Odds are that if you owned a cellphone over 10 year ago you probably had a Nokia candy-bar phone at one time or another. Maybe it was a Clearnet Nokia 6185, or perhaps a Fido Nokia 3390, both simple, well-made phones that excelled in their primary function – making calls. They were also great devices to play the greatest mobile game of all-time - Snake! However, as the 2000’s rolled on, Nokia’s popularity in North America waned. They were slow to react to the rise in popularity of flip-phones, and then slow to react to the popularity of the iPhone.
While Nokia was one of the pioneers of the smartphone market, their Symbian OS-based smartphones never really took off in North America. Last year, after they saw their market share being further eroded worldwide by the iPhone and Android onslaught, their new CEO, Canadian Steven Elop, threw in the towel. He basically killed Symbian and tied Nokia’s fate to another tech giant struggling in the post-PC mobile world, his former employer, Microsoft. Going forward, Nokia’s phones would run Windows Phone.
At the same time as Nokia was struggling, Microsoft themselves were having a hard time getting Windows Phone to take off. While they have arguably created one of the most unique, fluid, and easy to use mobile OS, a combination of lacklustre marketing and support from both handset vendors and carriers has meant that Windows Phone is still languishing in last place in the mobile OS race. By partnering with a handset manufacturer as well-known as Nokia, Microsoft is hoping that Windows Phone will start to take off in 2012.
(Apologies for the audio quality in some parts)
After announcing the European launch of the Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 in the fall of 2011, Nokia and Microsoft came to CES 2012 with news in their pocket that would hopefully finally kick-start the Windows Phone revolution in North America – that the Lumia 710 would be available on T-Mobile in the US, and on Rogers in Canada (however it isn’t available from Future Shop yet, but will be coming soon), and the Lumia 800 on Telus in Canada. They also unveiled their flagship device, the gorgeous LTE Lumia 900, which managed to win multiple “best of” CES awards. While it was only announced for AT&T at CES, it was later confirmed to be coming to Canada on Rogers at the Mobile World Congress. While an exact release date hasn’t been announced yet, it is rumoured to be coming out next week, and is coming to Future Shop.
While I was at CES, I had a chance to sit down with Richard White, the General Manager of Nokia Canada. In the video above, I ask him a few questions about the new Lumias, and Nokia’s plans for Windows Phone in Canada.
Check back on the blog soon for my hands-on video of the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 900.
The Telus Nokia Lumia 800 is available now from Future Shop. You can also read TeddyK’s Nokia Lumia 800 review on the Tech Blog.
The Nokia Lumia 800 brings unique, stylish and elegant design to the easy-to-use and fully integrated experience of Windows Phone 7.5. Only from Telus.
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