Should manufacturers create more Windows Phone varieties?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
After the recent launch of the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia 822, both for AT&T, I realized that Windows Phone really doesn’t have much of a selection of other hardware to choose from. One or two Windows Phone devices will launch, and that’s it for a while. While this strategy might work for more successful companies like Apple, I feel that Windows Mobile could broaden their horizons just a little bit.
Android didn’t start getting really big until several manufacturers started incorporating the platform into the devices. Now you walk into a retail store to browse phones, you see an entire wall filled with Androids, a smaller section filled with Blackberries and messaging phones, and thrown into the mix is one (maybe two) Windows Phone devices. Although the platform itself is well-known, the lack of selection in devices might be part of the reason it’s not ranked with Android and iOS.
One could argue that Windows Phone also isn’t as popular because it’s not as flashy or customizable as Android or iOS, although in my opinion Windows Phone seems about on par when it comes to iOS and customization. Regardless, tiles are not exactly the top choice when it comes to making ones homescreen look snazzy. However, it is preferred by those who are going for a more simplistic and professional look for their device.
So you’ve got Android who gains success by trial and error, figuring out which manufacturers make the best device overall using the Android platform, and Apple who has found great success by creating one master phone whose form has basically been kept the same since day one. Windows Phone has gotten better since the days of the bugged out and glitchy Windows Mobile, but they’re still missing a few key components that could bring them up from their average ranking.
Although creating more variety in Windows Phone devices could be a factor in their success, you also have the app market that needs to be a little more embellished. Although they have the basic apps that most people enjoy out of their mobile devices (Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, etc.) it could use a few more unique additions, or at least continuously release new app content to the market. I also think Microsoft may have made a mistake in giving other platforms access to Microsoft Office (although I’m happy about it) but really, that and Zune/Xbox integration was what really gave the phone its own unique aura.
Perhaps Windows Phone isn’t trying to be the best of the best in the market, and that’s why they’ve kept things the way they have. Their phones are faring well, obviously, just not fantastic. Perhaps Microsoft just wanted consumers to have an alternative to the “this or that” mindset of Android and iPhone, or BlackBerry and webOS at one point in time. I dig Windows Phone, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them shine a little more often.
What do you think? Do you think Windows Phone could do better if they released varieties of their devices, or do you like the way things are being run now? Would you ever switch to or from Windows Phone? Let me know your thoughts!