New Devices: How Well Are the Nokia Lumia and Microsoft Surface Selling?

Mario Surface review
Microsoft Surface

Warning: this post is going to have a lot of conjecture, since it’s incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to get official sales numbers out of a lot of companies. And some companies (ahem, Apple) have a tendency to claim they are experiencing supply problems because demand is so great — presumably to create the illusion that they’re product is super hot. So while we may not be able to figure out exactly who has sold what, we can still try to make a few educated guesses about how the devices are performing.

Nokia Lumia
If you do a quick search, you’ll see plenty of articles saying “The Nokia Lumia 920 is out of stock!” But that’s not actually helpful – we still don’t know how many phones actually sold, or why they’re out of stock. It’s not a number, but BGR is reporting that the Lumia 920 was AT&T’s third-selling phone behind the iPhone and the Galaxy SIII in November. But According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), as of the bginning of December the Lumia has barely sold 100,000 units in China, the biggest smartphone market in the world. That’s troubling for the Lumia, since 100,000 units is nothing, and anecdotally China has quite a bit of interest in the phone, at least compared to here. Bottom line: the Lumia is not the hit Nokia hoped for, but it’s doing OK, and it will keep Nokia in the game until they can release their next device.

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$99 Nokia Lumia 920, $49 Lumia 820 Pre-Order Begins Today

Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920 in yellow & red

Pre-orders for both the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 begin today at AT&T. Amazingly, the insanely fast and feature-rich Lumia 920 is available for only $99 (contract price), while the 820 will go for $49.99 (also contract price).

Available exclusively on AT&T, the Lumia 920 is without a doubt the Nokia new flagship device for the holiday season. In the past few years the company has lost ground to manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, and the Lumia 920 is Nokia’s comeback effort. And it’s a strong one. Ton win back users, they’re offering a great deal: a premium phone at a budget-conscious price.

The Lumia 920 is all about offering lots of features. First of all, it’s got 32 GB of space, which is unheard of in a top of the line smartphone under $200. There are turn-by-turn directions. You can use the touchscreen with gloves on. And it can be charged wirelessly with a charging plate, without any additional software or bulky cases.

The build is serious too, with 4G LTE, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and a 4.5″ inch display. And like previous Nokia offerings, they’ve put a lot of work into the 8.7 MP camera. There’s a Carl Zeiss lens, and proprietary camera technology called PureView that allows for better image stabilization for low-light photos. Read more on the specs and features of the Lumia 920 here.

And colors. Let’s not forget about the colors here. Cyan, red, yellow, black, and white. The design factor of the Lumia 920 is definitely bold, and is interesting after several years of mostly black and glass phones.

Click here for complete specs and pre-order information.

For the more budget-conscious, Nokia is also offering the Lumia 820, a more mid-range version of the 920. It will run off the same Snapdragon Processor, but feature a slightly smaller screen at 4.3 inches, and only comes with 8GB of internal memory. Still, it’s a very powerful smartphone for only $49.99. Click here for more information and to pre-order the Nokia Lumia 820.

New Nokia Lumia 900 from AT&T: an Enlightened Way to Do Business

I know, I know, “enlightened” sounds like hyperbole. But occasionally a device comes along that can actually speed up-and smooth out-the daily grind, and the Lumia 900 smartphone appears to be one of them.

Consider: If you work your inbox and video chat with clients on the go, you want a crisp screen you don’t have to squint at to see. You want to jump from email attachments to your biz’s Facebook page to incoming texts as fast as you can tap and swipe. You don’t want to wait for a sluggish browser or ignore a colleague’s call because the info you know they want is still downloading.

Enter Lumia 900, a deserved “best of” winner at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Its pocket-friendly 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED touchscreen shines even in direct sunlight. Its Windows(r) Phone interface seems to “think” like we do, grouping things logically and making whatever you want to do incredibly easy. And its AT&T 4G LTE connectivity keeps data flowing at top speeds. Even the battery is impressive, keeping a charge longer than most smartphones have us trained to expect.

The Lumia 900 looks great, too. Nokia has a reputation for precision craftsmanship and stylish design for good reason; this latest effort is slick and solid, an attractive body that complements the Windows Phone interface nicely.

Can the Nokia Lumia 900, available exclusively from AT&T, really enlighten your mobile business? If you make it your next phone, let me know.

Are people more important than apps? Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T are betting on it.

Today is the second day of CES and out of everything I’ve heard so far one line in particular, from AT&T CEO of Mobility Ralph de la Vega, struck me more than anything else. Speaking of the Windows Phone 7 platform in general, but also specifically about the new Nokia Lumia 900, Ralph said that the phone is “built around people, not applications.”

There’s no doubt that Microsoft is battling RIM for last place in the smartphone market. Even Android, once a laughing stock for it’s complete lack of apps, is today a solid #2 platform behind Apple in terms of both quantity and quality of apps. De La Vega’s quote struck me because it finally admitted something we in the industry all know: Microsoft is in no position to compete with Apple on apps. Apple customers are paying customers, and they buy apps in droves. Apple’s App Store is the most profitable mobile marketplace by a long shot, attracting the hottest developers and most exciting apps first.

But can people replace apps as the new metric by which a phone platform is judged? Read More

Top of the line Windows smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 900, coming exclusively to AT&T

The latest Windows phone has arrived, and it’s quickly going to become known as THE Windows phone to own. Boasting 4G LTE from AT&T, the Nokia Lumia 900 is a beautiful phone. WIth a body molded from a single piece of polycarbonate available in cyan and black. It looks striking, and definitely has a winning aesthetic.

But with the Windows Phone platform currently battling for last place, how does Nokia expect to be able to a) break back into the American market and b) win mindshare from deeply entrenched platforms like iPhone and Android?

Nokia has a few ideas. Read More