because it has a better designed antenna, then they've shown that they've really learned nothing since Apple introduced the iPhone and forever changed how consumers think about their mobile devices.


Still, I wish them luck. I might even consider buying an L900, if I hadn't recently upgraded to an iPhone 4S. 

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