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European carriers reportedly not convinced by Nokia's push to challenge competitors

WP Central

It would appear that mobile operators in Europe aren't impressed with what Nokia (and Windows Phone as a whole) has to offer to battle Google and Apple in the market. According to Reuters, four operators have stated that Nokia handsets have not been 'good enough' to compete with the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices.

One operator executive (who wished to remain anonymous) had the following to say:

"No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone. Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market."

Now, we'll be the first to agree with the fact that not many customers will walk into a store and ask for a Windows Phone as the platform hasn't had the promotion or momentum that it so desperately requires. Microsoft has started their Smoked by Windows Phone campaign in a number of countries to build this momentum to a respectable pace, and Nokia has been hard at work with "The Amazing Everyday" and hosting live events. Cue "Rolling Thunder"? The trouble is there's just too much to do.

Windows Phone as a whole lacks a small number of selling points. Apps being the main complaint from potential buyers. There aren't enough big-brand apps on the marketplace and well established developers still remain skeptical and clear of the platform. This is set to change hopefully with Microsoft's plans to bring said developers to the Windows Phone table and pump apps out that are already available on other platforms. The company, along with Nokia, is also investing heavily in development programs including the €18 million investment on a university program in Finland.

As well as apps and developers, consumers haven't exactly been jumping with joy at Windows Phone. Whether it be simply because it's Microsoft, they don't like the UI, or they've just never heard of its existence, marketing and promotion is required on all fronts. Microsoft and Nokia has kick-started campaigns and results have proved to be fairly positive. The Lumia 900 launch has seen headlines covering the sell out at both AT&T and Amazon. Let's not forget the love that China still holds for Nokia or how a number of Windows Phones have populated the top rated charts on Amazon.

With the amount of money that has been reported to be in the pipeline, we can only look forward to some positive promotion material being launched globally. But let's head on back to the carriers who state that the Lumia handsets just aren't enough. We must ask the question: have they done enough? Have carriers actively promoted the devices on-par with the iPhone or Android handsets? We've continuously had readers send in complaints about their local store that wouldn't sell them a Windows Phone willingly or if there was no demo units available.

A device chief at a European carrier stated the following:

"We can open our stores to them and train our staff to sell the phones, but that's it. Ultimately, Nokia and Windows are challengers and they either need to come to market with a really disruptive, innovative product or a huge marketing budget to create client demand. So far they have done neither."

Unfortunately, this is also true. It down to Microsoft and OEMs to push their handsets, and we can't keep pinning the problems on carriers. AT&T has the Lumia 900 featured as a "hero device", but that's just for the U.S. What about the countless other supported countries? One has to ask: "Where is Microsoft?". Telecom consultant, John Strand, who works with many of the top European carriers, has an interesting view on the situation.

"The operators say to Nokia: 'We will try to bail you out if you and Microsoft come with the marketing money'. But even if the operators start to give away the Nokias for free, it will not make Nokia a success."

At the end of the day, carriers don't have to push Windows Phones out the door and perhaps we (as enthusiasts) have come at this from the wrong angle. The operators want the third contender and they desire to provide better choice to customers. But for this to be effective and worthwhile for the companies to make a comfortable profit, they require the marketing power that Microsoft could (and should) provide.

Do you believe carriers should push the handsets more, or should it be Microsoft pumping marketing funds into the well of wonders?

Source: Reuters

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Reader comments

European carriers reportedly not convinced by Nokia's push to challenge competitors

80 Comments

Has anyone seen the new advert that stars Samuel L Jackson. (Siri) ? Now that wasn't an Apple sponsored add but the carriers advertisement.

Carrier reps are on the front lines and have direct customer contact. People will be swayed by reps as we have seen time and again. Sure MS has to promote it's own OS but the carriers can't pretend they don't have a very strong ability to sway consumers at point of sale. Its a two way street.

I walked into a store and most definitely asked for a Windows Phone. I was blown away by the original commercials. Don't much like the Amazing Everyday commercials tho... As for marketing, how about this? Real old school - flyers through doors? Best way to get peoples attention even if only briefly. Could make some excellent high-quality flyers.

No actual carriers were named in the hearsay article. Just fodder. Complete bogus reporting.

One of the quotes was from an operator consultant as well as the "anonymous employees". We've contact carriers ourselves to shed some light on the issue. This article is simply to bring the possibility to readers' attention. We'll follow up should we be able to find out anything.

Some of what was stated in the report is completely false. Nokia Windows Phone not innovative? Are they blind or repeating what Apple, Google, or their clueless "me too" kids told them. The Nokia Lumias, especially the 900 are unique and innovative, and Microsoft's Windows Phone is revolutionary; it has no equal.

I think we need to take the blinders off a bit.

While the 800 and 900 are nice phones, they are not "game changers" by any stretch of the imagination and that IS what Windows Phone needs.

Dual core processor, 32 - 64 meg storage, Hi resolution display. That's 3 obvious components of a game changer that are missing.....:-(

That will get you to run down to your local mobile store. But it won't matter to Grandma, or Uncle Ed, or about 94% of all current and potential Smartphone users. A stable and easy to navigate OS will though. Point of sale the the "most important" obstace that Microsoft faces right now. And as evidenced by the $25M payoff Nokia made to AT&T, money walks....and you know the rest.
Easy to read between the lines in this article. Pay us to sell your phone and we will sell it. Don't pay us and starve. Maybe it's time for Microsoft to do an end run around the brick and mortar stores. Won't hurt the Carriers. Might even lower their costs. But it would beto Microsoft's advantage to keep potential customers "out" of these stores. It might just increase the odds.

Holy spec-vomit, Batman!
 
Nobody normal walks into a phone store and says "how many cores does this phone have?  What's the DPI rating for this display?"
 
Game-changing involves changing the way people interact with and use their phones.  Right now, the 900 provides a very high-end experience at a low-end price, with superior battery life.  That's not a terrible spot to be in, and certainly is better than "hey, Nokia's now got an octa-core Windows Phone with a 900 DPI display and 256 gigabytes of storage for only $900 on contract with AT&T!"

Completely agree. Carriers only want to sell gimmicky crud every month. They don't care what's best for their customers. A platform that looks great, easy to use, fast, low resources, long battery life, high user satisfaction and stable...what else is more important!?
But those carrier weasels only care about useless specs.

Riggght. Single core. Low rez 800x480. 16GB. Subpar camera. Plastic chrome coated buttons. Yep really innovative stuff. So much so that Nokia is willing to pay you $100 to use it.

You're right though. There are two innovative things: the side power button and that matte plastic case. I-N-N-O-V-A-T-I-V-E. You powderpuff Nokia fangirls are no better than the iPhone fans.

I think what makes carriers promote iPhone is that Apple makes the carrier already invest millions of dollars in signing the contract, which leaves them with no other choice than promoting it.

You guys a stupid. You're defending your position over a bogus article. If four actual "major" telecoms actually said this, they would say who. You guys are getting riled up over nothing. Mercy.

well in Spain Vodafone & Movistar stopped to subsidize the handsets so I DON'T GIVE A SH*T OF WHAT THEY THINK. Btw Reuters has written FALSE articles before...

I dunno.  I'm highly skeptical of the reporting.  The fact that every single alleged source was anonymous -- yet reported as verified fact -- wouldn't have been permitted under the standard journalistic ethics of just a few years ago.
 
Articles discussing business problems, without a single participant "on the record," are generally not very credible.
 
It's not as though there is a dearth of carriers willing to speak their minds on the issues.  They're loud and outspoken.  If there seriously was a problem with the Lumia series from their point of view, they'd be screaming it loudly from the rooftops, not anonymously whispering it in the ears of a Reuters writer.

Carriers in Sweden had campaigns first month or so when the Lumia 800 came out. After that they stopped and after talking with the local 3 store just a week ago, the Lumia 800 i nearly forgotten.

I still see the Lumia 800 featured in various ads on tv, although not anywhere near the extent it used to, the first month or so, no.

My thoughts exactly. The moment I read that article, i was like, damn, these European carriers are pissed Nokia didnt shell out LUmia devices to all their reps and splash all that extra wad of cash to promote their devices. I cant blame them. This is the only way they know how to coerce MicoKia to bring out some money. Shoot, even I want some of that $6B Nokia has sitting around!

^^This.  Nokia, a European company, gives money and devices to a U.S. carrier - and the EU carriers basically feel 'betrayed'.  More like jealousy, though.  But if they would step back and see 'why' Nokia had to do what they did with ATT (getting back into the U.S. market), one would think that they would be a tad bit more understanding.
 
Nonetheless, the carriers aren't bitching about HTC and Samsung with their WP devices and not getting any marketing money from them; just Nokia.  Funny thing, people say that Nokia isn't the 'savior' for WP, but seems carrier sure do associate the WP OS with Nokia only.  HTC/Samsung are not even on their radar as far as WP goes.
 
Bottom line:  those carriers want the same deal as AT&T.   But hopefully, the Lumia line, current and future, will get the needed traction so that Nokia nor Microsoft will have to bend to being extorted.
 

Yes, I shouldn't be seeing commercials for IE9 every other break I should be WP7 and the Lumia 900 every single break. 

Why would carriers care? Seriously, it doesn't matter what handset anyone buys - the minutes (or data) are used on their network. The only people who care about the "numbers" are the OS maker (In this case Microsoft) or the handset maker. As the carriers don't make the handset, then what is their beef?
This sounds like an article with no source, that should be taken down. Leave it on Engadget for the fanboys to kill themselves over. Its got no data or hard fact in the story, so bin it.
 

We attempted to remain as neutral as possible, but decided to at least cover it. We've reached out to carriers and will follow up with more details.

Engadget used to be i-Centric but since Topolsky and his crew left to form The Verge the articles on Engadget have been pretty level-headed.

As for Reuters...they are one of the largest investigative news agencies out there (they are the ones that supply the major international "news" organisations with their data). They may crap up occasionally (and retract errors) but accusing them of fabricating information is frankly ludicrous.

Its a shot across the bow, to signal that they would like better specs/ads for future devices debuting in the fall.

@Rich. Did you reach out to the carriers in the article? Because I'm pretty sure Microsoft and Nokia would like to know who they are.

We've reached out to a number of European carriers (the big boys) to see if what everyone is reporting on holds out. We'll follow up with what we find out. It could be false and they're hitting the dead horse, but even if this report is false I feel we asked a few valid questions in the above article.

While the argument whether or not fact is present is debatable, I also feel as though we remained neutral enough while questioning if carriers should even be marketing Windows Phone hard or even bothered about its success.

Anyone else wondering the reason why this executive decided to give his opinion on a specific handset?
European operators are usually very reserved in this matter, they never say if a product they offer is doing badly... I wonder why...
Oh, a just to add, if people don't ask for a Windows Phone, it's their goddamned fault. They sure as hell promote the crap out of Android and iPhone.

What they are saying is mostly true. It is not because Windows Phone on 2nd gen phones are not good enough to sell because a lot of people that do try it really like it. Windows Phones global market share is so small because the vast majority of frontline employees steer customers towards something else--that is by far Windows Phone’s biggest problem.\
 
The campaign that Nokia undertook to address this issue at AT &T appears to be making a massive difference and it is spilling over as well--look at Amazon for one. Nokia can obviously see this so I suspect the Nokia AT & T strategy will be copied to some other high profile carriers around the world. It’s expensive but it needs to be done and Microsoft needs to help and I’m sure they are. I think it time to show Europe some love …uh cash now.
 
That said, the statcounter data shows that most European countries have higher (though still small) Windows Phone adoption than does the US.

Curious to know what Nokia models are sold at each carrier. Not everyone's carrier sells the 900. I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing something higher end than a Radar or 710. Meanwhile, not the most confident I will be rewarded for my patience when WP8 handsets roll out...

Damn Microsoft!  Just buy or build your own telecommunication company and sell your own products/devices!  Have $50.00 Unlimited plans!  Forget the carriers!  Be the new AT&T.  Then you won't have anyone controlling what gets sold or offered.  Be the captian of your own ship!  If you sink then you sink, but it won't be because someone else is trying to push an Android or iOS devices.   

That would be awesome but I see google doing it before MS. Wasn't this also the dream of Steve Jobs before he passed, pretty sure I read something about that?

Hey, there's no better OS than WP out there at the moment.  None!  As someone already stated these carriers have essentially hawked their souls to carry the other OSs.  Sprint damn near paid more to carry the iPhone than their company's worth.  You think they want to carry a device like the L900 to compete against the the iPhone. 
Sink?  I don't expect MS to sink.  But I would luv to see them become their own carrier.  I would much rather have Microsoft stores around town so when I walk into one of them they would be asking - have seen this or that device?  Rather than hearing - why do you want a WP device this Android phone is much better. 
Sink?  I don't think so.
 

I'm a huge Windows Phone fan, but I must say that for me personally I was very disappointed with the Lumia 900. It would of been nice to see something like the galaxy tab running Windows 7.5. The Lumia 900 look great but isn't the best hardware out today. People look for what is the most powerful and most advanced in hardware. The operating system is second. Windows is awesome, but lacks in software and hardware. This is the reason Android dominates in the moble phone space. Microsoft needs to get there ecosystem together fast. I have a feeling that until Windows 8 is released Microsoft will have a very hard time competing against Android.

Dude, your wrong when you say people want them latest hardware specs. Maybe people like us tech geeks, but we're the minority; average consumers are the majority and they don't know the first thing about specs, they simply follow the latest trends! I know many co-workers, lawyers, doctors, etc. and again specs are foreign them, they bought it because someone else had it

I agree.  If I were to ever tell my wife she should really consider a dual-core phone with a screen resolution of 1280x800 she'd look at me and say "What the hell are you talking about?  I just want a cool, fun phone."
 
As for people wondering why carriers should care about this - of course they care.  People no longer choose carriers based on rate plans, as they're all, more or less, the same.  They choose them based on whether or not they carry the latest cool devices.  And those are typically the ones they hear about from their friends, family and the media - in other words, the ones that are getting "buzz."  Without buzz, there's no consumer interest.  Without that, there's no foot traffic in the carriers' stores.  Without that, their subscriber numbers decline.
 
Anecdotally, I went out and bought a Lumia 900 this week.  Had trouble finding one (black, mind you, not cyan).  Both AT&T stores I visited were sold out.  At each store people were asking about and testing the Lumias.  Thankfully I have a Microsoft store nearby and was able to get one there, but the point is, interest for this phone does seem to be quite high, which is good news for all of us AND AT&T.

yes and no.  I am not sure I would agree that "people look for what is most powerful".  I think the majority of smart phone users have no clue how their current phone does on the specs, nor what that means.  If someone tells them they have a powerful phone they just believe it.  I look at friends/family/co-workers and they kind of understand the hardware but it really comes down to the OS, the size, appearance, and applications.  Dual core or not, I would say the majority don't know nor care.  A good example a guy with the galaxy said he got the best phone, but when asked what it had and why he could not explain.  He was just "told" it was by the rep and end of story.  I agree that Nokia needs to come more ablaze than just the 900.  It is a nice phone, but for people like you and I the specs and speed is what we want.  Nokia needs to give us that.

Save these kind of articles and make sure to print them. When the platform is established (mainly because of Nokia), slap these carriers & some journalist at the verge on the face with it. The kinda slap that makes you unconscious for a couple of minutes. The phone that I'm writing this comment from is my L800. It's my first windows phone. I never had an iPhone or Android. Not everyone on earth uses those phones and people should just stop comparing them all the time. Plus WP7 is not even as old as the others. Anyways, since I bought the phone I had minors issues but overall the phone is holding its ground. For me as a consumer, it's the best phone I've had so far. lol Last week I had "7" people trying to touch my phone lol. Weird lol they really like the thing. The girls like the colour and seem to just be able to use it without even knowing anything about the OS. The guys are like "it's a great phone, ima get one" lol.

At the end of the day, I like the phone and I hope MS & Nokia keep going even when people (the ones who supposedly know it all about smartphones)are incredibly negative. It comes with the territory.

Love my L900 and I'm not the only one. I have people holding Galaxy S's iPhone 4s, and all other S's dropping their jaws over the WP7 OS.

This phone gave me the same feeling i had the 1st time I held an iPhone and then some. I've tried switching back for a few days and find myself missing the WP7 OS.

Way to go MS and this is just the beginning. As far as apps go. I've found all i need.

Sent from my Lumia 900!!

Did you go for that sea blue cyan color? Did you show them your purple tiles? Maybe your breasts as well? Yeah Nokia owners are all the same.

Operators in Europe aren't a determinant factor as they are in the US. Yes, they sell phones, sometimes on contract, but it's a wholly different market.
Even if they disliked Nokia so much, they couldn't hurt their sales. Here the promotion is mostly up to Nokia, and according to what the company is saying they are matching and even surpassing expectations.
 
About that "no one comes into the store and asks for a Windows Phone"...well, the average customer doesn't come in and ask for Android either, they just get pushed towards it. The only credible situation I can think of is the customer asking for an iPhone, because of its well-known brand.

Some reps act like they know there phones but honestly most don't know how to even install ROMs on there "Android" or what over clocking is most are so miss lead and end up with a phone that drains there battery (Android) from personal experience.. So yeah if you want ppl to buy wp7 device it has to start with in the employees.

All I know is that I am enjoying my Lumia 900, A LOT. I wish people in the market for a new phone would give it a try. I think that when Windows 8 comes out, things will start to take off more than now. At any rate, I will enjoy my phone, and hope others decide to take a look at all of the options out there, not just what store employees decide to push.

This is Microsofts OS! The hardware is one thing but the majority of the experience lays in the software. Microsoft simply has not done enough in the past TWO! years to say "this is Wp, this is what it does, this is new and different" they have not used Television! From this point on I think that the pressure should be put on the guy with the big bucks that started the party in the first place.

Microsoft, OEMs, and carriers all have to work together to make it successful. Really, you want to have that third contender on top mobile OS's, but are you really doing anything about it? Carriers really aren't doing anything unless they're paid (AT&T).

Of course, I will agree with others, compared to Android and iPhone, the OS is still incomplete, but it has gotten off a good start! That's why I've stuck to Windows Phone since launch!

Has Microsoft ever produced a great commercial?  For some odd reason desktop Windows took off and won marketshare with a lack of good commericials.  Not so lucky with phones. Better marketing is needed.
AT&T and Nokia are middle men. Microsoft has to take control.

Call me a skeptic, but I flat-out don't believe the article in question.
 
Every single alleged "source" is anonymous and unverified.  It also accompanies a wave of mostly negative (and mostly garbage) stories about Windows Phone that communicated a carefully choreographed bullet-point list of talking points.  In fact, several of the articles read like they'd been essentially written by the same person.
 
Mobile carriers don't withhold their views on successful or unsuccessful platforms.  They're outspoken and direct.  They wouldn't need to hide behind a veil of unanimous anonymity unless they either never gave the statements in question, or aren't in a position to set policy at the carrier (but wanted to get a few minutes of anonymous fame).

Ok you're a skeptic. Its REUTERS you moron. They have a pretty reputation for hiring journalists. You're reading a blog. Got that?

Which carrier executives do you know that would provide inside information without anonymity protection first. You're 36. Use your brain.

Let me give you a figure: Nokia rejoiced selling 2 million Lumia in Europe for winter quarter. Apple sold 37 million iPhones in Q4 2011 while Samsung sold 40 million Galaxy so far. How hard is that to understand? You guys really need to "confirm" this with the Euro carriers? Didn't the Nokia release their sales data in the latest earnings call? Compare that to iOS and Android sales data. It doesn't it take a genius to confirm what these European carriers are seeing.

I love these reactionary blogs that have "reach out" after a journalistic site has done the footwork and released the story. They regurgitate the story and will check with their sources for us readers. Stick with your good at: blog posts for dollars.

Yes, it's Reuters.  The same news organization that, along with lots of other news organizations, reported that Saddam Hussein had a large and verified stockpile of chemical weapons and an active, thriving nuclear weapons program.
 
Except that, after the invasion, there were no stockpiles and not even an active nuclear program.
 
I like facts and verifiable statements with data and observations -- not "an anonymous executive at a wireless carrier on this continent reportedly stated that he doesn't like the Omnia 7."
 
Signed,
 
Your friend The Moron

Didn't the Nokia release their sales data in the latest earnings call? Compare that to iOS and Android sales data
A great example of poor analysis, BTW.
 
Nokia was selling a single model of phone (the Lumia 800) in only six countries in the quarter you're referring to.
 
Comparing that to Apple's or Samsung's sales of multiple models of phones in over 100 countries is silly.
 
You can confirm why this is with a simple, reasonable exercise -- take 2 million and divide by 6.  That's Nokia's average sales per country where the L800 was available in that quarter (if you're bad at math, it's about 330,000 phones per country).
 
Now, take Apple's 37 million phones and divide by 100 (that's 370,000 phones per country, on average).
 
Now it's true that the average doesn't tell the whole story (Apple performs best in a few countries), but the idea that "Nokia only sold 2 million while Apple crushed them with 37 million" tells even less of a story, since they're not directly comparable numbers across markets.
 
 
Fortunately, you're not a journalist... otherwise I'd be even more dismayed.

I'm no journo, and I would assume Reuters must have some kind of obligation to report truthfully, but 'this operator said this', and 'that operator said that' just doesn't cut it for me.
Don't use this one often but I'm going with the 'Apple surely paid someone to write that' argument.... :)
 
 

Reuters is considered a reliable source, but one thing that makes a news source reliable are reporting standards (including fact checking) that make articles filled with entirely anonymously-sourced material "below standard."
 
It seems doubtful that the fact-checker could verify the controversial claims made if every exec wished to remain completely anonymous.  I think a responsible news organization should have insisted on better coverage of the situation by requiring some "on-the-record" statements, or published a disclaimer in the article verifying that the fact-checker did indeed confirm the identities and comments of all the anonymous players cited in the article.

Whether or not the article is true... if these carriers are to be believed, they just want specs to sell a phone? How about a better OS? Isn't that a spec? WP7, at its heart, doesn't need a dual-core processor to be silky smooth. I've watched Android-friends' screens sputter and choke and the battery subsequently drain (a friend of mine always carries a spare battery with him, just to last the day. Can you imagine?!) as they were showing off their "new" phone. I gave my old WP7 to a friend who installed but maybe 3 apps because the OS does so much out of the box.
That said, as a power user I would def buy the dual-core, super camera, long battery life version of what I already have. But from the look of things, that's called Apollo?

The original article I read cited Reuters as the source but still I cannot help but feel this is carriers politics being played out.

Apple do not need to pay people off. Thats Google domain. Fact is OS wise we need more apps, cheaper games and more features to the core system. What can WP7 offer over other the two main competitors? Nothing so far.

Don't get me wrong, i love my Lumia 800 and the 900 is a stunning phone but since grabbing my new iPad, iOS is still the far superior choice.

I agree with the applications.  I personally use the phone to make calls, internet, xbox/games, and utilize three-four apps.  Not because there are few applications, it is because those four apps, internet, games are all I need and have time for.  I own the other OS's and this holds true for me on those OS as well.  In fact, I only use ios for internet, email, and a couple games.  Most apps I download and uninstall shortly later.  But, that is me and I think I may be the minority.  Most people when they state they aren't jumping to WP7 "yet" is because the lack of applications or their favorite app they use on android/ios. 
 
This is what wp7 needs to accomplish.  Advertise, advertise, advertise, and get every single major app on IOS and android yesterday.  Period.  Then the only excuse people will have is either A) don't perfer metro or b) want the most powerful phone or C) "fanboy" not leaving my ....
 
 

Every time I see the iPhone, I bless my lucky stars I have a Windows Phone. The OS is far more intuitive. As for marketing and point of sale, why not take the fight to the carriers? Time to open mind-blowingly brilliant Microsoft stores on every high street...

Dan, the OS is a better as a Phone OS, absolutely. But feature and operationally it just isn't as good.

Microsoft is suits, that's their business model to convey professionalism. Apple has their relaxed approach whilst Google, just like Android do not know what they are. :)

"That's their business model..." Maybe it's time to change the business model. Young markets don't want men in suits to demonstrate cool phones...

I don't know if i agree about "operationally".  I do however regarding "features".  Hopefully features come a blazing w/ the next rolllout-wp8
 
I remember when android intially came out the buzz in the community i live in it was too little too late and IOS was the clear king/winner and android was not going to live long.  It is just this way with WP7. 

Though I do agree the whole Reuters article is BS there is a better way to look at the assult of bad press being generated.
** Bad press is better then no press at all. **
The fact that so much negative press is being generated by the pens for hire means that someone is worried. Probably multiple parties.
The day that WP and NOK stop getting attention is the day to become worried.

This is CRAP.
When I was visiting the UK last December, the Nokia 800 was out.
I WALKED into 3 different mobile phone stores... picked up a Nokia 800... played with it, loved it...
And guess what, not a SINGLE salesman offered to help SELL the phone.
I sold cellular years ago and I KNOW LAZY sales people when I see them.
Those monkeys are so used to selling iPhones, because it requires no work, no demoing... just give me money and sign a credit app.
Idiots. 

What is REALLY at issue is whipping those monkeys into shape with a spiff and some more training and get them off the iPhone Kool-aid IV .