Why is Nokia the only manufacturer to take WP8 seriously?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: May 23, 2013

Let’s talk about Windows Phone 8 for a minute. When I look at Windows Phone 8, I kind of have a certain admiration for the software. It has come a long way from the early days of Windows Mobile, which was probably one of the most complicated platforms I’ve ever had to figure out. I find it interesting that Microsoft has found a way to make the Windows Phone 8 platform an advancement from Windows Mobile, yet used an extremely minimalist design. It might not be the platform with the most apps, but it does offer a lot of mainstream apps and it is certainly more unique looking than Android or iOS.

So why is it that Nokia is the only one to take Windows Phone 8 seriously?

You could say that HTC also somewhat takes the platform seriously, but by releasing only one “high end” phone since the release of Windows 8 as oppose to Nokia’s continuing support of the platform I have to wonder why Windows Phone 8 doesn’t see as much support as it should. Is it really that big of a downer for developers and consumers? I don’t even use the platform and I get excited when I read about a new Nokia Lumia device being released – but usually it’s only Nokia Lumias because every other phone release seems to be some haphazard attempt at keeping the platform alive.

Take Sprint for example. I’ve been interested in Windows Phone 8 since it was announced, and seeing as Sprint only ever had one Windows Phone 7 device I was hoping that we would see a little more support from Windows Phone 8. Naturally, I was wrong. It’s been nearly seven months since the release of Windows Phone 8 and although Sprint has addressed (and even has a splash page) that they will be selling Windows Phone 8 devices, I’ve come across no evidence that Sprint will be getting any high end Windows Phone 8 devices. It sounds like they heard that some of their customers want to see Windows Phone 8 on the shelves of Sprint, so they throw us a bone in the form of two mid-range Windows Phone 8 devices. I say if that’s the case, don’t even bother releasing two of them. Just release one. Why do we need two mid-range devices that practically do the same thing? Thanks, but no thanks.

But I can’t necessarily blame Sprint alone, because perhaps there’s something between Nokia and Sprint that prevents them from selling Nokia Lumia devices. However, I still think it shouldn’t be up to Nokia and Nokia alone to bring a good name to the Windows Phone 8 family. It’s not failing because it’s necessarily a bad platform – it’s not. It’s a decent platform and offers features that iOS and Android currently cannot, like Microsoft Office and Xbox Live features. It has potential, it just needs more attention from more people.

I’m probably making this sound simpler than it really is – I’m sure it’s not easy for any company to just drop whatever Android project they’re working on to try and pick up the pace with Windows Phone 8. With Android being at an all-time high when it comes to popularity and sales why would you give up that dream in favor of something like Windows Phone 8? I wouldn’t want to give up that potentially high amount of success, either. But at the same time, companies like HTC could benefit from creating another Windows Phone 8 device because although their latest flagship Android, the HTC One, is certainly well-received it’s still overshadowed by Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and even Apple’s iPhone. HTC has wiggle room to put their eggs in more than one basket, and I think they could benefit by creating another high-end Windows Phone 8 device.

I’m mostly just tired of only getting excited for the Nokia Lumia releases. I loved the Nokia Lumia 920 for AT&T, I like the subtle changes in the Nokia Lumia 928 for Verizon, and I’m excited for the release of the Nokia Lumia 925 for T-Mobile. I was happy to see that HTC released the 8X, which made it seem like more manufacturers might be interested in making Windows Phone 8 more successful than Windows Phone 7; but it seems that the road ends there. The only company that seems interested in continued development for Windows Phone 8 seems to be Nokia with their Lumia line. I truly think Windows Phone 8 could benefit from the support of more manufacturers.

Readers, what do you think? Do you think Windows Phone 8 would see more success by having more manufacturers make WP 8 devices or not? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!