Following the failure of its smartphone operating system Symbian, Nokia is eying a comeback in the smartphone market using Windows-powered devices. The move, say officials, is aimed to challenge global market leaders Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone.
Windows platform will takeover Apple’s iPhone by 2015, said Nokia Pakistan and Afghanistan Head of PR and Communication Adeel Hashmi citing a 2011 report by Gartner – one of the world’s leading information technology research and advisory companies.
“This means there would be more Windows Phones in 2016 than Apple’s iPhone,” Hashmi said while speaking at the launching ceremony of Nokia Lumia smartphone device range at a hotel on Thursday.
Nokia’s first-ever Windows Phone smartphone was launched in October last year. Powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Nokia Lumia series devices will be its first ever Windows Phone smartphone in Pakistan, Hashmi said.
The Finnish mobile phone giant launched Nokia Lumia 710, Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 900, which have been priced at Rs26,000, Rs40,000 and Rs52,000 respectively. The smartphones will be available in the market by next week.
The new Lumias provide a more advanced experience to their predecessors, with high-definition video recording capability at 720p.
Talking about the shift in Nokia’s strategy from Symbian to Windows Phone Hashmi said “It was in February 2011 when we decided to completely shift our smartphones from Symbian to Windows Phone.”
People back then were saying Nokia is dead and it cannot make a name for itself in smartphone market anymore, Hashmi said, adding analysts even criticised Nokia’s decision to choose Windows Phone when the market was dominated by Android and iOS.
Gartner’s report is based on the recent performance of Windows platform, Hashmi said.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone, according to the latest survey by Canalys, was the fastest-growing operating system in the world in the second quarter of 2012, recording an increase of 227% devices as compared to the same quarter of 2011.
Symbian’s sales, on the other hand, dropped by 64.6% to 6.4 million units – reducing its market share to only 4.1%, according to Canalys.
“With the launch of Nokia Lumia portfolio, we have come back in the smartphone arena,” Hashmi said. “Now people are seeing the value of Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft,” he added.
Nokia is the biggest hardware provider for Windows Phone, Hashmi said. With Windows Phone 8 smartphones to be launched later this year, he said, there is lot hype about its success.
“There are predictions by analysts about the adaptability of Windows Phone platform,” Hasmi said, adding, “In the smartphone world, it is just one phone that changes the entire market. We expect the same.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled "Miscrosoft" and "smartphone". The error is regretted.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.