Is Nokia’s rehabilitation in the Western Media complete?

Was it this time last year that Nokia was burning?

I had to check through the Mobile Industry Review archives just to be sure!

What a difference a year makes in the mobile industry, eh?

This time last year the market was reacting to the news that Nokia had dumped it’s “burning platform” and moved to Windows. There were lingering questions over Symbian and MeeGo (now effectively answered: No-go) but the dramatic move by Nokia silenced absolutely everybody, especially the uber-critical and highly influential Western Media.

The move bought Nokia a year’s worth of breathing space. Obviously the company couldn’t be expected to release a Windows Phone handset immediately. And the mobile world did — I think it’s fair to say — pull a rather thin smile at the promises from Nokia’s High Command relating to delivering their first Windows Phone within the year.

Fast forward a year — a year? I can’t quite believe it — and here is an astonishingly positive post about Nokia from the Western Media Imperial leader itself: TechCrunch. In fact the post is from the site’s Editor-in-Chief, Erick Schonfeld.

Here’s Schonfeld on the Lumia 800:

When you hold one in your hand, it’s clear that the smartphone wars are far from over. It is too easy to dismiss Windows Phone 7 as being too little, too late. That was our first reaction too. No, it’s clear that Windows Phone has more than a fighting chance. Microsoft will make sure that the economics are much more attractive to the carriers than the iPhone’s so that they push Windows Phone. If consumers bite, Windows Phone could emerge as a very strong smartphone platform.

via Fly Or Die: The Nokia Lumia 800 “Flagship” Windows Phone | TechCrunch.

This is the sort of rehabilitation of Nokia’s image that was a total pipe dream 12 months ago.

Finishing off his post, Erick points out that if he had to choose between a top of the range Android device or the Lumia 800, he’d have to think very, very carefully. That’s a huge, huge #win for Nokia given the positivity that continues to surround Android in the Valley.

By aligning itself so closely with Microsoft, Nokia has bought itself a ticket at the top table of the smartphone world. Critics might argue that Nokia has been pushed to the back standing behind Microsoft, however I think that’s been necessary. The company’s image was so bad that it was next to impossible for many in the Valley to take them seriously. So a Microsoft wing-man is proving thoroughly useful.

There’s a few caveats to this broad perspective on Nokia. Of course we need to see how consumers react to the Lumia devices. At the end of the day, it’s all about sales. Ideally we need to hear about millions of Lumias being placed into consumer hands this year. And then toward the end of this year, we need to see Nokia bring some of their own tricks to the fair — especially in the context of gorgeous hardware and magical mobilised services. I think they can deliver.

To answer my question then, is Nokia’s rehabilitation in the Western Media complete? Yes. I think it’s all about delivery now.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

6 replies on “Is Nokia’s rehabilitation in the Western Media complete?”

I absolutely agree Ewan. I also think they have their unequalled (?) ability to build great hardware on their side still and that proves to be a tremendous pull. I have a Lumia 800 and a 4s and have tremendous difficulty working out which to use! The Lumia line is functional with Windows Phone, attractive to look at, and robust. iPhones are attractive too but you always have that nagging fear of dropping them once too often, or just once. I think if Nokia and Microsoft can get traction with apps in 2012 then they’ll be away, the question is will they. The appearance of quality apps seems slow, and is frustrating, and six months ago I didn’t think apps were all that important like many others I’m sure.

To my total lack of surprise, I’m seeing a lot of Nokia 710s in the hands of Delhi cool kids.. It’s been priced really well for the Indian market, and for the first time smartphone buyer, it looks much more attractive than the cheap end Android offerings.

Great article and not too far from my own thinking.

Using a LUmia device for the past 4 or 5 months has embedded me firmly in the Windows Phone camp. I could quit my job to go work for Apple and I’d still want to use a Windows Phone.

Never thought I’d hear myself say that two years ago!!

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