The question at this point in the whole smart phone war is can Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) gain any kind of momentum with Windows Phone 8 and build a credible 3rd player in the market. The data in the U.S. suggests that they have a big hill to climb. Market share for Windows Phone right now stands at 3.3% in the U.S. and is holding steady. Overseas, in smaller markets, the numbers are improving but they will not make or break Windows Phone at this point, the U.S. will.
The good news for Microsoft and Nokia is that smart phone penetration in the U.S. is still just under 50%.
The better news is that they finally have announced a phone that can compete with the best of the Android set as well as what we expect to see from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) next week and the iPhone 5. The Lumia 920 is not revolutionary but it is a game-changer in a number of ways that will make it a very attractive piece of hardware. Win 8 and Win Phone 8 by all accounts are extremely tight pieces of code, so while the dual-core Snapdragon S4 doesn’t sound like much, on that platform it will be. Nokia went for a mix of usability functions over a geek-fest of amazing stats. The camera and it’s hardware image stabilization system, are big selling points as is the wireless charging built-in and Nokia’s industry-leading mapping and location software.
Wall St. definitely bought the rumor and sold the news and while many, including myself, were hoping Nokia would hit a home run by announcing a 7″ Win RT tablet, they did hit a solid double with the 920 and its slightly-lower capability 820 cousin. Will it be enough to start the Windows Phone revolution? We’ll know in about 4-5 months. Nokia did not state anything about price, availability or new carriers, but Verizon will likely be on board.
For now, here’s the link to the presser, which was mercifully Ballmer-light.Previous Post » Draghi’s Plan Boosts Euro while Gold Crosses $1700