By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)
Mobile World Congress 2012 is behind us. While the Samsung Galaxy SII might have won the Best Smartphone award, the only announcement made in Barcelona that has people truly excited comes from non-other than Nokia. You know, the company that “died” years ago?
Nokia had a press conference on the first day of the event and while we had a tip that something huge was going to be announced, no one, including us, expected it to be 41 megapixels huge! You can read more about that press conference here.
The Nokia Pureview 808 packs the biggest camera sensor ever found in a mobile phone at 41 megapixels. Of course, since the announcement, bloggers worldwide have been busy trying to establish how that number is just a marketing stunt and that it is not really 41 megapixels. More like 38. Great, now can we move on?
The Pureview is truly a revolutionary (I know, that word is so overused but come on! 41 megapixels!) device in the mobile photography space. Except there is one slight problem. This bad boy runs… wait for it… Symbian!
Yes, Symbian. Not Meego, not Maemo, not Windows Phone. Symbian! OK, that is going to be a problem for Nokia.
Well, like I said, there is good news and bad news. Which one do you want to hear first? Fine, let’s start with the bad.
The 808 Pureview is going to be launching globally. Globally, with one exception, that is. North America. That’s right, according to Engadget, Nokia is not going to be releasing what many are calling the most innovative device of the year in what is the most popular smartphone market on the planet.
While it is easy to blame Nokia for yet another marketing error, the explanation here is more likely the fact that U.S operators have not agreed to subsidize the device. Obviously, the 808 Pureview will be sold by 3rd party retailers, but the full price of such a device is sure to put you back a few bucks. Oh, and did I mention it runs Symbian?
Well, since that is really bad news for Americans, I am going to give you not one, but two pieces of good news about Nokia and the 808 Pureview.
First of all, Nokia also announced the Lumia 610, which is going to be the most affordable Lumia device to date. But Nokia has also gone on record to Pocket-lint saying that their Windows Phone devices need to get even cheaper to compete with Android.
“We are competing with Android,” he said. “Android is in many markets at the €100 price already, so that would suggest that if we are at €189 with the Lumia 610 we still have work to do when it comes to creating a lower-end first-time user smartphone.” Goo stuff, but it gets better.
Remember like 20 seconds ago when we were talking about this new phone with a ground-breaking technology that runs on a dinosaur of an operating system? Well, what if that same technology could be available on what is widely regarded as the most exciting mobile platform of the year? What if Pureview technology appeared on Windows Phone devices, and specifically the Lumia flagship phones?
According to WP-Central, Nokia’s VP of Marketing Jo Harlow confirmed to Finnish newspaper Aamulehti, that while she isn’t sure of a precise timeline, “it shouldn’t take long.”
As of now, the Windows Phone platform has gotten some nice reviews and the Lumia devices are loved by all. Having said that, Microsoft is struggling with traction and the biggest challenge it is facing is getting developers on board. If developers adopt the OS, the Marketplace will offer more apps. More apps means more users. A 41 megapixel camera on one of the sexiest phones around is a pretty good place to start the cycle and get things moving for Windows Phone.