Here are some posts that I thought I missed out during the week. They are separate stories but they make sense together.
1) Nokia Lumia 610 might reach the sub £100 mark? (Cheers Muerte!)
2) Specs on Tango (Cheers RaV!)
Significance? Nokia’s Lumia handsets need to reach lower price brackets. I recall before that MS wanted to ensure the user experience was not compromised – especially something along the lines of maintaining the resolution as those 800×480 displays were cheap enough. Apparently the requirements on RAM have been relaxed from 512MB to 256MB, and should there be any apps requiring more than that, those cannot be downloaded.
A few things I have read in reaction to this.
1) Why can’t the first gen hardware (2010 class) just be the bare minimum as opposed to introduce weaker hardware?
2) Tango phones might just be for certain markets with very low price. Some said if you expect it to run higher end apps not to get the cheaper handsets (e.g. gaming laptop vs standard).
Allowing lower end hardware could allow Nokia Lumia/Nokia WP to penetrate segments that the Nokia Lumia 710 couldn’t. We already heard last year of possible reductions in minimum requirements.
As long as the user experience isn’t compromised by lower end hardware (perhaps Tango is even more optimised) then I guess that’s OK. If they attempt to get sales by cost cutting and compromising on the WP user experience then they’ll just wreck whatever good reputation WP has going for it. Techradar mentions fewer pixels – let’s hope that’s just in terms of the camera. Also reassuring that WVGA will be the minimum is that new resolutions aren’t available until Apollo (WP8) anyway.
With the way WP handles multitasking with it’s “tombstoning” 256MB should not be that big of an issue as the OS handles management of RAM so you don’t have to worry about what apps are open at any one time (no remembering to close apps).
I can’t be sure how much more Nokia would be saving by picking Tango level minimum hardware as opposed to using just the older (but higher spec’d) first gen WP hardware minimum specs. What worries me most is the impact it will have to what apps users on lower end Tango phones can download. I guess it’s somewhat similar to Nokia 500 and the reported issue by some of being unable to play 3D games.
The sub £100 sounds quite decent if they are able to keep the stable, fast, fluid user experience. That could give them the edge on the sub £100 Androids that whilst ok aren’t as smooth as their higher end counterparts. With WP as we saw the Lumia 710 is as fast (if not faster in certain operations) as the more expensive Lumia 800. I think last summer that MS wanted to get it to sub $100 – perhaps undercut Android?
Other Nokia camps will take care of lower end price brackets. S40 might transition to Smarterphone (Meltemi?), and possibly with Qt be a proper Android low end killer (especially with Swipe UI)? At the top, we could have Nokia’s higher end Lumia, but also the PureView 808 on Symbian. As for MeeGo, well we can all but hope there’s a successor to the N9. The official word on that is of course that it is in Nokia’s labs as part of the future disruptions. MWC begins at the end of the month and will settle some of the speculations on Nokia’s future.