In the first part of our interview with Pekka Horo, he revealed some of the differentiators that are helping the Nokia Lumia range of smartphones stand out from the crowd.
There can be little doubt that Nokia Lumia owners are having fantastic experiences on their smartphones whether it’s in taking photos and recording videos, using the location applications, entertainment, charging their devices wirelessly and the vast array of quality apps that are available.
However, what other factors have helped to establish Lumia as one of the most exciting names in the smartphone market?
These are the questions we put to Pekka Horo, Nokia’s Vice President of Europe and IMEA Regions and Business Management for Smart Devices.
Pekka, how important is the role of the mobile operators?
Operator interest in Windows Phone as an ecosystem has been another momentum builder. We are in very close relationships with all the major operators in the world.
They see a lot of value in having an alternative to the Android and Apple ecosystems and have been very interested in working and partnering with us on a strategic level to develop and grow the Windows Phone ecosystem.
Has the release of Windows Phone 8 made a big difference?
I think it made a huge difference. Firstly, there are a lot of elements that were enabled from the software side when Windows Phone 8 came to the market. Some things that were not yet in place when Windows Phone 7 was launched, like language support in some markets, were finally realised on Windows Phone 8.
Secondly, the Windows Phone 8 introduction coincided with the Windows 8 promotional campaign and you could see the same user interface and common elements that are reflected in both platforms. All the marketing activities supported this holistic thinking and consumer experience from an operating system perspective.
Finally, I would also say that Nokia was able to bring highly competitive innovation to Windows Phone 8.
We called the Lumia 920 the most innovative smartphone in the world, which we truly believe and I think the market has accepted that as a statement of fact.
What role has the more affordable Lumias, such Lumia 620, played in helping you build your market share?
It is incredibly important that we support the ecosystem from a volume perspective. Getting more and devices into the hands of consumers means that we can attract more partners and more app developers.
Also, offering highly competitive smartphone experiences to consumers who may have a tighter budget is incredibly important.
What we say within Nokia is that we want to bring affordable smartphones but we don’t want to compromise on the quality or the experience.
If you look at the Lumia 620 for instance we are celebrating the design with the dual shot design innovation that is extremely vibrant and eye-catching. Even at this price point, we are offering fantastic experiences when it comes to imaging and we are also enabling Nokia differentiators like Nokia Music and location experiences.
Do you focus your attention on specific countries around the world?
There are different dynamics happening in different parts of the world. What has been very exciting is that we have been able to vastly expand our geographical coverage with the introduction of Windows Phone 8 – we doubled the language and geography support compared to Windows Phone 7.
North America is obviously a very important market to win in the flagship space and that’s why our relationship with AT&T has been so important to us.
North America is obviously a very important market to win in the flagship space and that’s why our relationship with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile has been so important to us. The halo effect or brand presence from North America will help to strengthen our brand in other markets as well.
From a volume and market share perspective we have a strong desire to expand our portfolio reach and offer great smartphone experiences in the more affordable price points across all markets.
Finally, Pekka, can you sum up for us the performance of Lumia in the marketplace so far and how optimistic you are for the future?
We have made a lot of great progress with our Lumia devices and we are off to a very strong start with Windows Phone 8. We sold 4.4m Lumia devices in the final quarter of 2012 and there was substantial growth in Lumia sales from Q3 so I think we’re on the right trajectory.
The feedback from consumers, operators, external bloggers and analysts on the Nokia differentiators and the competitiveness of our portfolio is highly encouraging.
We’re off to a good start here as we continue to delight people with our differentiating portfolio.
AT&T store sample of one.. “people are asking for Window’s phones as much as iPhones. We always sell them Nokia – that is the one to have”
— Bob Egan (@bobegan) February 4, 2013
i witnessed a lady return four iPhone 4S’s she bought a week ago from AT&T. She exchanged them for four #nokia 920′s. “kids bored” she said
— Bob Egan (@bobegan) February 4, 2013