“Things Are About To Change”. No Kidding!

The tag line for Nokia’s latest product launch claimed that ‘Things Are About To Change”.  They weren’t wrong.


If you hadn’t already heard about Nokia launching two new #Lumia smartphones yesterday morning, it’s a fair bet that you knew about it by the end of the day.  While media coverage of the launch of two new Nokia smartphones – its first based on the Windows Mobile 8 platform – had been generally positive, a story broke last night that overshadowed even news that the company’s shares had fallen 13%. On the day the company unveiled the phones that were supposed to start the company’s fightback against the likes of Apple and Motorola/Google it was the one story that Nokia did not want telling.

An eagle-eyed reporter spotted something in the launch video for one of the company’s killer new applications, PureView, an advanced video tool on the Lumia 920 handset – that didn’t look right.  Nokia had led everybody to believe that the video was shot using the new handset – it made sense, given it was one of the major wow factors for the new phones, and offered, the company claimed, a much higher video capture quality than on competitor handsets.   Unfortunately, the promo had actually been created using a DSLR.

Nokia quickly admitted it, and issued an apology. But the damage has been done.  What appeared to be the start of a real fightback by one of the establishment of the mobile industry has turned in to a unmitigated PR disaster.  Having persuaded some that they actually might have what it takes to fight back against the likes of Apple, Motorola/Google, Samsung and HTC, Nokia may have to accept that it fluffed its last chance to be taken seriously as a smartphone maker.  It’ll certainly subject future products launches to more detailed media scrutiny and scepticism.

I’m not suggesting that Nokia will disappear – at least not any time soon.  It has a strong business in low cost handsets in developing mobile markets, and a not-insignificant one at that [where have we heard that before?! The same is said of RIM], but the opportunity to be a serious player in the mainstream handset market is all but over.  Isn’t it?

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