Following HTC’s announcement of its 8S and 8X devices, Nokia has criticized the company on Twitter and insists its devices remain the most innovative.
Nokia certainly doesn’t seem to be way beyond other manufactures in terms of quality; therefore, here’s why the company may feel threatened.
HTC brought different and striking designs to Windows Phone 8, previously Nokia’s unique selling point (USP) for Windows Phone
Nokia is known for building striking devices, pre- and post-Windows Phone (the Nokia N9 and Lumia 900, for example). The Lumia devices seem to be based on color; HTC’s unveiling of HTC 8X and 8S saw color also, previously discussed here as Microsoft’s key selling point. Nokia now looks less compelling, and HTC was described as the flagship manufacturer. It includes Windows Phone in device names.
As mentioned, a reason for that is color. HTC didn’t just build a device with a coloured bezel and back, as it did with the 8S. Instead it built a device with a bright two-tone color scheme, as it did with the 8X. Consumers may say Apple already offers a two-tone design on the rear of iPhone 5s’ and that’s true. Apple doesn’t build colourful smartphones though. It’s a USP Microsoft can push against competitors.
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And that’s important for a new(ish) operating system. webOS’ cards multitasking functionality is now used in Windows Phone, removing its unique selling point. RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) (BBM) is a strong service for its users, though Apple introduced iMessage in iOS 5. The latter allows cross-device messaging on iOS. The death of BBM will be when a service achieves widespread cross-platform chatting, like WhatsApp, available for Windows Phone 7 devices. RIM’s declining revenues and lagging operating system mean BBM will become less popular, and services like WhatsApp will become more widespread.
The point is that Microsoft is creating an immediate differentiator from its competitors. It won’t offer a bustling App Store like iOS or Android, at least initially. Consumers need to buy devices to experience Windows Phone. Color will, at least, grab consumer’s attention regardless of whether HTC is copying Nokia’s bold designs this October.
Windows Phone 8 launches October 29 worldwide, three days after Windows 8.
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