Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Will the sun shine on Nokia's Sun

We have seen the new Apple's new iPhone 4S, which from a technology standpoint is the best iPhone ever, but did not meet the hopes and expectations for a next generation device. Apples iOS5 which is to be released in less than two days bring many needed updates, like over the air updates and multiple notifications, Android phone users for some time now.

We are still awaiting the official announcement of the Samsung built Google Nexus Prime. From all indications, unlike the conservative Google Nexus S of 2010, the Nexus Prime will be a next generation Android handset, and will be powered by the next generation Android software, Ice Cream Sandwich.

But there is one more major player, that is Nokia. The sun is setting on Nokia, and they have said their goodbyes to Symbian and Meego with one last round of phone releases. Aptly, Nokia calls its first Windows Phone 7 handset the Sun. Will the Sun herald Nokia return to the top of the smartphone world? Will Nokia make Windows Phone 7 a mainstream platform.

Leaked photos of the Nokia Sun? Check them out on pocketnow.com.

The Nokia Sun. Lets wait and see what the Google Nexus Prime before crowning it. The iPhone 4S was less than spectacular, but is still a substantial upgrade. The Windows Phone 7 devices, were looking old when they came out in November of 2010, and for 2011, the new devices are starting to look Jurassic.

Well, at least if you match them up with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S II, Apple iPhone 4S, HTC Sensation and other dual core smartphones.

Nokia's first Windows Phone, the Nokia Sun will run a 1.4GHz single core processor. Basically, it is a 400MHz speed bump from last years Windows Phone 7 devices. But being single core it misses things like 1080p video recording and playback which are supported by all the flagship phones these days.

It does not yet support LTE or 4G (although some now consider HSPA + 14.4mbps as 4G).  

Screen is a relatively small, by todays standards 3.7-inch screen, and the resolution is still limited to 480 x 800 in a world of HD, quarter HD and retina displays. It will be a AMOLED display though.

These hardware limitations are not Nokia's fault. Windows Phone 7, even the new 7.5 Mango update does not yet support these technologies.

It's all about the price. Last year, when Windows Phone 7 came in, they came in targeting the high end market. That approach failed and was doomed to fail from the start. Charging early adopted premium prices in a field with four established leaders was nothing short of suicidal.

It's a year later now, and a Windows Phone 7 buyer, would still be considered as an "early adopter" the Windows Phone 7 platform not having gained any significant traction. Buy it now, and it may be gone from the market by next year.

The premium market is not the place where Windows Phone 7 should try to make a dent. If the Nokia Sun can come in at a decent 15K to 20K price point, I think it will succeed. 

Most tech writers are based in the US, where Nokia never had much of a market share. They do not understand the power of the Nokia name. The Windows Phone 7 platform has a great user interface, better I think than iOS or Android. Nokia is a trusted name. At the right price, Nokia, Windows Phone 7 and the Sun could really shine.

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