Nokia 920: What the Hell is going on in Espoo???



The iPhone 5 launch is next week. The iPhone 5 will be in stores by September 21st. Nokia has been getting hammered on the Mobile front since the iPhone came out 5 years ago. How is it possible, in light of all of this, that today’s announcement of a new Nokia phone launch contained no actual launch?

Today’s Nokia event was about the new Windows Phone 8 handsets Nokia is bringing out, but, while the handsets were at the event, the actual equipment doesn’t hit stores until some undetermined date in the future. I’ve seen this theme recur with many mobile device manufacturers; “launch” hot new tech, promise a delivery date in Q4 and watch as the holiday season quietly slips away. This phone might be a godsend, but it won’t make any money if it’s not in stores and reviewed well before Xmas.

Second: We live in a post specification world and Nokia’s announcement is riddled with technology that only a small percentage of the population appreciates. Check this out:

“4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ display, dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2,000mAh battery, NFC, integrated wireless charging and an 8-megapixel rear PureView camera capable of 1080p video. The display packs WXGA (1,280 x 768) resolution, is 25 percent brighter than the next best panel on the market and it’s the fastest LCD that Nokia has ever shipped on a smartphone.”

I am a very technical person, and I can’t explain how a 5MP camera differs from an 8MP, or whether or not the 5MP will take a better pic than the 8MP. These specific specifications do not matter to me, or to any consumer. Having these specs available is great, but they definitely are not consumer level marketing materials.

Instead of talking about how what the technology does for you, like Apple does, Nokia focuses on the specifications themselves. Selling from a position of listing features will always lose to a position of value. Listing features only creates value to people who know what those features are, and those people aren’t going to be won over with delayed device launches. When you launch new stuff, you have to educate the public, and there’s nothing that turns off consumers more than a list of numbers they don’t understand.

When was the last time Apple launched a device at an event without a clear message about when the device would be in consumers hands? Today’s event is about driving up Nokia’s stock price. It is not about competing against Apple, Android or anyone.

I wish Nokia all of the success in the world, I’m really rooting for them, but this kind of shenanigans have to stop or we’ll be talking about Nokia as the second RIM.