Why I bought the Lumia 920 and said goodbye to Apple
Over the weekend I switched my phone from the iPhone to the brand new Lumia 920. I would like to outline my thought process and how I went from a hardcore Apple fan to a person that now owns a phone running WP8.
My iPhone was a 4, nothing fancy. I still remember the excitement in the days leading up to the iPhone 4 announcement. Everyone was pouring over the leaked pictures and speculating about the groundbreaking innovations that would accompany this technological jewel. The blogs were going insane with anticipation. And when the announcement day finally arrived the new look of the iPhone was embraced and became water cooler conversation for days. And since I owned my iPhone 4 I was totally excited to skip the 4S and wait faithfully for the 5.
And once again the blogs were hammering out the speculation threads. Remember the video showcasing that the new iPhone would have a holographic laser keyboard? And since the other phones were slowly becoming entertainment devices and the Android OS was now enjoying the largest market share with a hefty app store to boot it was “common sense” (as far as anyone could predict of course) that the new iPhone would take the device to a new level. Some “leaked” pictures were showing it to be significantly larger (finally) with border-to-border touch screen and unparalleled customization.
And the day came. I was glued to me live feed and my Twitter updates. And I (and millions of others) laid eyes upon my first iPhone 5.
The word “let down” does not quite describe it. This was much more than that. This was the realization that every single soul that speculated that Apple was done being an innovator and was becoming a trendy tech company were right. The new phone was nothing special. The screen was larger by a rather insignificant amount. The audio port was at the bottom instead of the top. And the connector changed making the consumer having to buy a $40 adapter just to make the new iPhone work with their older devices.
The other changes were in the iOS. We all know by now the maps fiasco. And the wallet feature never really worked since they chose to not include the NCF chip. So what are we left with? Another row of icons? Something that was already addressed by allowing people to create folders for their app grouping and was not really that big of a deal.
Sure, one would argue that by going to a faster processor a consumer would get an increase in performance. But all other things being equal one cannot miss the bottom line: Apple played it safe. They hedged their bets that people would be hesitant to learn or move to a different look and feel and would rather feel comfortable with the status quo. For me, that was not an acceptable stance from a technology company that has previously redefined what a mobile appliance is.
So I moved to Lumia. Nokia’s latest phone uses Windows 8 that introduces a completely new approach with live tiles and customized experience for each user. They gave their app store a new look (in all fairness, Apple did that as well) and launched their Music Pass which is a complete music solution merging iTunes with Spotify essentially. And the WP7 apps? About 384 apps per day are being ported into the new WP8 app store with minor tweaks and upgrades. In this rate, Windows 8 will have a larger app collection once it hits the maturity of the Google store.
Moving away from Apple was not an easy move for me. Everything, from calendar to music was being done via some kind of Apple service previously for me. But once I sat down and really thought about what a smartphone should be to be really “smart” I started running out of excuses to remain faithful to Apple. The Samsung commercials that make fun of the loyal followers of an iPhone for the sake of having a device with that oh-so-ingenious logo started to really hit home. And in the end it was a completely logical choice for me as a professional that relies on their phone for day to day operations.
I should point out that this is not the first time I have purchased a Windows-driven phone. And the last time it was a huge disappointment. The software giant was premature in the market, obviously out of their comfort level, and soon their efforts turned back to their PC’s leaving the mobile world innovations for Apple to take and create one of the biggest revenue streams in the world. But with Windows 8 this all changed. Microsoft now appears fresh, willing to be hip yet deliver in the business app world, and much more open to working with other companies in adapting their software to their hardware. Microsoft’s people seem to have studied Apple and Google taking all the good, leaving out the bad, and making some compromises in an effort to take a large share of the marketplace.
I trust that Microsoft now has a well-thought out plan. This is not because I have some kind of need to evangelize their software but because I have carefully watched their marketing and strategies over the years. They are poised, perhaps for the first time, to become the one company that has their software in all their personal and business devices. And, certainly for the first time, they seem happy about it.