You may have heard that some analysts consider Windows Phone a legitimate iPhone contender and have probably read nice things about the new Lumia smartphone brand from Nokia that debuted last October. Lumia is the ailing cellphone giant’s inaugural Windows Phone lineup born out of their partnership with Microsoft.

The Lumia 900, Nokia’s latest attempt to beat the iPhone at its own game, is backed by millions of Microsoft’s marketing dollars and pushed with aggressive anti-Apple advertising. Nevertheless, the handset has apparently fell on def ear with both carriers and bankers.

According to Reuters, four major European carriers are not impressed with Nokia’s recent Windows Phone devices, expressing doubt over the Lumia brand’s ability to compete with the allure of the iPhone and existing Android devices that come in all shapes, colors and price points.

An unnamed executive in charge of a European carrier’s mobile devices division which has sold the Lumia 800 and 710 since December told the news gathering organization that lack of customer awareness has already tarnished the Lumia brand:

No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone. [..] Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market.

Ouch.

This person opined that the Lumia would be much easier to sell if it came with Android.

In all honesty, carriers do want Windows Phone to succeed in the marketplace because they desperately need an effective bargaining chip against the iOS-Android duopoly.

A spokesman for a second telecoms carrier summed it up nicely:

It’s good for operators if we can reduce the dominance of Apple.

It’s been rumored that carriers are considering dropping industry-leading iPhone subsidies, a move that would make Apple’s handset pricier to buyers and result in an estimated worldwide drop in sales of 27.5 million iPhones in the June quarter.

Both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s downgraded Nokia’s debt due to a “sharp decline in first-quarter cell phone sales” which led to a 35 percent fall in revenue.

To make matters worse, shares of Nokia nosedived 20 percent on the news that the embattled cellphone maker won’t be able to meet its forecasts.

The Lumia 900 has seen some modest success in the United States. AT&T has backed the device with a nationwide advertising campaign because Microsoft funneled millions of marketing dollars to carriers as part of its agreement with Nokia.

The Lumia 900 launched as an AT&T network exclusive on Easter Sunday, when most AT&T stores were closed.

But in spite of its incredibly cheap $50 price tag and Microsoft-centric blogs running polls claiming that most people switching to the Lumia 900 are moving from the iPhone and Android, the handset has already fallen off Amazon’s best-selling list after briefly topping the online retailer’s smartphone rankings.

I recently had a chance to play with the Lumia 900 for a couple minutes.

The Windows Phone software is novel and refreshing, I’ll give them that. The concept of tiles gets old fast, but hey – it’s just me.

Overall, I was impressed with the user interface and the speed of Windows Phone software. I’m really sorry to say this, but the Lumia 900’s interface is even more responsive and smoother than iOS is on my iPhone 4S.

A deal breaker? The 480-by-800 pixel resolution AMOLED display.

It looks OK, but feels last year next to the iPhone’s Retina display and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or other high-end Android handsets rocking native 720p resolution.

What do you think, is there any hope left for Nokia?

Or perhaps they’re going the way of Research In Motion?

Provided you saw the Lumia phones in person, were you impressed?

  • Yup if you don’t have an iPhone well you don’t have an iPhone….:D

  • I like the new Lumia and I think it looks better than the iPhone (both hardware and OS – except for resolution of course). I also like the responsiveness of the OS. My problem isn’t the display; my problem is the App availability. There are a few apps left that need to be developed on WP7 before I consider switching. But at this time, I’m way more likely to switch to WP7 than Android.

  • would have been good to launch the new windows phones with a new version of windows. they could have easily marketed it then, ie look how easy it integrates with windows, syncs with outlook etc

    Not everyone wants an iphone in the sense of all the things it can do. but a lot of people do want a nice smooth and easy to operate phone. they just need to market it as the phone apple haters should choose.

    Maybe i should work for microsoft? ;P

  • “the handset has already fallen off Amazon’s best-selling list”?

    The two colors are at number 3 and 6 on the top ten list today which is pretty good considering the black one just came back in stock and cyan is out of stock and has been for a few days.

    But what I really want to comment on is the screen. In person it looks great and the phone has an excellent feel in my hand. I know this is a matter of opinion, but looking at the picture at the top of your post I see a big colorful screen next to a little screen with washed-out black and a huge bezel. I’ll take the one on the left.

  • Anonymous

    Second paragraph. “def” should be “deaf”
    just pointing it out ^_^

  • The windows OS is messy. I like the live tiles, but when you venture off to find apps and utilities, that’s when the interesting part is gone. Hard to get to stuff quickly and not a very fun OS to use. If android was on this Lumia, then it would have a chance and a place in this crowded market of smartphones.

  • I have never liked Nokia phones, but maybe that is because my sister seems to love her Nokia phones!

    Adding the suckiness of Windows Mobile (which I once had, and have forever swore off).

    I can see this Nokia “Frankenstein” as a TOTAL DISASTER!!!

    And, honestly, I’m glad to see their creature fail!!! LOL!!!

    • Idiot! Stop being a hardcore fanboy to not notice the BIG facts. Wow, you really fail at life. Even my grandma would know that this is a Windows Phone 7, not Windows Mobile. Of course Windows Mobile was bad, this is separate from Windows Phone 7. It uses a different OS.

      • Hey “Vitaliy Anonymous” there is no need to show your ignorance by stooping to the low levels of calling me an “idiot” and to say that I “fail at life”.

        We all are entitled to our opinions – we don’t need people like you to suppress speech!

      • I wouldn’t have if you wouldn’t have shown your ignorance by disrespecting the competition, saying lies. As much as I am an avid Apple product fan, I am still a Windows fan. If I would have said “I hope Apple would go bankrupt, and lose business”, you would have started trippin out.

  • Have not even seen one in person, but I will not downgrade my Retina display. PERIOD. Also windows phones app market sux balls! Plus No CYDIA? EFF that! I can do anything I want to my jailbroken 4s I dont want limited functionality. I do kinda wish the iphones screen was a TAD bigger no bigger than 4″ but IDK i would have to use it and see if I like it or not. But i kinda doubt Apple is going to make the screen 4″. Guess we will see soon hopefully.

    • Well, of course. If nobody gives Windows Phone a chance, when will the app market expand? Never.

  • Winski

    The Smurf-Phone bites the dust….

  • There is no way an Android can beat Apple and Windows. Android UI is just too, “…” Whereas Apple and Windows UI are sleek and nice and user friendly.

  • Anonymous

    I’d switch in a heartbeat if it was available to T-Mobile (or at the very least supported Tmo’s HSPA+ and/or future LTE) and had more applications. Why AT&T of all companies?! T-mobile may be crap service but at least they’re a loyal and respectful company.

    Your article sounds like an Android fanatics forum post with your specs on paper and yet, if you allow me to stereotype, you are also the first people to disregard any numbers Android fans throw at the iPhone.

    I believe Windows Phone is an amazing OS and Android should be worried, at the same time I believe phones like the Lumia 900 are great competition and companies like Nokia understand the concept of great devices. They would not be the brand they are without succeeding at inventing and building some of the best phones in history.

    That said, I agree they could do a lot more. I think Microsoft needs to get Apollo out there and they need to stop playing catch up. Yes the OS is heavily optimized to run on the single-core 1.4GHz processor in the Lumia but for fucks sake its 2012 and if I’m not mistaken ARM just introduced their quad-core chip – not to mention Tegra 3 and the A5X (yes, now I’m sidetracked by GPUs, I get the difference)

    Overall I believe Nokia is trying to work with Microsoft and both are attempting a daunting task at competing in such a duopolistic and rather fast-paced marketplace. However, you fail to comment on Nokia’s presence in the EU and the rest of the world and their incredible loyalty to the company. You also fail to mention anything related to their exclusive applications such as Nokia Drive. So many, and if I am not mistaken other writers on this website, rave about Google Navigation, why hasn’t anybody noticed the incredibly detailed and powerful Drive application?

    Wow I sound like an asshole — maybe I should get back to my paper. Either way love the site and love what you guys have to say. I just think this article is just a bit biased and you should try to love some healthy competition before you realize an iPhone is still the best phone to own 🙂

  • i used to love nokia until my dad bought me an iphone

  • has apparently fell on def ear?

    Eh, from the comments here it sounds like the phone is going alright.

  • Here’s my rub. I love the iPhone 4S, but also like the look and feel of the Lumia 900 which I just purchased outright. Now I feel as if I’ve made a mistake. Phone works beautifully except for one thing. NO MMS! Really? I don’t know who f*d this up, Nokia, Microsoft or AT&T but this is a deal breaker. No way to set it up because they took the app off the marketplace. It’s a shame really, they just shot themselves in the foot. I guess we are still beta testing and sticking with the iPhone. Like they always say, they may not be the first, but they are still the best.