HTC UK chief: ‘The time is now for Windows Phone’

HTC UK chief: ‘The time is now for Windows Phone’

Nokia and HTC are readying two of their biggest ever marketing campaigns in a bid to try to make their Windows Phones a success.

Devices by both manufacturers, as well as Samsung’s Ativ S, were showcased by Microsoft as it revealed its Windows Phone 8 operating system on Monday (29 October). For both HTC and Nokia, the phones will form a critical part of their attempts to turn around their fortunes after strong performances in the past.

Nokia launched an advertising campaign on Thursday for its new Lumia 920 and 820 handsets, which features users talking about their phones and also features the manufacturer’s well-known ringtone as its soundtrack. Among the straplines used is ‘everyone loves a comeback’. James Kitto, marketing director for the UK and Ireland, said an ‘enormous’ amount of money was being spent on promoting the campaign. He said: ‘Through hardware innovation, we are starting to attract the attention of early adopters to consider Nokia as a contender in the global smartphone market again.’

While the Lumias that Nokia launched last year were seen as the flagship Windows Phones, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer described the HTC 8X as the ‘signature’ device. Nokia’s western Europe general manager Conor Pierce said he felt the entrance of HTC and other manufacturers would help grow the market. He said: ‘We have been leading the charge on building the ecosystem. We have learned a lot but we have also been carrying the ecosystem on our shoulders. Now we have competition. The more players that are in the market, the more innovation there will be to drive it.’

He said he opted to range the Lumia 920 exclusively with EE because he wanted to ensure a ‘flawless’ customer experience of handselling. He said: ‘We don’t control the customer experience but we influence and require our partners to follow through.’

Meanwhile at HTC, UK and Ireland executive director Phil Roberson [pictured] said ‘the time is now’ for Windows Phone to become a major rival to Android and iOS. Its 8X handset went on sale today (2 November), with the 8S due later this month. Roberson said: ‘The hardware has very much been designed with the software in mind, whereas previously it was a bit of an afterthought.’

He said the 8X would be targeted at a late 20s/early 30s market, with the 8S more of a youth-orientated device. Roberson said the manufacturer would be focusing on its simplicity. He said: ‘Its ease of use is second to none. Customers do just get it and engage with the platform and they don’t have to read pages and pages online. A lot of customers really get Android and it’s an excellent experience in many respects, but some do have to work at it.’

Roberson said a key opportunity for the devices was securing full distribution across retailers and operators.  He said: ‘Regardless of above-the-line marketing, you have to have strong representation in retail, and we have invested heavily to make sure they know what is different with this device portfolio.’

Meanwhile, Nokia is targeting BlackBerry’s dominance in the enterprise space, western Europe general manager Conor Pierce has said. While he said he respected BlackBerry’s work in the enterprise space as ‘phenomenal’, Pierce added: ‘With Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, we are very confident that this is an area of enormous opportunity. What we are hearing from those channels is that there is a definite appetite to understand Windows Phone.’

Editor: Graeme Neill

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today

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