Now That Nokia Have Saved Windows Phone, Can They Do the Same for Windows RT?

| August 15, 2013 | 220 Replies

179411_509525742429289_1886960402_nA couple years ago the general consensus was that Nokia (or at least Elop) had gone bonkers, partnering up with an almost non-existent OS with a market share so miniscule that it had many of us scratching our heads. I won’t call the WP strategy a “complete” success as it took longer than I would have liked to for it to pick up speed, but in the long run Nokia is no longer in “critical mode”. More importantly however would be the fact that Windows Phone is becoming globally recognized, it’s officially the 3rd ecosystem (still a long way to go to match Android, but in some markets it’s outselling iOS).

The obvious factor that contributed to Windows Phone’s success would have to be Nokia, anyone who says otherwise is a liar, plain and simple. Nokia’s own reward for sticking with Windows Phone would be their commanding 80% share of the admittedly small WP marketshare. I think Microsoft’s Hail Mary should they have failed to get Nokia on board with Windows Phone would have been releasing their own homegrown Windows Phone (a Surface phone if you will), and I don’t see that working out too great for them. Thankfully for them they were never put in that position, unfortunately the same can’t be said for their tablet OS; Windows RT (side note, since Microsoft never bothered making the “RT” actually stand for anything, I always end up associating it as “Windows Retweet”), last year Microsoft revealed their own tablet, the Surface in two flavors; RT and full Windows. Their reasoning for releasing the tablet was to give other OEM’s a “model tablet” to base their future devices on.

Unfortunately it didn’t seem to work out for them, as earlier this week Asus officially announced that they will no longer be making any Windows RT devices, instead focusing on the full blown Windows experience. Meaning short of Microsoft’s own Surface tablets only Dell remain on board the RT ship, putting Windows RT in a very similar (if not worse) situation that WP was in before Nokia joined. The real question that remains is will Nokia bother pumping out an RT tablet (probably later this year) or will they go ahead and make a full Windows tablet? And if they make a RT tablet will it succeed?


The issue with RT in my opinion is the fact that it has no idea where it’s going, what’s its end game? Will phablets or tablets eventually run both RT and WP? Or will they be stuck with either or? When will we finally see true app cross-compatibility between the true OSes? There are a lot of questions, but the real big one is “How far as Microsoft willing to take this?”. Microsoft are in no means “strapped for cash” and  they’d probably have no problem waiting for RT to catch on, provided there’s a glimmer of hope for it at the end of the tunnel, with Windows 8.1 around the corner carrying some major fixes (I’m not sure if those are only for the full Windows version or for RT as well?)it might have a chance. Of course to have a chance at success OEM’s must first give it a chance and that’s where Nokia *Might* come in.


Provided Nokia go with a Nokia RT tablet it definitely won’t be an overnight success, in fact it’ll probably follow along the lines of their first WP release (Lumia 800 & 710) where it took an almost unbearably long time for them to catch on, but now that people are starting to accept WP their “stick-to-itvness” has paid off. So does Nokia need a tablet to sell millions on their first try? Or will they settle for a learning process and a slower ramp up? For example the Lumia 800 was very much a trial/soft opening, think of the meager number of Lumia 900’s sold in the US after millions of dollars of backing and advertising, now imagine if the Lumia 800 was launched instead? An annoying pentile screen, a mediocre camera, and no front facing camera.. yeah I don’t see that working out very well.


Let’s face it Nokia don’t get hardware right on their first try, there’s always room for improvement; 800–>900, 610–>620, 920–> 925; but recently they seem to have started getting things right with the 1020 and 925 getting glowing reviews all around (hardware wise at least). There’s nothing to suggest that Nokia’s first tablet would be a perfect hardware specimen either, and even then that’s not a guarantee of success (the Surface has a stunning design, awesome build quality and some sweet add-ons yet it struggles). Surely Nokia’s name alone or a tablet with a great camera can’t change all that over night can it? What a Nokia tablet needs most of all to be a success would be acceptance for the OS it runs, and it can’t get that until it becomes a partial success (a regular old Catch 22).

I think it’s pretty obvious that no OEM will be an overnight success with Windows RT, but the real question is which one (if any) will take the plunge and carry it on their back to the top of the mountain? Sure Microsoft can entice Nokia to do their dirty work for them, maybe giving them a similar deal to the WP one; with cheaper licenses, payments, and special permissions. Of course the question is are Nokia (or more importantly their board members/shareholders) willing to wait on another mediocre product to gain mainstream success?

*Disclaimer: A while back I posted about why Nokia SHOULD NOT release a tablet, especially a RT one

Another major issue facing the success of a Nokia RT tablet (and the RT OS in general) is the price-tag, before the recent price-cut the Surface RT 32Gb version was priced at $600; that’s $100 more than the iPad for an unproved OS. The reason of course are the expensive licensing fees for Windows and Office apps, something that Microsoft have to find a way to lower. True you can pick up a 32Gb Surface RT for close to $300 now but that’s after a major price-cut and over a year on the market; and let’s face it, there’s no way in hell Nokia would release a tablet at that price point (is there?). Of course the issue would stand in the way of the success of a full Windows 8 Nokia tablet, it would simply be way too pricey compared to the iPad and the even cheaper Android tablets out there, no if Nokia are going to release a tablet they probably won’t bother with full Windows (unless they released two version of their tablet).

So if Nokia have no way of pulling off a hit tablet on their first go should they bother at all? Or should they do what they did with WP and nurture Windows RT till it’s able to fly on it’s own?

What do you guys think?


Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Lumia, Nokia, Tablet, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • D Harries

    The best investments and strategies are long term. We may not see them now. We should try to recognise the continuum that is progress. People are downsizing from computers to phones. WP is in the right place. Customers are catching on

  • Yrtsi

    Even Microsoft’s own apps do not work properly on Windows RT.

    For example Excel does not support macros on RT!!!!

    Let’s hope that Nokia stays away from RT until Microsoft builds better Rt-version or kills it.

  • Noki

    If Nokia releases a windows RT tablet it demonstrates in my opinion, that nokia is in the business of saving Microsoft failed products rather than saving itself.

    Lumia range is a money sinkhole and now they want to had a tablet area as well, wen every cat and dog OEM is running away from it like as if it had catched the pledge???


    • jiipee

      Eventhough there are several aspects that I agree with you. Still, I dont agree with “Lumia range is a money sinkhole”

      They will get that business in green in some time. That does not mean that I agree the past decisions.

      • Noki

        I dont think it will go green any time soon, main reason is that the sales have been up only because of the cheep models. As soon as nokia brakes the minimum quarterly licences its buying from microsoft the cost linearly rise with each terminal it sells rendering the cost per device go upwards,making the cheaper models even less profitable. I have serius douvt they are in any way profitable right now for nokia, think they are just paying to get some market share.

    • Viipottaja

      If that was the case, wouldn’t they have released a Windows RT tablet a long time ago already? Instead, AFAIK, they have shown quite a bit of restraint in entering the tablet market, constantly adjusting the plan and waiting for what they deem to be the right moment. Hopefully this is the right moment and the right product at the righ price. Further, IIRC they also said they will start small to see how it goes, so in any event I doubt they are expecting to all of a sudden sell millions of them.

      • Noki

        heee no? microsoft tried, as well as Mincrosoft pc OEM’s, it failed now needs to be saved,,,,…. is there any nut job willing to save it??? aaa yes NOKIA

        • Viipottaja

          Let’s wait and see how it goes.

          RT per se, btw, is not that bad for the typical tablet use scenarios, and will likely be much better with 8.1 and better hardware this time around.

        • Viipottaja

          Btw, your typing and language are worse than usual. Start the Friday bottle early, eh? 😉

          • Noki

            ahhahahaha 😀

            • Viipottaja

              Good to see at least some Finns still adhere to that nasty tradition. 😀 And going up I see. Keep at it, I am sure you can stay on the high for a few more hours. 😀

  • Bloob

    Nokia should put in a 3D screen, and use that new camera tech to provide people with 3D-chatting… 🙂

  • Me

    WP isn’t selling enough yet so going for another non selling Microsoft OS would be a bad decision.
    It would only prove that Elop cares more about the success of Microsoft then the wealth and success for Nokia.
    Nokia is being offered for Microsoft to be able to succeed in mobile and maybe tablets market.

    • Noki

      yes that would be the logical conclusion…

  • Viipottaja

    Strategic partnership at work.

    • Noki

      Strategic??? like that word 🙂 strategy… make Microsoft failed products survive no mater how bad it might be for you as a company.

      • Viipottaja

        I figured you wouldn’t understand.

    • Janne

      Yes, I agree, it seems Nokia is really expandind and pushing the February 11th strategy forward if they go RT.

      • John

        Janne, I don’t think its just Nokia supporting MS in its endeavours.

        Its not either just what we see on the surface (pun not intended) at the moment though I think, the big discussion that is missing on all of this is the coming smash together of phone, tablet and desktop pc specs and what will happen then. I think this will be yet another revolution.

        Up till now we have separated our devices because of power, screen and processor incompatibilities. But what happens when your mobile CPU\RAM\Storage is as powerful as your tablet or desktop PC ?

        Do you really want to buy 3 devices and sync between them?

        With 64-bit ARM CPU’s/4GB ram/ 128GB storage coming to a phone near you now, and over the next year these will increase in spec what will happen to the current predisposed limitations and constraints that we place on having x to do y, as this is now quite frankly out the window?

        The 1st question is what OS will run well in 64-bit as RAM moves North of 4GB, Android is sluggish at the best of times and could probably do with a major rewrite as it’s really designed for a low end platform, will iOS work well?. What about Windows Phone? will this be junked and replaced with 64bit -Win RT\Win8 ?

        MS has rightfully taken a massive kick in the balls for a absolutely dreadful (Management imposed) strategy, to release 3 OS’s, with incompatible API’s – well – as Ballmer once stormed on stage shouting “Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers, etc…..” – thats what matters and that is really where they failed.

        I run Win8 desktop and I find the metro apps fairly crap, and I have alternatives, can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to be restricted to having to use apps like these alone.

        With the coming together of CPU/RAM/Storage specs, the 1st one to enable seamless software transition between hardware forms will reap a bounty.

        Everyone is working on ARM laptops behind the scenes, only Google have released a fairly limited experience as they don’t need to carry forward any prewritten software.

        Maybe Nokia has to get into the market even though it wont turn a profit just to be ready for the coming disruption.

        MS have really pulled a ‘New Coke’ moment by refusing to allow x86 apps to be recompiled to ARM. Stupid Stupid Stupid. And by forcing dev’s to use another API that wasn’t compatible with WP either.

        And also restricting Win8 Metro or whatever apps to only run on Win8 pc’s, thereby managing to NOT leverage the billions of non Win8 pc’s that would have propelled reluctant devs to put the investment in.

        Absolutely incredible f*ck up on every level.

        • Janne

          Janne, I don’t think its just Nokia supporting MS in its endeavours.

          Of course it isn’t.

          Nokia is following a strategy they determined, after careful analysis (to quote Nokia chairman Siilasmaa), to be best for them.

          It may be a wrong call or a bad strategy, but they definitely aren’t doing it to support MS.

          • John

            I think what Im trying to say is that it may look like a bad call at the moment to produce a MS tablet of almost any flavour (esp if its your only using their tablet OS’s) but it may make sense to be invested and prepared for the future.

            I’m sure I’ve heard both Elop and Ballmer state at some point that they needed to be prepared for “the next big thing” whatever\whenever that may be. As both Nokia and MS missed the recent disruption to their business models, they sure couldnt survive missing the next one.

            • Janne

              Sure, makes sense.

  • Ahmed A B

    What nokia needs to do is release an ultrabook. They should team up with Hp and brand one of their envy ultrabooks a nokia or something. Top of the line specs, nokia colours and all.

    • sandars

      i do agree. but to invest and to market in already saturated market, i do not think it is a saving grace for nokia. Unless they come up with new invention to incorporate in the ultrabooks, to differentiate with other brand not just selling for the name sake of nokia. We all want to see Nokia succeed, right?

    • mooooo

      and have it fail again……

  • dss

    Microsoft has Nokia by the balls… its really entertaining to watch the dynamics of that

    • mooooo

      it’s about time people see this…. If they used their own OS none of this would be happening

      • Noki

        we don’t know about the second part, I would like to believe so. but the first part its “bang on”

      • chuey101

        smh. none of this would be happening b/c NOK would be bankrupt by now. It’s own OS’s were dead ends and the true money sinkholes.

  • Annoymous

    I have a Nokia Lumia phone and would consider buying another Nokia but it has to have the right size and form factor. 10″ and a 16:9 is completely wrong for my needs. I will be using it for reading and internet surfing for the most part; not for videos and movie viewing. I think Nokia needs to go up against the iPad Mini Retina to be successful with a 8″ and 4:3 form factor; which is also the perfect size for me!

    No 10″ landscape RT tablet! No matter how good it is; it will be a flop because people use the tablets for reading; not viewing video. Just go to any coffee shop and watch their habits. It almost all iPads too.

    • Dave

      Coffee shops and “trendy” people are the minority.

      Look at sales figures, the iPad is now definitely in the minority, and its share is decreasing.

      As for aspect ratio, Apple effectively admitted they got it wrong – the 5 is (almost) 16:9. That aspect ratio is better for reading (books & comics), video and makes little difference for browsing the web.

      • Zipa

        Definitely not better for reading as long as the print media uses a roughly 3:2 aspect ratio. Pretty much every ebook is laid out for that ratio as well, and even the current iPad is less than optimal and books with lots of graphs, illustrations or photos usually end up rather broken. I dread to think how bad it would be at 16:9.

        • Annoymous

          Exactly my point! Internet surfing is almost impossible using 16:9 in Portrait mode. Landscape mode you have to page down a lot to see the full contents of the screen.

          4:3 is the best out there!

  • invertol

    Nokia going RT……!!??!!?
    Oh mother-of-all-holy-gods-and-demons this cant be happening

    Why dont they buy the brand Trabant and start making cars…..

  • BS

    If you are saying Nokia performance regarding WP is a success story then yes in that world Nokia probably could save Windows RT.

    If we come back to reality. Can Android save Nokia this is the answer i am the most interested in and sooner or later Nokia will have to cut the …. and show us exactly this.

  • Jamearl

    First, please get facts correct. The 32GB Surface RT started at $499 without keyboard. The packaged 32GB RT and keyboard was $599. Second, the RT has not been available for over an year. As matter of fact, it only been available for less than 10 months. The latest iPad starts at $499 for 16GB (same price as 32GB Surface RT) and the 32GB iPad is $599. As people read these articles, they expect and/or assume the article is accurate.

    I’m glad Nokia did decide to commit to WP. Otherwise, Nokia would be in the same position as Blackberry. Both Nokia and Blackberry waited too late to fix their own OS. If it had not been for Microsoft, Nokia would be owned by Microsoft. If Nokia (IMHO) had went with Android, it would be going the way of HTC. Samsung has too great of stronghold on Android for any other company to be competitive.

    As for Nokia RT tablet, I welcome that. However, I don’t think Nokia is the savior of the RT tablets. I believe, the main issues with RT is perception and message delivered by Microsoft. Because it runs Windows, people assume it should be able to run legacy programs. This is definitely not the purpose of RT. Second, the lack of apps gave potential users another excuse not to use RT. I have both the Surface Pro and RT. I use each one for the purposes designed. The main issue I have with the RT was(is) performance. Now, that Microsoft is getting the correct message out about RT vs. iPad, people will realize how RT is superior to iPad in all areas except apps (okay and display resolution – however this is mute point in next month or two).

    • Noki

      at lest blackberry still makes money and profits from its smartphone division….NOKIA? not so much,

      • Viipottaja

        IIRC, BB made a loss of $84m in the last quarter.

      • Viipottaja

        Btw, what is BB’s non-smartphone division?

        • jiipee

          If I recall right, they have a separate services & solutions BU.

          • Viipottaja

            Oh ok, thanks. So the devices unit was still making a profit in Q2?

      • chuey101

        and this is why random internet commenters do not run global corporations. If Elop followed all of your knee-jerk armchair CEO advice, NOK would have been long gone. This entire game is not about short-term profits, it’s about long-term viability and positioning. BBRY eeks out profits now, but guess what they also put up a FOR SALE sign in their front yard b/c their business is going nowhere in the long term. NOK on the other hand is positioned to be the #1 OEM for the 3rd ecosystem worldwide. Which would you rather be? That’s rhetorical btw.

  • vince

    if nokia does release an rt tablet i’d definitely consider getting one, i hope there’s a wifi only version and they don’t tie it up in some exclusivity BS. Would a Nokia tab be further indication that RT will be the next phone/tab OS? If that is the case shouldn’t they have kept it in development, it probably would have made W8 products cheaper

  • manu

    They need to launch a tab under. 150$ atleast it will have mediocre sales based on price

    • jiipee

      I ahree on that. Nokia should target yhe segments amd markets, where 520 is selling, IF those have reasonable sized tablet market. Another sefment should be corporations to broaden their offering for businesses.

      Are those possible targets for RT?

  • Remis H.

    No Nokia, stay the hell away from Windows RT. From smartphone power house Samsung to PC juggernaut Lenovo (the only computer manufacture that sees growth after Windows 8), and even the overlord Microsoft have put an effort into building a Windows RT tablet, all of them, without exception, failed. In the case of Microsoft, it’s a 900 million dollar blunder.

    Considering the current condition of Nokia, the smartphone devision has posted 8 straight quarters of loss. Windows Phone, the OS that Nokia’s survival solely depends hovers around 3-4%. While the average price of Nokia’s smartphone has plunge back to its Symbian era level, thanks no little to the 520, which Nokia is pushing for $100 at America.

    Nokia and Windows Phone certainly has growth potential, judged by the last quarter alone, the upward trend might already had sprung. Yet neither entity is out of the water, yet. It would be foolish for Nokia to diverge its effort on Windows RT, a proven market failure. If Nokia must enter the tablet market, getting a Atom ODM board and put their signature polycarbonate shell around it, seems like the most sensible and safe way to play.

    • Noki

      if you had the marketing money Microsoft threw at it the loss is close to 2 BILLION

      • Annoymous

        Microsoft commercials confused what the Surface was to viewers. Many thought it was the “click” cover/keyboard they were trying to sell. It was only until later that viewers found out it was a tablet.

  • Kill Zombians

    200 yay

  • Joulupukki2013

    Hello finns,

    Here is what Hitler thinks about it at the moment (in finnish):


  • Bob Hyde

    Where are the Apps for WRT going to come from?

    I wonder what Nokia share holders think?

    I wonder how low Nokia stock will go?

    It must soon be time for a hostile bid.

    What else can Elop do?

    Start selling W8 touch screen devices?

    What next?

  • Anatoli Avnatze

    The Digitimes has just announced that the HTC most probably is going to resign from Windows platform at all, completely. How about Nokia? Of course Nokia will have more space at 1-2% market for Windows machines, I consider that must be success…../i

  • orechiette

    Nokia did what? Actually, didnt Nokia adopt WP OS to save itself. Sounds kinda strange saying “Nokia saved WP”. Nokias Lumia series is to WP what Apples iPhone is to iOS. The only available Option.

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