Nokia’s latest camera-centric flagship, the Lumia 1020, has landed and it looks likely to boost the manufacturer’s domination of the Windows Phone market even further.
There is no doubt that the phone maker has fought hard to become a ‘third alternative’ to the sea of Apple and Android devices currently available, but what’s next for the Finnish firm?
We take a look to see if Nokia has what it takes to continue producing an array of impressive contract phones, to rival the big smartphone contenders.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Unveiled last week, the Nokia Lumia 1020 merges camera and smartphone to create a handset with a whopping 41 megapixel sensor.
Users will be able to zoom in and reframe photos without impacting on the level of quality. And analysts who have tested the phone have even declared it is “without doubt the best smartphone camera on the market”.
Thanks to its outstanding camera the Lumia 1020 will go head-to-head with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom in a battle of the camera-phones, although judging by what we’ve seen so far the Nokia device looks to have the edge.
Nokia Lumia 625
At the other end of the price spectrum, the company recently said that it would “continue to offer relevant innovations to the 18-24 year-old consumer base, at affordable price points, to maintain momentum in the smartphone category”.
Enter the Nokia Lumia 625 – a budget device which is yet to be officially announced but has been leaked in China. Rumour has it the handset will boast a 4.7-inch WVGA screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM all wrapped in a unibody design. The handset is set to become a lower-end sibling to the Lumia 620.
Windows Phone 8
According to statistics from Windows Phone advertising network AdDuplex, the Lumia range accounts for 85% of Windows Phone 8 devices that are sold, signalling that the firm continues to dominate the Windows Phone market.
The figures show that with 13.3% share of the global Windows Phone market, the Lumia 520 is Nokia’s most popular WP8 handset.
The affordable Nokia Lumia 520 was previously the company’s fifth most popular device, but it has since climbed to the top of the charts, as almost a fifth of all new app installations now happen on this particular device.
Outside of the Lumia range the only other Windows Phone handset really making an impact is the Lumia-esque HTC Windows Phone 8X device, claiming a 3.7% share of the market. But unlike Nokia, HTC also has a range of handsets running Google’s Android OS, so it’s not solely focussed on pushing its Windows Phone offerings.
Nokia Asha 501
Currently receiving solid reviews across Asia and nearly equalling the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z for daily searches on mobile phone site GSMArena, the Asha 501 has clocked in at position eight on the site’s most widely searched for phone model.
Although it is rare for a new feature handset to gain such high interest so quickly, the results are backed up by Google Trends, which positions the global Asha 501 search interest on par with that of the BlackBerry Q10.
One of the most popular questions in the Nokia rumour mill is, ‘why didn’t the firm choose to go with Android to replace its own Symbian operating system?’ Instead Nokia made the decision to go with Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform – a partnership which began in 2010, and is still going strong.
Stephen Elop, Nokia’s chief executive, said: “What we were worried about was the very high risk that one hardware manufacturer could come to dominate Android, with many others in that space already.
“Now fast forward to today and examine the Android ecosystem, and there’s a lot of good devices from many different companies, but one company has essentially become the dominant player.”
Believing that Samsung would monopolise the Android market, leaving little room for anyone else, has led to the Finnish phone maker striving to become an alternative, but Elop admits it is hard to compete.
He added: “It’s very difficult because we are starting as a challenger, we’re having to build that credibility.
“But it was the right decision [to go with Windows Phone 8]. Look at the number of other Android providers right now and they’re in a tough spot.”
Nokia certainly has its work cut out to make some elbow space in the highly competitive smartphone market. But with new handsets like the Lumia 1020, Lumia 625 and Asha 501 coming to the fore, the Finnish manufacturer looks to be the best alternative if iOS and Android aren’t for you.
This guest post was written by Stefanie Keeling of Phones 4u – home of the latest smartphone contracts.