back to article Cellco execs lay into Nokia's Lumia

Major European mobile phone network operators reckon Nokia's Lumia smartphones simply aren't good enough to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. Four unnamed operators spoke out against the Finnish phone firm's Windows range, describing it as overpriced, plagued by battery issues and inadequately marketed, Reuters …


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  1. qwarty

    too expensive?

    "Some complain they are too expensive, despite Nokia selling the range to operators and distributors for an average 220 euros last quarter, well below what had been expected".

    How much do these same operators pay wholesale for iPhone models?

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: too expensive?

      Based on analysis of various with-phone and SIM-free price-plans, I think it's about €350 before VAT.

    2. N13L5

      Re: too expensive?

      Undesirable is always too expensive

      Lumia looks like its primarily designed for cheap manufacturing and they are short on features and specs.

      People compare them to Samsung's and HTC's products and find there's no contest.

      Galaxy III in May is going to make the Lumia look like a 2 year old product.

      On the software side, its even worse, people do not like Microsoft. On the desktop, windows may be the only choice, but nobody wants to see them expand to new areas, especially not with their tollbooth mentality and their patent trolling, which did not gain M$ any sympathies.

      Since Elop turned Nokia into Microsoft's bitch, the situation is pretty hopeless, mainly because of the OS. The last European consumer tech giant is falling.

      I think the only way up for Nokia would be to remove Elop and start focusing on better speced hardware, while offering up more than one OS, like HTC and Samsung do.

      Want a Lumia with Megoo, Android, Windphone or Symbian Belle? Your choice...

      Without that choice, most won't even bother to look at the Lumia.

      A really powerful stunt would be, if they offered straight up Android, so every Lumia would be like a Google Nexus phone. While all the other manufacturers waste money and time on largely unwanted overlays to try and differentiate themselves, Nokia could save the money and differentiate themselves by being the only brand offering straight up Android with no added bullshit.

      This would give Nokia the ability to offer more timely updates and customers would be pretty happy with them. Just think of how many people are willing to void their warranty with chancy custom Rom installations, just to get rid of Touchwiz, Motoblur etc...

      Killing off Nokia's own OS's a year before they had anything new to offer was not only disastrous for sales, but also helped Android and iOS.

      Finally, Windphone has the stink of Ballmer's decade of refusal to invest even enough for badly needed fixes for Windows Mobile. People don't forget that over a shiny new look. A look that users cannot make their own, cause customization is not allowed.

      Nobody buying Lumia's is a resounding shout of "control freaks get lost!". Don't dictate our OS choice and don't prevent customization"

      (unless you're Apple and people mistake your products for drugs)

      1. JC_



        Have a look at this video of the manufacturing of an N9 - which has the same type of shell as the Lumia 800/900 - and you won't say it was "primarily designed for cheap manufacturing".

  2. Arctic fox
    Thumb Down

    It's a funny thing you know but.............

    ..........we saw exactly the same planted stories in the run-up to the release of the Lumia 800 in Europe as we are now seeing in the run-up to the release of the 900. This is just negotiation by planted leaks by the carriers who do not feel that they are getting as sweet a deal from the Finns as they think they are entitled to. This is a non-story.

    1. SiempreTuna

      .. they could have a point, though ..

      Nokia / MS really are up against it: I'm due to renew and despite having had Nokias for years, I have not considered a Lumia for a moment.

      Android only really got going once HTC released the Desire and made it absolutely dirt cheap (I got mine for £16 a month if you include the cost of the phone). It became an instant best seller and suddenly Android was mainstream.

      The difference is that back then, people like me were waiting for a good looking, decent spec alternative to the iPhone. There are now plenty of those and they run Android. Persuading me to switch to Windows would need to be a heck of a sell.

      Of course, a Nokia Droid would be a whole 'nother proposition. That, I could go for. And who knows: if I liked the Nokia enough, I might even consider a different OS for my next phone.

      But not this one.

      1. Putonghua73

        Re: .. they could have a point, though ..

        In complete agreement. Bought my HTC Desire on 24 month contract Autumn 2010 based upon:

        1. similar spec to iPhone

        2. without Apple tax * (£21 p/m 300 texts and minutes and 500 MB internet)

        Based upon those requirements, there is no value proposition for me to buy a Lumia - although I originally did like the colour scheme.

        Agree with the other commentators vis-a-vis lack of marketing or any form of marketing penetration. There is a whooping Samsung advert en route to Heathrow Central Bus Station, and I frequently see Samsung or HTC advertised. To date, I cannot remember a single Nokia Lumia advert. In fact, I do not believe I have seen a Nokia Lumia in the wild. I did have a false positive a few months back, when I thought I saw a guy use a Lumia on the Northern Line (en route to Old Street). He caught my glances and shielded his phone before I could make a confirmation.

        My HTC Desire meets my needs so I'm jumping off the merry-go round of upgrading.

        * I am otherwise a fully paid-up member of the Jobsian cult, having bought an iPod and iPhone 3G in the past, and now own an iPad2 and a MacBook Pro Early 2008.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I do not believe I have seen a Nokia Lumia in the wild.

          I'd fire you!

          Clearly lost in your own world.

          No marketing, EH?, WTF?, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? MARS?

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: I do not believe I have seen a Nokia Lumia in the wild.

            Riding the subway every day I see lots of iPhones, Android, BlackBerry, and assorted feature phones but not one Lumina, or any winphone for that mater.... I did see a zune once.

            Marketing? There were some dumb TV ads a few months back. And Hawaii 5 O is a 22 minute ad (why don't you bing it on your winphone my ass).

            1. Wunderbar1

              Re: I do not believe I have seen a Nokia Lumia in the wild.

              True, I see a ton of iPhones and Droids, a few well worn BBs, but never a Lumia.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: It's a funny thing you know but.............

      The thing is the Lumia 800 was plagued by battery issues, some rather silly design decisions and of course the OS. Battery issues appear to have been fixed now and the 900 resolves some of the design problems. It's still running the same OS though.

      Windows Phone is okay as a phone OS. It looks nice albeit quite primitive in some regards such as it's godawful pseudo multitasking. It's biggest problem however is that without the users it won't get the apps and without the apps it won't get the users.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: It's a funny thing you know but.............

        Then how did Android break the Catch-22 it would have to have been in also to begin?

      2. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        @DrXym Re: It's a funny thing you know but.............

        I happen to agree largely with that summary of MS' and Nokia's dilemma. I run a LG 900 as my back-up mob (my primary is a Desire Z) and I think that 7.5 is ok but WinPhone has got to be more than ok if they are going to make a serious impact in the mobile phone market. In practice what it means is that MS either get it right with WP8 (thereby giving Nokia the necessary elbowroom with the hardware) or the project will end up as a bust. I hope they do - competition is after all to the benefit of all of us regardless of which phone we choose to purchase. However, Redmond have absolutely got to sharpen up their act here otherwise it will go down the khazi.

      3. OffBeatMammal

        Re: It's a funny thing you know but.............

        now the battery problem is fixed - it was just software after all (not how I was holding it!) I love my 800. the only thing I'm less than happy about is the silly flappy door over the microUSB connector and the fact it's on the top rather than the bottom which means zero chance of a decent dock (desk or car)

        Sure, there are some rough edges with Windows Phone but it's only on it's second iteration (7.0 and 7.5) and the classic wisdom is that Microsoft only gets things right in v3

  3. Miek

    Let the bitchin' begin in 3 ... 2 ... 1 .....

  4. EddieD

    I can't disagree

    I've got a Lumia 800, and, yes, I can do tonnes of things with it, and it does make adequate calls, but the battery life sucks, the app range is limited, it's expensive, there's no control in how far the social integration goes, making that aspect, supposedly its killer feature, worthless - it's either all or nothing, and most folk want something in between. The marketing has been non-existent - I see occasional adverts on More4, but other than that, zip, zero, squat - any one of the big Android players has more airtime, and compared to Apple it's negligible.

    I did specifically ask for it - and had to put up with the pushy shop assistant in the O2 store desparately trying to get me to have and Android or iOS device - but it was the only smartphone range that would allow me to use an existing identity (my ancient Hotmail account) to access it's app store - there's enough data on me floating around, without giving Apple/Google a new account to play with.

    I've got 12 months on my contract, and I'll persevere - it is actually a very pleasant user experience, it's snappy in use, the display is excellent, and the call quality fine

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: I can't disagree

      It took about 3 months for Nokia to sort out the battery issues with the phone. It works more or less how it should now but it doesn't make up for having such a fundamental issue in the first place. I wonder if Nokia are suffering quality issues.

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: I can't disagree


      Do you have the 12070 update installed? It's dramatically improved the battery life on my Lumia 800 to where it is as good as, or better than, my iPhone 4.

      Go to Settings -> phone update or plug the phone into the Zune application on your PC if you haven't got it and you should be able to download the new firmware.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    It's not about the price.

    Nobody wants a phone that makes Android 1.1 look good. It's not even about Nokia. I'm sure these things would be selling like Hotcakes if they had Android 4.0 ICS on them, as there is nothing wrong with the hardware per-se (battery and reception bugs aside and despite the Lumia 900 only being comparable with an mid-range Android handset).

    It's all about Windows Phone, it's lack of features, lack of apps, sluggish performance, horrible MetroUI and lack of customization. Consumers are also wary of anything carrying the Microsoft brand as being a malware nightmare "windows on a phone, windows on my PC is bad enough" syndrome.

    Sure Microsoft can try and buy their way out of the problem by badmouthing Android, and encouraging media "partners" to give them favorable reviews (and they seem to be trying to do so, with suspicious high profile reviews that massively overrate the Windows Phone based handsets), but consumers are speaking with their wallets. - They don't want Windows Phone. They want iOS or Android.

    If Nokia are to survive, they need to drop the Windows Phone "burning platform"..

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not about the price.

      it's lack of features as in it is lack of features or it has lack of feature? its!

      sluggish performance? you never had a windows phone obviously. as always on el reg bring facts or you diminish your credibility.

    2. Mint Sauce

      Re: It's not about the price.

      Hmm, for me it's completely about the price. Got tired of the 'my os is better than your os' willy waving years ago. I just want something that does what I need these days. Every couple of years I have a look at the current crop of smartphones and this time round the Lumia with Windows Phone stood out as nice to use, fast, and consistent.

      I didn't like the fragmented mess that is Android, and iDevices were just too expensive and trying iTunes made me suicidal ;-)

      But 'til the price comes down I'm stuck with my Palm Centro... (waves to see if the other Centro user is out there ;-)


      1. David Beck

        Re: It's not about the price. Right it's trying to keep the functionality you already have.

        Ex Centro user here. You are "stuck" with the best set of PIMs available. Any of the so called "smartphone" PIMs will disappoint when compared to the 10 year old Centro apps. I eventually went Android only because I was fully Googled and the integration was excellent with Gmail and Calendar, but not perfect, Android calendar still does not differentiate multiple calendars in the display and generally the Calendar app is rubbish compared to the Centro, especially if you often change time zones. The Symbian apps come closer but unless Nokia comes to it's senses those about to be lost as well. BTW, HP dumped the Palm PIMs on WebOS so it was rubbish as well. Just what happens when the target stops being the actual user and becomes marketing to the world.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not about the price.

      Still never actually used a Windows Phone then, Barry?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        Re: It's not about the price.

        I had a HTC Titan for a couple of weeks, it was utter shit. I really couldn't believe HTC had put their name to it.

        I now know they did put their name to it, as I saw they lost a crapload of money around about the same time they were making that rubbish.

        Glad to see they refocused on making great Android handsets again and have found their form with the HTC One.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's not about the price.

          Well, I don't believe you, if you had owned a WP7, you wouldn't keep making basic errors about the OS' functionality.

          If you don't like WP7, that's fine, personally I don't like iOS, but I don't bang on about it every article there is. It's just a phone, after all.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not about the price.

      Bang on. The WP7 apologists might downvote you, but I have a Lumia 800, and most of what you're writing is true - except the sluggish performance, unless you were commenting on anything besides the UI, as it is very fast at the expense of not having decent multitasking.

      After a couple of weeks of usage the lack of customization starts to really bug you. Having to cut an mp3 and change its tags before using as a ringtone is really unbearable after a couple of times. Not being able to control in any way how and what each of the tiles show is crap. Losing 25% of the screen just to have a small arrow is idiotic. Not having full Bluetooth or USB storage mode sucks big time, as does not being able to automatically sync your photos/videos with anything else but skydrive. There are box and dropbox clients, but you have to sync everything by hand, one at a time.

      Having a idiotic search button tied to bing, which isn't even context sensitive and so forces every app to re-implement it is short sighted and useless.

      Having a slow, sluggish browser is just to be expected, unfortunately. As is having apps that are more expensive and of lower quality that equivalent android ones.

      Not being able to block web sites with a hosts file positively sucks. As does having to share all my info with MSFT just to be able to do anything with this phone. You might hate Google, but I'd rather trust them with my data than MSFT.

      The pseudo-multitasking is awful, some apps just restart when you switch back to them, others (nokia drive, for instance) suspend in the background so you need to have them in the foreground while doing a download of updated maps, only a couple seem to keep running.

      I could go on, but after using WP7 for some time, I can assure you that if I hadn't been given this phone, I would never have gotten it or any other WP7 phone.

      1. Fuzz

        Re: It's not about the price.

        "Not being able to block web sites with a hosts file positively sucks. "

        This is an awesome comment, only on the register will you find someone moaning that they can't edit the hosts file on their phone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hosts file

          You never used adblock or ad-aware on a droid, right? It uses the hosts file to block adware, and is as simple to use as it gets. No need even to know what a hosts file is.

  6. Joe K

    Ace in the hole

    They need to get the 808 PureView (that 41 megapixel cameraphone) out ASAP, at least it has a unique selling point for those of us who want that sort of thing.

    And no WinPho included, bonus!

    1. qwarty

      Re: Ace in the hole

      A USP for me too. A PureView camera in a WP8 phone at a reasonable price and I'm in, au revoir Android and Symbian.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ace in the hole

      "a unique selling point for those of us who want that sort of thing."

      What? People that think higher pixel count = better quality images?

      Any device is as only as good as it's worst component.

      A £10,000 amp will still sound shit if played through £10 speakers

      A picture from a 41 megapixel camera will still be shit through a tiny lens.

      1. alexh2o
        Thumb Down

        Re: Ace in the hole

        @Lost all faith...

        You should actually read about PureView before complaining about it. It doesn't take 41 megapixel pictures (although it can), it takes 8 megapixel pictures just like most smartphones. The difference being it over samples and averages the results of 7 individual pixels down to just 1. The massive oversampling does a very good job at compensating against the smaller lens. Obviously, it's still no DSLR, but it's pictures will blow any other smartphone pictures out of the water! The results are impressive.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          That's called 'Pureview mode'.

          There's also the 38mpx photo mode, which is not the same as the 41mpx sensors, but it's verrry big.

      2. Neil 7

        @Lost all faith...

        Fark me, way to make a mong of yourself in public!

        Why not educate yourself on how the PureView sensor actually works before posting in public again?

      3. Grego

        Re: Ace in the hole

        Actually due to the combination of big sensor and fixed lens they can machine the lens with 10 times more precision, which makes up for the small size. It truly is revolutionary, for some type of shots equaling DSLRs.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Shagbag

    "It might be worth making it a bit of a loss leader to get it out of the door." I don't want' that guy any where near my business. Unless he's a supplier.

    1. Andrew James

      He's a supplier to the consumer, so knows better what the consumer wants than the manufacturer does. If your customer is telling you they cant shift your product and you should consider drastically reducing the price, then its probably worth paying attention rather than blindly continuing to make products nobody wants at the price point you're aiming for, completely destroying all your financial modelling.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've got a free Lumia 800 from Nokia - it sits in a drawer, I don't like it, it's not a good smartphone for all the reasons outlined so far - the lack of mass storage mode was just the last straw. The UI is nice and fluid, but thanks mainly to the lack of true multi-tasking beyond that there is no depth to the UX, it's entirely superficial.

      As far as I'm concerned Nokia can't give these away, so it's not about price - loss leading won't win sales.

  9. Philippe

    Re: It's not about the price.

    I don't understand why you ve been downvoted so much. Your analysis is spot on.

    I've talked to my supplier yesterday who has one of those. (3rd of 4th person I see with a Windows Phone in a year)

    He said it's quite a nice phone but the lack of Apps is annoying, and going up and down to click the right tile becomes very tiring at times.

    There was a female non-techie in the room and she just said i quote "I suffer enough with Windows on my laptop, the last place I want to see it is on my phone".

    She's a blackberry user.

    I can't think of any reason to buy the thing? It's built by Microsoft with a not so innovative OS which has got no App and no love.

    The Nokia brand has lost its shine long ago.

    1. redniels

      Re: It's not about the price.

      "I suffer enough with Windows on my laptop, the last place I want to see it is on my phone".

      and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the real problem. People, consumers to be precise, are completely fed up with Windows and anything which is connected to Microsoft.

      Most of the reasons for that are out of MS'es hands (shitty laptops, preinstalled garbage, dodgy AV scanners, virusses, zealous sysadmins/BOFH's with ridiculous forced and rigid settings@work & lets not forget: users who do not use the security settings of windows @home; always logging on as an admin & disabling UAC as 2 of the main things)

      but the one main thing was lack of (UI) innovation. and when it came (winpho 7)it was too little, too late.

      Even if the Lumia was a brilliant phone it has that thing going against it: Windows? no, thanks.

      And to be honest: it looks to me that most of the Nokia nay sayers here have never seen or used a Winpho 7.x device. your claims are wrong. all of them. Winpho is a good user experience, maybe better than android. I have an experia arc and it Blows with a big B. battery life is horrible (10 hours max) and app crashes are very common. But that doesn't matter anymore because the general opinion is already set: windows sucks. period.

      Can Microsoft turn this around? I do not know. maybe. probably not. It started with the 2nd browser war: MS lost. than came the phone war: MS looks like Vichy france.. and coming fall... comes the start of the desktop war...(Mac is rising and Android is starting to be a competitor with the transformer like devices) after that: the server war... and after that? Onlive is going to rape the Xbox.. (those last two events are interchangeable. whichever comes first..)

      Public opinion rules. and it isn't favouring MS...(or RIM for that matter)

      I'm an MS pro (sysadmin), been that all my career.. but the always so very safe bet.... is starting to look not so safe anymore. The Phone is the new desktop. and MS didn't see that one coming.. Bill did, ( I remember a speech about connected devices from fridges to phones, somewhere in the end of the 90-ies) but then he left...

      1. N13L5

        Re: It's not about the price.

        If Bill did see that coming, then why didn't he call up Ballmer to tell him to spend at least enough money on Windows Mobile to fix the most widely decried issues?

        My guess is, they figured their market share of such a small Market was 'big enough', so for a decade, they let its users languish.

        Bitter taste lingers longer than all other flavors.

        As for "most of those Reasons are out of Micro$oft's hands"

        Reasonably versed users know that Microsoft does a better job on security than most other companies, Windows is just a giant target.

        But the patent trolling,

        the tollbooth mentality,

        the CEO that should be a COO,

        the rigid non customizable Metro design,

        the way Microsoft representatives are forbidden to ever admit a mistake,

        the Windphone7's lack of basic features people have come to expect,

        the all or nothing social integration,

        Thats M$ making themselves look bad.

        And if that Assinowski doesn't come to his senses, and makes Metro optional, Windows 8 will be another Windows Vista, designed not only against private user's wishes but also against corporate priorities, who really don't care for having to retrain users from scratch just for the basic use of a windows computer.

        You can find a better Metro implementation than Microsoft's on since 2009, as a Rainmeter skin. It offers new options of doing things, but doesn't kill what you've been doing before.

        It invites you, rather than forcing you.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia took a big gamble with WP7.

    Android is now soo common, its extremely difficult to make money (just look at HTC). You need something really special, and i don't see that with Nokia. Really nice looking phones, but thats about it. They would just be an also-ran with Android, and end up going out of business.

    Since Nokia came onboard with WP7, things have got much better. But Microsoft and Nokia are advertising are marketing the $%^& out of WP7. Its just a pity it seems mostly targetted at the US, where sales aren't stellar, whereas lots of europe seems to be buying WP7, yet being neglegted in advertising stakes.

    Anyone who says WP7 is slow needs their head examined. My 2 year old HTC HD7 runs rings around the missus' iPhone 4 at most things, and seems to get better with every update, rather than getting slower like my early iPhones used to.

    The only real problem with WP7 is apps. The marketplace is growing stupidly quickly, but its not the big name apps that people seem to want. Every app these days goes to iOS and Android and nothing else. And as many people have said, its a catch22, apps = users, users = apps.

    Windows 8 will make or break WP7 (or 8). If Microsoft can make it simple to develop an app that works on both WP8 and W8, they'll break the apps = users problem in one step.

    That said, in the meantime, they need to look at the windows Phone 7 uservoice site, and start implementing all the really simple easy stuff that people want. Make the users love you, they'll stick around.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      'Windows 8 will make or break WP7 (or 8). If Microsoft can make it simple to develop an app that works on both WP8 and W8, they'll break the apps = users problem in one step.'

      Good point. may I add another?

      If Microsoft makes it impossible for WP7 users to upgrade to WP8 they will see a massive backlash from people finding themselves orphaned. At the moment Microsoft is playing its cards close to its chest over the whole upgrade path which isn't terribly encouraging.

      1. qwarty

        Very good point Mike. Pretty likely iPhone 5 launches alongside an iOS upgrade available to iPhone 4, its the Apple way. So if WP8 launches same time without upgrade for current Lumia handsets its really game over for all the Nokia marketing effort this year. Microsoft has been ominously silent on the issue even though they must know that the uncertainty is hitting current WP7 sales.

  11. Andrew James

    It seems to me that people just dont know enough about Windows Phone. What people do know tends to be that there aren't that many apps available for it.

    Sure, Metro UI was a breath of fresh air 18 months ago, or whenever it was first seen, but since then, in my opionion, its dated very quickly.

    My wife is not technical in any way. Her contract upgrade becomes available in 48 hours time. Her thought process for her new phone (currently has an HTC Desire) is as follows; Can i afford an iPhone? If yes, I will have one. If not, can i get all the same apps i have now on any phone or does it have to be a HTC? If anything i will pick the one i like the look of, else i will get another HTC since i know how that works now. She knows she doesnt want a blackberry and doesnt know Windows Phone exists.

    1. N13L5


      Even if your wife did know WindPhone existed, it still would not figure with her reasoning cascade until last.

      Add to that a few hardware features lacking on Lumia that are available on every midrange android phone, like extra storage etc...

    2. h4rm0ny

      Why does she need to change at all? HTC Desire is a nice phone. I've just bought a WP7 phone (Lumia 710), but I'm upgrading from an older model phone that doesn't do all the things I need it to. If I'd invested 18 months in a HTC Desire, I'd probably keep it.

  12. MikeyD85


    I was thinking on earlier today that Nokia should have never gone down the WP7 route and made the Lumia range Android based. It's not hard to build a droid Nokia... get to it!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    You left out the best quote

    ‎"If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell."


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