Archive for the ‘Windows phone’ Tag

Something amazing coming to Cape Town   1 comment

At first I thought that Gauteng got all the Lumia love, but I am ecstatic to be wrong! I today received an invite (many thanks to Nokia) to what I expect to be the Nokia Lumia launch right here in Cape Town! Below is the invite I received:

I know, I know, the RSVP date has al ready passed. Although I suspect that my relatively young blog needed a bit more time to have the necessary impact. I do not expect anything new to be announced on the 31st of January, but I do think that the Lumia 800 will be available in the Cape Town area before the 7th of February. I know, I for one can’t wait, so that in itself will be great news!

I do however suspect that there will be a promotion similar to the free Xbox deal officially revealed yesterday at Vodacom World. Please note though, that this hunch has no basis more reliable than my own optimistic expectations.

If anyone knows of any other Vodashops where the Lumia 800 is al ready available (Excluding of course Vodacom World, Midrand), please mention it in the comments section so all the Nokia fans out there know where to go to satisfy their Lumia hunger:)

As with the event in Midrand, please note that it is a private event. Be sure though that you can get all the latest updates from the launch by following @allaboutnokiasa on twitter .

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Lumia 800 Launches in South Africa (Vodacom exclusive)   3 comments

It’s official: The Nokia Lumia 800 was launched earlier today at the Vodadome @ Vodaworld in Midrand. Its al ready shown up on Nokia SA’ website as well. Just click on the image to check out the official page.

With all the who’s who of the Tech world invited (except me of course), the Vodadome was packed to the rafters, along with all the lights, music and entertainment needed to make the Lumia launch the event of the year! Just check out all the people on the photo below and that’s even before the launch kicked off!

The first entertainers was the Lumia styled dancer!

After all the fun, the actual launch took place:

Gerard Brandjes, GM of Nokia SA, said that Nokia intends to set a new standard for smart phones with the Nokia Lumia range. Tom Erskine (Head of Smart Devices: Middle East & Africa at Nokia) continued by introducing the Lumia 710 & 800 as the first real windows phones. The fun didn’t stop there, next up Daniel Lamberti (Digital marketing manager @ Nokia) said that the partnership between Nokia, Microsoft and Vodacom signals new era for smartphones in SA. Err…what?? “and Vodacom” ??

As my inner detective predicted, it got revealed that the Nokia Lumia range of smart phones will be exclusively available through Vodacom and Nokia says it can’t confirm when it will be available on other networks! Romeo Kumalo (Executive Commercial Director at Vodacom) even stated that Vodacom has a very aggressive marketing campaigned planned for the Nokia Lumia range!

The Nokia Lumia 800 will be available through Vodaworld in Midrand from TOMORROW 6am. Where if you take out the Nokia Lumia 800 on Business Talk @ R279/month, you’ll get 100mb of data as well as a Xbox 360 FREE!! (first 200 customers only) I did post the leaked promo pamphlet earlier today, if you want to have a look at it again. Those of us not from Gauteng, will have to wait untill the 7th of February, when the Lumia 800 will be available country-wide from your local Vodashop.

The Nokia Lumia range also weren’t the only hardware which got to presented to the South African tech elite. Nokia together with Monster also launched the Purity HD headsets shown below:

Together with the hardware, Tom Erskine revealed that the Marketplace will have 60,000 plus apps with 150 local ones to boot when the Lumia 800 launches. Nokia also launched the Mix Radio service with the Lumiarange. It  features thousands of tracks and playlists on the cloud for users to stream for free. Mix radio together with the Nokia music store, which features international as well as local music, should have everything Music lovers could ever want.

Whats more, you can get the Lumia 800 for a review (note that you unfortunately can’t  keep the handset). To get the Lumia 800 for a review, just let Nokia know on Twitter why you should be selected to evaluate the phone. Use the #hashtag #Lumia. Good luck!

Nokia Lumia 800 to launch with newest Firmware version   1 comment

As I’m still the admittedly not so proud owner of a Nokia N97 and still get nightmares about the 3+ month waiting period associated with firmware updates. I remember reading about the latest and greatest firmware update for my N97 on international Tech sites in November and only to be able to upgrade in March. Luckily that has changed to large extent with regards to the likes of the N8 and to find out if that trend will continue, I decided to e-mail Nokia support.

Below is the response I received:

“In response to your request, kindly we would like to inform you that the Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone firmware v7.10.8107.79 update is now available to
download. Tha Nokia Lumia 800 will be launch with the update software installed on the device at a later date.

So it seems like we’ll get the Lumia 800 already loaded with the latest and greatest firmware, which is great news!

In other, and depending on who you follow, old news. You’ll reportedly be able to get a free XBox with your Lumia 800 purchase. That’s if the information reported on by wpcentral.com is correct:

I must admit I am not sure how they will stop the queuing prior top the event. For a matter of fact I’m not exactly sure where the location even is, but it’ll probably be at Vodaworld.

I unfortunately was not one of the fortunate ones to have received an invite to the launch party tonight, but know that all the details will be listed on allaboutnokiasa.wordpress.com as soon as possible!

Posted January 25, 2012 by allaboutnokiasa in Lumia 800, MTN, Nokia, vodacom, Windows Phone

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First Nokia Lumia 800 marketing targeting South Africa   Leave a comment

With Nokia’s extravagant marketing campaigns around the globe I have been keeping my eye out for any Nokia Lumia marketing targeting South Africa. After logging on to read the much awaited review of the Lumia 710 on GSM Arena, I got a welcome surprise: quite noticeable Lumia marketing targeting South Africa:

Most will agree that GSM Arena is the gold standard in 3rd party mobile- & smart phone reivews, so it’s nice to notice the Lumia advertising there. It’s a small start, but it’s nice not to look into another Android advert. That green robot makes me think of  a certain character named “Terie” from a childhood story named “Mina Moo” 🙂

Nokia Lumia 800 launch details to be confirmed 25 January 2012   Leave a comment

Before I say anything else, please note that this is a private event and only those lucky enough to receive an invite like the one below will be allowed in. No, I am not one of the lucky ones, that privilege fell to an anonymous tipster who tipped off WPCentral.com by sending them a copy of the invite seen below:

It doesn’t explicitly say that it’s a launch event, but it doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines. As stated in a recent post, Nokia looks set to continue with its elaborate marketing campaign seen globally, right here at home. I really hope the Lumia will be available as soon as possible as I for one, can’t wait to get my hands on one 🙂

As always, the contract pricing will be updated in the buyer’s guide as soon as its available.

 

Why your next smartphone should be a Windows Phone based Nokia   Leave a comment

Reason 1: Nokia’s back!

The main reason for this is debatable, but most would agree all the changes is thanks to a certain Mr. Stephen Elop. Stephen Elop (born 31 December 1963) is Nokia’s CEO and a Canadian citizen. This is significant because Mr. Elop is the first non-Finn to be named CEO of Nokia and replaced Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo in this position on September 21, 2010.

That in itself says a lot about how the company has changed. Nokia was founded as a company in 1871, so it took them 137 years to change to a non-Finn. That in a word has been Nokia’s biggest probelm…change. In March 2007, Nokia launched the Nokia N95 with the slogan “what computers have become”. It dominated sales charts worldwide. At almost the same time Apple launched the first iPhone – a totally different form factor with its touch-screen only interface and it revolutionized the smartphone industry. It took Nokia almost a year to respond to the competition by releasing the 5800 XpressMusic – an entry-level touch screen smartphone with a user interface which pales to the then magic of iOS. 11 Months in Tech terms is a life time to respond to change.

The resistance to embracing change has been a trait that has defined Nokia, a trait that ended in February 2011 when Stephen Elop sent the now infamous “burning platform” memo to company employees.  In it he bemoans missed opportunities and identifies multiple strategic challenges to the mobile phone company. Technology insiders and journalists have since remarked that the memo was a wake-up call for Nokia (“It is one of the most combustible and gripping documents ever to emerge from a major corporation – BBC.”) It was issued ahead of a Nokia analyst briefing in London, in which Mr. Elop was expected to announce big changes to the company’s strategy and senior management and he did. He basically changed how the company fundamentally functions.

Since he announced the change to windows phone in February 2011, Nokia has changed significantly. Nokia has made the change to Windows Phone, have announced 3 Windows Phones, two of which have all ready hit the market. They have decreased their workforce to optimal levels and according to Forbes, Nokia Corporation’s rating on financial markets has changed from “underperform” to “outperform”. This week they officially entered the US market by force and they are selling out all their Lumia 800’s at various stores in Europe. All in less time it took them to develop and launch the Meego based N9.

So all in all, Nokia is embracing change and are on the way up, they are starting to gain momentum by means of better management practices and that bodes very well for the future. A report by research firm Stanley and Morgan has produced the following predictions for WP based Nokia sales below:

From the report you can see that according to their predictions Nokia’s Windows Phone partnership is predicted to be a success. If the trends continues, 2014 can only lead to very impressive sales numbers.

Nokia’s marketing has also improved in leaps and bounds all around the globe. In London, Nokia got Deadmau5 and a team of light projection specialists to put on a 4D show at London’s Millbank Tower (Check it out on YouTube). In India, Nokia gave passenger planes a Nokia Lumia theme (pictures). In the United States, a market which Nokia has almost no market share in – YET), Nokia just kicked off a $200 million marketing campaign, internally refered to as “Operation Rolling Thunder“. “Operation rolling thunder” is going to focus on more engagement with tech enthusiasts, more work with retail to EDUCATE sales people on Windows Phone so they can effectively inform consumers. There will even be sales incentives of around $10-15 per handset sold to retailers. All strategies which is new to Nokia globally, never mind the in the US.

Under the fantastic headline “The Hail Mary pass is now in the air“, Tech Republic’s Jason Hiner argues that two of the big reasons that Windows Phone did not gain a larger market share in 2011 are now solved, and that if 2012 doesn’t deliver in America, they won’t be able to blame it on the handset hardware or carrier support. He does however predict that it will work and that Nokia  and WP will make a huge splash in 2012.

Heck, Nokia has even moved its regional head offices from Nairobi, Kenya to Johannesburg, South Africa (source). The new offices opened in Jo’burg at the beginning of January 2012, only a week and a half ago. A move, which I’m sure will only improve Nokia’s presence locally and further shows that Nokia is now embracing change.

I believe that if one looks at the situation in its entirety, Nokia can only succeed. The company chose a great direction and is executing it step by step. According to Anna Pavlova (1885 – 1931): “To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret to success”, and I see Nokia is following their plan, without halt and with one aim.

Reason 2: Windows Phone:

Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android both are selling really well, and in their own right they are both good operating systems. That said, if you think about it, they both are based on the same basic principle. Namely icons, widgets, home screens and shortcuts. Testament to this, is the various patent infringement court battles between the two in the recent past. Windows Phone 7 (WP7) has a totally different and much cleaner interface as can be seen below:

 Galaxy SII (Android)

Apple (iOS 5)

 Nokia Lumia (WP7)

 

Windows phone’s logo is “Put people first”. That says it all. It’s whole makeup is designed to make life easier for the consumer. Its fast, its clean and it’s a joy to use. The exact reasons why is a post on its own, one which I’ll publish as soon as I get my hands on my own Lumia 800, but the OS itself has won great praise from reviewers around the web. Some independent reviewers, like Jon Rettinger, head at Techbuffalo.com (link) and Rich Trenholm, news editor at CNET UK (link) even trading in their iPhones for a Lumia because they find themselves reaching for the Lumia 800 powered by WP7 more often than reaching for the iPhone.

All through Stephen Elop’s tenure, he as refered to the tussle for market share in the mobile phone space as a “War of ecosystems“. So he knows very well that it’s not only the user interface, or the phone design that is important, but the entire ecosystem. A big player in the ecosystem space he is referring to is the app market characteristics for the specific platform. The WP marketplace has recently reached 50,000 apps and as can be seen in the chat below, it has done so quicker than Android, Symbian and Blackberry, and only marginally slower than Apple (source).

With regards to the total number of apps in their market place, Microsoft is still behind, but not only is it growing at a very rapid rate (as can be seen above), but most of the “must have” apps are available al ready. Apps like Angry Birds, WhatsAp etc. are all available and are being updated frequently. Those which aren’t available, almost always have an alternative.

Mary Branscombe from ZDNet.com switched to WP7 (source) and concluded that: “Windows Phone is an OS that you’re not going to appreciate without using it. And ultimately, the best technology is the technology you use and want to keep using because it makes your life better.

That, in a nut shell, is what makes Windows Phone great.

Nokia has exclusive access to WP7:

Some say the partnership between Microsoft & Nokia is a last gasp effort between two has-beens. Nokia, even in the recent Symbian days has always had excellent hardware. Microsoft’s software has been the standard for a long, long time on PC with windows . Now they have combined to add what they do best to the Mobile mix. I say the its two giants combining their strengths.

The questions remains however that with Nokia putting all their eggs in the WP7 basket, how will they differentiate themselves from the competition. HTC & Samsung, amongst others, also make WP7 based phones and quite good ones at that. See, WP7 is very different to Android in that Microsoft has restricted access to the OS to ensure the experience stays on the same level, doesn’t matter which manufacturer’s phone it’s on. Android on the other hand let’s manufacturers play around with their OS as they please. Samsung has “Touch Wizz”, HTC has “Sense” and so forth. All WP7 based phone’s interfaces will look the same, except for Nokia’s that is. The answer lies in the details. To seal the deal with Nokia, Microsoft promised exclusive access to the OS. Nokia has all ready launched Nokia Drive and Nokia MusicRadio with the Lumia 800 to set them apart but that’s not all. Expect Meego’s Swipe interface, as well as other advancements to make a showing in future mainly because Stephen Elop has al ready confirmed that Nokia’s top research and most impressive hardware will all be directed towards WP. This, along with the great hardware we associate Nokia with will make them stand out from the crowd.

Reason 3: Great hardware:

Nokia has always had great hardware. Over time they have built a reputation for hardware that lasts. I still know people today, granted they are quite old people, who’s 3310’s are still fully functional. With the Lumia range of smart phones the trend is not only continuing it is improving as well. The Lumia 800 & 900’s bodies are made out of a moulded polycarbonate plastic. A design which doesn’t only ooze quality and durability, but it also stand out from the a crowd where iPhones/Android all pretty much look the same.

Nokia has a history of great camera’s as well. From the first Carl Zeiss lens on the N95 to the 12 megapixel unit on the N8, Nokia has been on the fore front of great cameras on mobile phones.  Currently both the Lumia 800 & 900 “only” feature 8 megapixel units, but to large extent that is mainly due to the limitations put down by Microsoft. If the rumours are true we will be seeing a WP bases successor for the N8 before the end of the year – now that is something to look forward to.

Conclusion:

Sure one would probably be happy with your Android/Apple smart phone, and they are both great products in their own right, but if all the reviews and buzz around the web is anything to go by, Nokia based Windows Phones will be the buzz in 2012. An example of this is the multiple awards the Nokia Lumia 900 won at CES 2012 (largest consumer electronic show in the US) which just finished in Las Vegas , USA, namely:

  • CNet’s “Best of CES” smartphone.
  • Popular Mechanics editor’s choice award for CES.
  • Popular Science “Product of the Future”.
  • LAPTOP magazine’s “Best of CES” finalists.

In my opinion, Nokia is starting to go on a roll – the only question is: Will you be part of it?

Nokia Lumia 710 & 800 release date for South Africa almost here   Leave a comment

After the “hint” on twitter a few days ago Nokia has finally officially confirmed that the Nokia Lumia range will be available locally in Q1 this year. The announcement was made via Nokia’s Ringaz blog:

Black Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone with Angry Birds

The important things to take out of the announcement are:

  1. The Lumia 800 will most probably available for pre-order by the end of January and probably be available by the end of February.
  2. The Lumia 710 will be launched locally “very early in the second quarter” which probably means April.
  3. Both Nokia Drive and MixRadio will be available locally.
  4. In the second last sentence the statement says: “The arrival of the Lumia range is a real landmark for Nokia in South Africa, and we are sure it will set the cat among the pigeons in the smartphone market locally.” Nokia has invested heavily into the marketing of the Lumia brand internationally, and I expect them to do the same here.

Stay tuned for a recap of the Lumia brand’s marketing globally as well as why I am convinced the New Nokia Lumia Range will be a great choice as your next smartphone. Both because of the features of the phone and operating system but alos because of the changes Nokia has made as a company.

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