The Nokia Collection...of domination
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Is Nokia causing fragmentation on Windows Phone with their exclusive apps? Nope.

Nokia has made moves to gain some big titles (and leverage) for their hardware. Who does it hurt? Who does it benefit and is it a good thing?

With yesterday’s announcement from Nokia describing a planned set of “exclusive” apps and even more games for their Lumia line of Windows Phones (and presumably anything else they have up their sleeve), Nokia has won both praise and some scorn for their bold move.

The concern, as echoed by some in the tech press, is that Nokia’s move will cause that dreaded “F word” to happen. No, no that one, the other one – fragmentation.

Fragmentation is the boogey word of the year due almost entirely to Google and their Android OS. But as ex-Microsoftie Charlie Kindel astutely pointed out, there isn’t just one type of fragmentation.  Rather, there’s at least six ways you can divide up the terms with some of it being positive and some of it negative, affecting consumers or developers. Point is, they're not the same and what is causing problems for Android is not the same as what Nokia is doing.

The real question is, will Nokia’s strategy to get these apps and games on their hardware hurt Windows Phone?  We say “no” and here’s why.

 

WP Central

 

The Reality

First, let’s not kid ourselves: Windows Phone OS currently garners about 2% of the mobile OS market. Sure it has the world ahead of it and the potential for it to explode at any moment is real but it’s going to be quite some time before we start to see headlines akin to “Microsoft catching up to Android”.

In other words, Microsoft and Windows Phone have much bigger problems in front of them, like getting noticed, picking up those “must have apps” and getting phones into customer hands, a lot of hands.

Fragmentation, which ever type you’re referring to, is a concern when your platform gets so big and successful that you have nothing else to really worry about. Or at the very least, something that hinders growth and adoption. It’s a luxury that Android users have this problem and it’s only relevant because Android is so massive. Yet despite all the talk of negative fragmentation, it hasn't made a dent in Android sales so far.

With less than 2% of the mobile OS market, there’s really nothing to fragment -- harsh, yes but that’s the truth.

 

Will Nokia’s move hurt Windows Phone partners HTC and Samsung?

If Nokia keeps getting all of these exclusive apps and games, will it hurt HTC and Samsung’s efforts? That’s a good question and yes, the potential is certainly there. After all, Nokia’s move is as much to grow the platform as it is to best their competitors.

Still, HTC and Samsung don’t have to sit idly by. In fact, in the last two years either one could have done what Nokia are doing now but they didn’t. Currently we have a few interesting OEM apps from Samsung and HTC but they didn’t throw their weight around to try and ignite the OS, they left that to Microsoft and their wallet.

What’s to stop HTC and Samsung from doing the same? They probably didn’t want to invest any more money into the ecosystem or perhaps they underestimated how long it would take for Windows Phone to take off.  Or maybe they were just cheap. All we know is they didn’t pick this path and Nokia has so it seems odd to penalize Nokia for their admittedly audacious decision.

 

Nokia

Nokia: Taking one for the team?

 

What about developers?

Here’s is where one of Android’s fragmentation situations arises. With all the varying degrees of hardware, custom UIs, resolutions and changing SDKs developing on Android is not as smooth as Windows Phone.

As far as we can see, Nokia’s move to garner exclusive apps for the Lumia line has ZERO impact on developers – quite the contrary, in fact.

Nokia’s move will accelerate Windows Phone adoption. Mostly for their hardware but once consumers start buying Nokia phones, the OS will grow and developers will have even more incentive to develop, not less. We’ve already seen that happen in the last few months. (And we’ve heard nothing but great things from devs who’ve worked with Nokia directly).

Nokia just lit the fuse to a potential powder keg to get this OS moving. That benefits everyone, even Samsung and HTC. Eventually.

 

Will Nokia’s apps hurt Windows Phone consumers or just their feelings?

Not directly, though we could imagine some HTC and Samsung Windows Phone owners sighing with disgust every time we announce a new Nokia-exclusive game or app. That’s fair.

The message is clear: if you want the best Windows Phone experience, go with a Nokia phone. Is that a bad thing? Well, if Nokia wasn’t making some of the most interesting, best looking and talked about Windows Phones to date, we’d say yes. (Imagine if LG was doing this and you had to buy a ‘Fantasy’!).  

But Nokia is the one OEM here who is putting everything on the line with Microsoft and this OS. Literally. There is no plan ‘B’ for them. Their hardware is distinct and if they want to take the lead for the OS and design, we’re actually okay with that.

Sure that’s biased and unfair but does anyone really think HTC and Samsung are going to “hero” this OS?

Some will say that Nokia should just make these apps available to everyone right away, you know, basically eat the costs of making these software deals. To us that sounds ludicrous. And if you owned Nokia stock it would be an odd decision to champion as Nokia should get some advantage, albeit temporary, for taking the risks they are with Windows Phone.

If all of a sudden Samsung and HTC started playing the same “exclusive” game as Nokia, that would admittedly be frustrating; but we see no indication that such a path will be chosen by either company now or in the future.

 

I thought hard about this...

 

So who does win?

The consumers do, of course. Windows Phone is finally getting an OEM that it deserves, one who is grabbing these companies by the lapels and getting these most-wanted apps made.

Paypal, Rovio, ESPN, Groupon, Time Magazine, Newsweek, CNN, etc. all could have made some of the most cutting edge Windows Phone apps out there in the past. We’re sure Microsoft would have lent developer support as they always do and the apps would be regularly featured in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

That didn’t happen. Face it, the only reason we’re getting these apps is because Nokia did whatever it is they did to get these companies to the table.

The choice comes down to no one having these apps or Nokia having them (at least, temporarily) and if that is the choice, we’ll take the latter -- Windows Phone OS needs the boost.  We’ll be the first to admit technically it’s “unfair” but as we mentioned earlier, Windows Phone doesn’t have the luxury to worry about exclusive-app fragmentation right now.

We need to propagate the OS, the ecosystem and the user base by any means necessary, because with the current adoption rates and RIMs BlackBerry 10 looming this fall, competition will only get more fierce (even if we think RIM is DOA).

We do lament that it has to come to one OEM leading the charge for Windows Phone app development, no argument there from us. It would have been better if these apps were just available to everyone but if that were the case, we probably wouldn’t be talking about disquieting marking share, would we?

Bottom line: we don't see Nokia's potential "fragmentation" as being a negative value. Instead, it's positive as it won't hinder the growth and adoption of the OS, which is the only type of fragmentation we should be concerned about. We expect the opposite effect: Nokia will continue to spur growth and adoption of Windows Phone and we're okay with that.

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Comments

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wsantiago says:

Very well written article. Good job.

johnblair7 says:

I agree fully with this post. If it hadn't been for Nokia those apps may never have turned up. As it is Nokia probably provided funding or other support for the apps.

kehanra99 says:

Those apps were there.  The ESPN app that was out for WP7 before Nokia's was terrible, and now it won't be updated for a year unless you have a Nokia device that came out after many people were on contract with WP7 devices already.  I think the last thing you would want to allow if you were Microsoft would be for a single phone manufacturer on your platform to take apps away from your general user base.  

Great article. All in all I think, in part, this is due to people having little respect for software (one can see it for thinking games should be free or nearly free), since saying, for instance, that augmented reality app Nokia made should be made available for other vendors is like saying that HTC should've putted that fancy 16mp camera on my Lumia.

ahuczek says:

The reason people complain about the game prices is because of the other two established markets. Sure it might not be fair to the devs initially but are you gonna pay 20 bucks for a loaf of bread? Not likely.

socialcarpet says:

It's more like the Android Bread costs $1.99 and the Windows Phone bread costs $2.99. 
I haven't seen a single app in the Marketplace that costs more than a fancy Starbucks drink. If people are so poverty stricken they can't afford $3-5 for a good smartphone app, they probably should not have a smartphone. Go buy a pay-as-you-go flip phone. 
I would like to see the apps get cheaper too, but I also understand the developers who are taking a chance on Windows Phone deserve our support. 
We can't complain there aren't enough apps for Windows Phone, then at the same time gripe that we have to pay an extra dollar for a title than it would be on one of the much more popular platforms. It's something we may just have to tolerate for a little while until we get more marketshare. 

Tumultus says:

Yes, I would gladly pay $20.00 for a loaf of bread if that lasts me a lifetime!
On Windows Phone, you can reinstall all your apps hasslefree. Actually, you can have 2 WP devices and you're still able to install those apps on the different phones so long as you logged in with the same Live ID. Try that with an iPhone! (And I heard even on Android, it is rather difficult to get all your purchased apps reinstalled after a phone crash or phone switch).

Further, have a look at the XBOX games, for example and the additional services involved. Developers actually have to code for that and there is more work involved.

I know, I am talking about games only. Still, even with other apps, I don't think it is overpriced. I got my NAVIGON USA for less than $30.00 - a full-fletched offline navigation solution that will last me for years to come. Would I have liked a lower price? Sure! Do I find that app overpriced? Absolutely not!

People want to be cheap and get everything for $0.99 and below, yet, they have no idea how much work is involved in creating a beatiful and flawlessly functioning program. Developers have to actually spent weeks in order to get it out to you via the marketplace, you know? And here I am not talking about the "wrap a website in an executable" nonsense you find very often!

Well, I could go on but I think you got my point?

ahuczek says:

I agree w all of that but smart phone or not 5 dollars isn't an impulse buy for most. 99 cents is. Its the developers choice in the end but generally all products hard or soft sell better at a lower price point.

IamNabil says:

I disagree. I am a young professional, the exact demographic that Microsoft is positioning Windows Phone for. Personally, my time is worth enough to myself and the company I work for that if I spend five minutes thinking about a five dollar purchase, I've just wasted about 15 dollars, excluding the price of the app.
That is to say that I believe five dollars is an impulse buy.

lippidp says:

Yeah, you better not use the restroom, either. That might lead to bankruptcy!  Why are you thinking about apps on behalf of your company anyway?  No IT dept?

rujeffinme says:

Actually, a person can redownload and install all their iOS apps on up to five iOS device (just saying). You make some interesting points otherwise.

purevibz says:

Great job Daniel and I agree 100% we need other OEM to be just a agressive as Nokia to drive this OS forward.

penetronn says:

I'm not happy about this at all. Focus S owner here.

Tumultus says:

But here you are, being able to use your Samsung-exclusive "Now", "Samsung MiniDiary", "FunShut", "Photo Studio", "Photogram" and more apps which I can't get on my HTC Titan! How is this different to what Nokia is doing?

It had been clear from the very beginning that exclusive software will be one of the features that will distinguish one brand from another on the Windows Phone platform. On computers, this had been done for years! Compare a Dell laptop to an HP laptop and wonder why HP can include Cyberlink's DVD and webcam software under their own branding where you aren't able to install the exact same software on a Dell! Nobody stops Samsung, HTC and all the other Windows Phone OEMs to negotiate with software developers to have their own unique software portfolio.

Is this fragmentation? Well, I wouldn't go that far to call it just that! It is rather differenciation than fragmentation because there is nothing really stopping your device from running those apps on the hardware or software side. And only because those apps are "exclusive" today, doesn't mean you won't find a similar app that does the exact same thing nor that it will stay "exclusive" forever!

thettk says:

I disagree. I invested in Windows OS and own an HTC Radar and yup it is very discouraging to see this happening. One of the primary reasons I did not go with Android is I wanted the idea of enjoying the same OS experience regardless of carrier or handset model. I also wanted a wider choice in handsets and that's why I did not go with an iPhone. Alas Microsoft has chosen to go down that path. I can understand Nokia developing their own apps but Microsoft should not allow apps like CNN etc to be launched exclusively on Nokia regardless of whether they will come later or not. If Microsoft wants to push Nokia so much then they should have just made Win OS exclusive to Nokia and not thumb their nose to us like this.

In principle, I agree with you 100%. But the reality is dire for Windows Phone right now and it really needs a push like this from someone.

It's a good question as to why Nokia can get this done but Microsoft can't, but those are backroom deals we'll never know about.

thettk says:

Before:
Me to an Android user: Ha ha you have to wait months or forever to upgrade to the same software on the latest android phone. That must suck for you. Come over to Win Phone coz we get everything at the same time regardless of what phone you use.
Now:
????????
People are swayed by perception and no matter how anyone spins it I find it problematic that the one thing I used to brag about not being an issue is now the norm. I have converted people to Win Phone and now I have to go and explain this to them and say sorry we are not getting the CNN and ESPN etc because we bought the wrong handset??? So much for trying to win the OS war.

thed says:

Agree with this 100%. Even if it's a minor difference, the perception will be there and that's a problem. One of the big advantages of WP is that you get (or used to get) the exact same experience no matter what handset you have. You would get your choice of hardware and always get the same software experience. Now it's no longer the case.
 
I'm fine with OEM apps being exclusive, but these aren't Nokia apps we're talking about anymore.

hary536 says:

As the author tried to explain, that current WP marketshare is about 2%. 
There aren't many people who may realize that oh, I had x app on Y phone and not on this new Z phone. By the time, the majority of the people will have passed their contract on their 1st WP, almost all these apps will be available for everyone. 
So this app exclusivity is only for the 1st generation of new WP users, which I think is a good thing, which can drive sales for Nokia and also give premium experience to users rather than someone picking up ZTE or Focus instead of Lumia lines. 
 

cckgz4 says:

Why are people trying to "win" anyway?

So you said nothing when HTC pushed Watch and Locations while the rest of us just frowned. I would not put much into this since HTC do actively make apps and have a ton of partners Give it a month and I bet HTC will have their own exclusives

thettk says:

I have no problem with pushing apps like Nokia Drive but ESPN, CNN, Groupon??? These are not Nokia brands and so why would Microsoft allow these to be restricted???

duk3togo says:

I understand the frustration by the exclusive apps but did everyone read the fact that the exclusivity is only 6 months for some.

Groupon btw is already in the market place and if it was that important you would have already downloaded the app. It is most likely a different version for Nokia like Tango.

As for PayPal I am sure it will be an exclusive temporarily as well as they release a different version in the market place.

People wake up this is a good thing it means we have the app developed already now its just a matter of time before it's allowed for all of us to have them. Personally I hate exclusives and I wish for each OEM to have available for everyone and I would pay a buck or two to have some.I mean if you buy and HTC phone you get them for free while I pay seems fair to me since I don't own an HTC and so on.

Tumultus says:

LOL, so, what you're basically saying, is, that Nokia owners are actually BETA testing those apps for us non-Nokia WP owners, right? And here I thought the BETA test is over ... ! :)

duk3togo says:

That is funny, but again non WP owners are either blind drones that can not understand that when Nokia speaks of the beta test its about the hardware.  Ahem, like the screen, fragmentation, camera, death grip, etc. 
Nokia owners are just receiving a few perks for going out and buying the phones.  If the other OEM would just put the same focus on their WP hardware their wouldn't be any complaining.

You're wrong... there's nothing inherent to the work done by any party that prevents anyone from developing for ALL Microsoft Windows Phone devices. This is purely a licensing deal between Nokia (one partner) and a set of developers to say, "They're giving us priority, so we're giving them priority... for a time." I see nothing wrong in that at all. The deals will open later, and in the mean time once the developers see how easy it is, they'll develop more on their own.

badMojo69 says:

Umm doesn't HTC already have exclusive apps on their windows phones?   HTC hub anyone.

Tips_y says:

I'm also a proud owner of the HTC Radar, my very first WP device! But I applaud what Nokia is doing for the platform! If what they are doing is what will spur the OS to be accepted widely, I'm with them !01% It's not as if these exclusive apps will be with Nokia forever. What they get is a 6-month to a 1 year lead time. After that the apps go to Marketplace for everyone to enjoy. Nokia deserves the fruit of their labor. When the OS gets widely accepted from what Nokia is doing, things will then become normal. Everybody wins!

smoledman says:

I guess it blows to have been an early adopter of Windows Phone. I waited until Nokia and feel richly rewarded for my patience.

pulkit10 says:

But that's a moot argument really as these apps are only exclusive for a certain time frame (actually, only 4 of them are. The rest are for all WP devices)
This whole issue is being blown out of proportion. I think they've treaded a fine line here and made sure that they get some exclusive titles while making sure that the whole ecosystem benefits and honestly, another 3-6 months wait for looking at golf scores isn't going to kill you.

dKp1977 says:

Very nice article, Daniel. I wholeheartedly agree.. Btw, isn't the Angry Birds company's name Rovio rather than Rovia? ;)

I always do that, fixing, thanks.

HTC's next WP should have beats and two months worth of Watch for free
/I don't think Samsung cares till both HTC and Nokia light a big fire under their butt
//Yet to see something from Samsung like Drive or Locations
 

aubreyq says:

"I don't think Samsung cares till both HTC and Nokia light a big fire under their butt..."

That is very true. It might take a while before Samsung takes notice, though, because they sell a LOT of handsets. Mainly on Android, but hey, they are moving hardware.

Great read! Totally agree.

tissotti says:

Very good post and i totally agree.
Nokia is doing exactly what needed. They are making WP show in global scale, something Samsung or HTC did not come even close. They are also  manufacturer with huge investments (like 8.1 billion euros investement to Navteq) that of course they won let at all the others use. 
When Apollo phones come out, it will be easy choice what branded phone i will get after my Lumia 800.
 
 

MrSean490 says:

I'm sorry but is it fair for us to be forced to use a Nokia handset? I said this on the previous article but if one doesn't find the nokia's offerings to their reasonable satisfaction, they shouldn't be punished for it. We have our different needs and buying a different WP phone shouldn't screw us over like that. I understand and acknowledge what Nokia is doing for WP but I wish they could've gone about this somehow differently. I honestly feel screwed over by this.

Is it fair? Absolutely not.

As I concluded, this is far from an ideal situation and it'd be better if it didn't have to come to this, but you have to decide if you would rather not have access to some apps or the OS potentialy fails across the board.

It's a bold and even desperate decision by Nokia to do this but unfortunately, necessary for the OS to break its stagnation.

So you're right but there's a reason why the expression "in order to make an omelet, you have to crack some eggs" resonates with people :-/

phoney says:

Who is to say that Nokia down the road does not offer up the apps for sale on the general marketplace. 
 
Nokia hardware users get the apps for free...others pay Nokia for the privilege..
 
There would not be much fragmentation then.

VHMP01 says:

There is where I agree 100%; Nokia owners get them free, other OEMs owners pay $1.99… Everyone has access to it, yet Lumia gets privileged!

 

invertme says:

No one is forcing you to buy anything..
 
Try toning down your sense of self entitlement and you won't feel bad at all about this.

mparker says:

Why not crank up the hyperbole a little more - maybe you're being tortured or murdered by Nokia too?
Grow up.  You're not being "forced to use a Nokia handset" in any way, shape, form, or fashion, nor are you being punished or screwed by Nokia in any way.  Nokia didn't just up and decide one day that they don't like you so you don't get these apps.  They paid good money for the development of these apps in exchange for a temporary exclusive, which is a pretty common way to get software written in markets that don't economically support it.  Nokia isn't a charity, they aren't in this to make their competitors' customers happy, they're in it to attract  new customers and make their own customers happy.  They want to recoup their investment that got these apps written in the first place.
Would it have been better if these apps had been written without Nokia's help, and released for everyone right out of the gate?  Sure.  But the perfect is the enemy of the good, and it is definitely a good thing to have these apps out there for WP7.  Better for Nokia owners than Samsung or HTC owners, but Samsung or HTC could have subsidized these apps had they wanted to.  But they didn't, and Nokia did.  Don't blame Nokia because Samsung and HTC don't care about WP7.  Did you whine about AT&T's short-term exclusive of Ilomilo?
Would you have been happier if Nokia had not subsidized the development of these apps and they didn't come out until Apollo?  You still wouldn't get the apps until much later, and Nokia owners wouldn't get them either.
If you don't want to buy a nokia set, then don't, and wait until the exclusivity period ends.  But don't piss and moan about how evil Nokia is.
 

jonsmith89 says:

Obviously this topic has a hard case for being subjective. It validates Lumia owners decisions and they can only see this as fair because it's a win-win for them. However for people like myself who have supported the other OEM's from launch, it just stings. I love my Titan and HTC and I don't see how anyone can justify a big-name app being exclusive just because Nokia paid the developer. I completely understand them having Nokia Drive or any of the software they actually developed, same as for HTC Hub. But this is different, these are titles that some people could be waiting on before coming to WP, why does that mean they HAVE to buy a Nokia. If anything it makes me mad at Microsoft for not waving their cash around a long time ago to have this for the entire ecosystem.

mparker says:

Of course it's justified.  They paid for part of the development.  Had they paid for all of the development of these apps would you have a problem with Nokia having a permanent exclusive?  Or does Nokia actually have to do the development in-house for it to count?
 
They have done the WP7 community a favor by helping fund the development of these apps, which otherwise would have either arrived on WP months or even years later - maybe not at all, depending on how big the market grows post-Apollo.  Yes, they have done a bigger favor to their own customers, but that does not mean that they haven't done a favor for the rest of the community, and those who claim this simply come off looking churlish and immature, like someone who is given a Rolex then whines because its only stainless steel instead of gold.
 
If a potential customer wants these apps but doesn't want a Nokia then that isn't Nokia's problem.  What if a customer wants Instagram for his WP7 phone, is that Nokia's fault too because Instagram hasn't come out with a WP7 app?  But if Nokia pays Instagram to write a WP7 app but keeps it exclusive for 6 months then somehow Nokia is to be blamed?  Why?  For sinking money into it but not handing it out like candy to children?  Why on earth would Nokia or any other vendor bother funding development if they're gonna get whacked for it?  What a way to boost the ecosystem, by criticising a vendor when they try to solve one of the pressing problems of that ecosystem.
 
Or you could try blaming Samsung and HTC for not supporting the ecosystem properly.  But that implies some level of blame on you and the others that bought from those vendors for not pushing them to properly support WP7, and that just won't do.  So it must be Nokia's fault.
 

mccasive says:

My first Windows phone was HD7 and along the way I purchased Dell Venue Pro and gave out the HD7. Even though I did enjoy my DVP better, l missed Sound Enhancer so much that I eventually have to purchase HTC Radar just for the sound enhancer and ffc. I presently have Lumia 900 with all the exclusive apps but I'm still holding on to my Radar because of the sound enhancer and I'll be m willing to pay $10 or more for this app to be installed on my Lumia 900 which I know is not possible. HTC and Samsung have all resources to make their Windows phones more competitive but they have decided to put all their eggs in Android basket and we can't blame Nokia for reaping the fruits of their hard work

Neofire says:

@MParker - Well said

@MrSean490....Just stop it!  Nokia is not holding a gun  to your head!  Keep using your HTC/Samsung/LG or whatever - you'll get these apps later. 
 
Invertme and mparker pretty much summed things up appropriately in response to your post.
 
At the end of the day, Nokia doesn't owe you, or anyone who isn't their customer, anything! Nokia used their own money to garner these exclusivity deals for NOKIA Lumia customers.  
 
May I suggest that you email your oem of choice to cater these types of exclusive deals for you?

ejlee072006 says:

U can't go wrong with nokia

socialcarpet says:

No one is forcing you to buy a Nokia handset.
No one is screwing you over. It's called competition. Nokia is fighting for it's life here, they cannot afford to leave any competitive advantage they have off the table right now.
 
If Nokia decides not to make their phones as desirable as possible because they don't want to upset people who bought other Windows Phones, then Nokia is as good as dead.

I love what Nokia is doing. Same as I loved it when HTC, LG, etc did it at launch. People complain, and complain, and complain about lack of differences in these devices, and then complain some more when it exists. What really irritates me about all of this. And I mean IRRITATES is how communities, like the users here, or XDA and it's actual moderators condone the pirating of these exclusive apps as though they aren't stealing. Just yesterday, when they were announced, how many posts concerned people saying "I'll just sideload them onto my unlocked device." And XDA, a place that stands behind its "fight" of warez, condones these apps being published. Actually, the users act as though they're all entitled to every app that comes out. I'm dev unlocked, and I've never sideloaded an exclusive app or a paid app I didn't purchase. I look forward to many more exclusive features from Nokia, and I am more than happy I supported them. But I won't steal apps from other OEMs like people insist on doing towards Nokia apps.

True, but those sideloading and espeically pirating apps is very, very small. Piracy on Windows Phone barely exists, for all intents and purposes.

mparker says:

So theft is ok as long as it doesn't happen too often?
 
Piracy of apps should not be condoned, even if it occurs infrequently.  Once you decide that "a little piracy" is ok then you have to figure out where the dividing line is, where the level of piracy is no longer acceptable.  But the more people out there benefitting from piracy at level 'x', the more people that will be argue that level x+1 should also acceptable, and you're rapidly sliding down a pretty slippery slope.

schlubadub says:

The sentiment of "oh you have to sell your phone and buy a new Lumia just to get apps like Nokia Drive" doesn't wash - Give people a choice to legally buy it and they will. Deny them and they'll take it anyway.

phazer89 says:

"That didn’t happen. Face it, the only reason we’re getting these apps is because Nokia did whatever it is they did to get these companies to the table." Quote for truth. Besides, it's not as though all of the apps are timed exclusives, and those that are vary in length. The fact is, without Nokia pushing for app support, these apps probably wouldn't see the light of day on WP7 even after the exclusivity period. Waiting for 0/3/6/12 months is certainly better than waiting forever. That said, depending on W8/WP8's popularity, this may not matter as much.

davepermen says:

It's the right thing right now. But still, it creates fragmentation. Because it's not just "the lumia series are great phones, that's why you should buy one". No, it's "you won't get all the features and apps on other devices". so it's fragmentation.

It is, but not the kind that hinders the OS's growth which is my critera for declaring a type of fragmentation "bad".

It's potentially bad for some indivdual users, no argument but good for the platform.

socialcarpet says:

Fragmentation is when you have multiple versions of the same OS in the market at the same time and some phones that can be upgraded and others that can't and all different times when the upgrades become available. See Android.
Fragmentation is NOT when one OEM has an exclusive on an Angry Birds game for a while. People need to stop throwing the "fragmentation" term around if they don't understand the definiton of it as it applies to a phone OS. 

I totally agree.. Nokia should be given credit for the efforts they are doing to push the platform forward. It's only fair that they do the exclusivity. At least it's for a limited time only. It's harsh but it's business.. plain and simple.

mj12bot says:

At the Moment as an "no Nokia" User with a HTC Titan i am very unhappy with the fact that everywhere Windows Phone is named (even on Windows Phones Facebook Page) there is Nokia mentioned. My Phone is great too. I am really kind of pissed off by this. Soon they will get their own WP Version or what? There is too much focusing only on Nokia.

George and I are huge fans of the Titan and especially the Titan II (we both use it) but even we can fight the tide. We've tried to give those phones ample coverage to spurn adoption though.

kenzibit says:

Yeah too much Nokia focus and I just hate that fact. It should be about the OS not a device.

erwt says:

Isn't that the fault of HTC though? I haven't seen the slightest effort from them to market their product, especially in Europe, while Lumia 800 ads are still rolling on Swedish national television, 4 months after launch. It's a pity, because the Titan seems to be a great phone, but I can't see how this is Nokia or Microsoft's fault here.

This is true too. The Titan II has not been advertised and HTC doesn't seem interested in promoting it.

Shame because George and I consider it to be one of the top, if not the top, Windows Phone to date.

DesRed says:

I agree. In Malaysia, from where I'm from, the Lumia ads ran for nearly two months from the time it was launched (11th February). As for the Titan, not only was there no ads but HTC didn't even release it here. The only WP7 handsets they offer are the HD7 and Mozart, which you can only get from the operators on a contract plan. Same goes for Samsung's Omnia 7 and LG's Optimus 7.
 
And how did those three advertise their products? By releasing just one photo with their branch presidents holding their respective phones last October or November, months before the Marketplace became available here. Zero advertising after that.

socialcarpet says:

That's HTC's fault. It's their job to promote their Windows Phones. 

wetworker says:

I totally agree. Going forward Nokia will be the hardware of choice for me. I'm also sick and tired of the second hand Android hardware HTC & Samsung keeps pushing on us WP users.

If HTC & Samsung did 20% of the kind of advertising Nokia did, WP platform would have a much bigger market share.

nizzon says:

Really good article!!!

kenzibit says:

I agree 100% for what you just said. Yhis maater has been bothering me for some time now and it has started to piss me off. WP Variants are now comming out due to Nokia's exclusive apps and it's not by force to use a Nokia device so whay the punishment? I can see Nokia's own WP version coming out very soon and just hate that fact. Why Nokia, Nokia Nokia? It's supposed to be the OS not a device.

GonzoMcGee says:

Maybe because Nokia is the only manufacturer that unlike Samsung, HTC and LG really committed to WP7!? I absolutely support what Nokia is doing. All the others had ample of time to do exactly the same thing but happens? NOTHING!

hopmedic says:

What in the world is with all the self-entitled whining about "punishment"???  Everyone who sits here saying they're being punished for not buying a Nokia phone sounds just like the friggin liberals who want what someone else has, but doesn't want to pay for it.  "I have a 77 Pinto but I want the 08 Caddy that he has." 
You're not being punished for buying an HTC or Samsung (or LG) phone.  You're getting what you paid for.  Having those phones isn't a punishment.  Nokia didn't take anything away from you.  Having a Nokia phone is a BONUS.  You want that app?  Buy that phone!  Nokia paid/supported/or incentivized someone to create that app.  How would you like to pay for an app to be created for YOUR customers, only to have a bunch of cry babies whining that they want it, too, but they don't want to buy your product??  I say, "If you're not my customer, why should I give it to you???"

Oh - and I have a Verizon Trophy - NOT a Nokia.  Would I like these apps?  Yes.  Would I like to even have a Nokia phone available for me to use in my area?  Yes.  But I don't.  I'm not going to cry like a baby and throw a tantrum about it.
Lose the entitlement attitude or go take a dump on a police car in Zuccotti Park.

socialcarpet says:

You had me right up until you needlessly introduced politics into the equation. 

1fishermun says:

I supported the windows phone Os from the beginning, and this is how I get rewarded. I didn't buy a Nokia due to its sub par camera, its a great phone but the titan 2 suits my needs better. What Nokia is doing supports Nokia not the windows phone. I really hope this nonsense doesn't happen,
this should be about growing the os, not Nokia. I'm glad that wp7 is finally getting some attention. I just hope this nonsense doesn't ruin it.

@1fishermun...But isn't your 'reward' the camera on the Titan II and the Titan II in general?
 
Nokia is supposed to support Nokia.  HTC is supposed to support HTC.  All oems are to support the growth of the OS, via their own hardware.
 
Lol!  Just enjoy your TII - you'll get to use these apps later, if you want to use them.

smoledman says:

This proves Apple's model of full vertical integration is the best. If Nokia was the only OEM for Windows Phone they would be forced to up their game on hardware. We don't need multiple WP vendors, just one great vendor.

VHMP01 says:

Ideal? It is a 5 year old grid of icons! Apple comes with an improved copy of an existing product, markets it as an ‘Original’ ‘Magical’ innovation, and stalls this innovation for almost a decade! Not the best but the worst model! They copied LGs Prada innovative design with the first iPhone, and hurt innovation since. They copied Samsung’s 2006 photo frame design for the first iPad, come out later suing Samsung for the design itself, forbidding them to even sell the Tab, and hurt innovation since. Magical is the worst model; Dell, HP, Google, MS, American companies being hurt by the totalitarian Model, that’s more like it!
Samsung’s 2006 photo frame:
http://www.letsgodigital.org/images/artikelen/47/samsung_digital_photo_frame.gif
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/news/articles/story_6854.html
LG’s 2006 Prada:
http://pictures.recombu.com/news/M15874/1322126991_w287_h300.jpg
http://recombu.com/news/lg-prada-phone-30-confirmed_M15874.html
 

 

socialcarpet says:

Nokia's job is to help Nokia. Nokia is 100% committed to Windows Phone. It's not a little hobby for them when they have a few minutes free to pull their heads out of Google's ass, like with HTC and the rest.
As a consumer you have choices, you decided you liked the Titan 2's camera better than the Lumia's. It's not Nokia's job to spend money getting apps developed only to hand them to their competitors. 
As a consumer, I have choices too. I decided I liked the Lumia's hardware the best and I knew that Nokia would do more to support Windows Phone than anyone else because they have some skin in the game. That to me was more important than a better camera. So I made my choice. 

inteller says:

You don't address the problem....Nokia's hardware is technically inferior to HTCs.  You know, LG tried this exclusive app thing too...their hardware was so shitty they decided to throw apps at people.  It was a nice touch but none of the apps were crucial to the app ecosystem so it wasn't a big deal.  Now you have Nokia throwing ridiculously long exclusivity on apps that the WP7 community has needed since launch....and putting them on mostly mediocre hardware (900 being exception)
 
Imagine if LG had pulled in all of these big name apps on their shitty Quantum and made them exclusive for a year, you all would be up in arms.  Instead you all are taking the low road approach by just telling people to complain to their ODMs.....if Microsoft wants fanboism within its own platform it just got it with this crap.

socialcarpet says:

Nonsense. The HTC has a better camera and an insignificant bump in clock speed. That's it.  The chipsets are vritually identical. The graphics chips are identical. The RAM is identical. The Lumia's screen is SuperAMOLED which renders colors far better than the HTC, the ClearBlack polarization makes it the most viewable screen in bright sunlight on ANY phone (confirmed by multiple tests). The Lumia has a beautiful, modern chassis that looks like nothing else on the market VS. the same old gray plastic we've seen 1000 times before. The Lumia has a better speaker than the HTC, the Lumia has much better battery life and the Lumia has much better OEM apps, and now the apps that are exclusive, albeit for a limited time.
The Titan II is a great phone, but lets not pretend it's anything more than a Titan I with a nice 16mp camera shoehorned in, because it's not, and it sure as hell isn't worth an extra $100-200.  You might as well buy the Lumia and take that $100 and buy a digital camera that will take better pictures than ANY cell phone. You'll get a better phone and a better camera. 
If you're annoyed with HTC's lack of exclusive apps, take that up with HTC. 

zacman says:

The marketplace gets renamed to 'Nokia Market' in Tango for Lumia devices. The Windows Phone bag livetile gets replaced with a Nokia N. Nokia seems to try everything to get away from the Windows brand and switch to a Lumia brand for the OS for better marketing. And there are now even rumours that Nokia will be in full control over accepting apps for the Nokia Market that devs submit even if the apps would violate the Microsoft marketplace terms and conditions. So it is very possible that third party apps will be released in the future only for the Nokia Market and not for the Windows Phone marketplace. And that has nothing to do with a limited time exclusiveness like it is now.

GonzoMcGee says:

I am happy to join the dark side... My light saber will have a Lumia label on it!

freerider189 says:

You hit the ultimate problem in your article and then glossed over it. What if HTC come out with big exclusives? Say Instagram for example. I then have to choose between Nokia with ESPN or HTC with Instagram. How does this benefit consumers? Personally I'm incredibly unimpressed by Nokia's hardware so far, the cameras are very poor and the phone is uncomfortable to hold. Microsoft have been selling WP as the same experience across all phones, but thanks to Nokia this will no longer be the case. I won't be buying Nokia any time soon and as a result I won't be getting the best software experience.

Question is, do you think that's really plausible? That there's a chance it will hapen? I don't and see no reason to think HTC or Samsung would try and do that (or be succesful). Surely they would have by now if they could or were interested.

Do you even think HTC/Samsung care that much about Winodws Phone's success? I'm not so sure...

thed says:

Does it really matter if it's plausible? Just think about the possibility of it happening and you'll see why this is a bad thing.
 
MS should be the one doing this so it benefits the whole platform. It's basically their money anyway since they did dump several truckloads of cash on Nokia. That's the main reason this is upsetting to me.

It does matter because I wrote about what is not what might be.

There are endless possibilities one could hypothesize happening but that's not what I was interested in, I was interetsed in what we know right now.

I don't need to think about it, I wrote in the article above that I thought it'd be a bad thing if that were to happen, so not sure what else there is to say on it?

I do agree MS should be doing this (and they have for a lot of apps already) but my guess is Nokia's ties go deeper than MS's and they are able to secure these deals.

1jaxstate1 says:

Why don't you think it's plausible? It's happening with now with Nokia. And how is it you think HTC/Samsung don't care about WP7 sucess, when they were the only two real OEM producing WP7 devices to begin with. Plus other OEM's are not getting money under the table from MS like Nokia. 
 
Seems like you guys have  your heads stuck up Nokia's......

The plausiblity question is with HTC procuring Instagram!  AIN'T.GONNA.HAPPEN!
 
Nokia is securing exclusivity deals on apps that are useful, fun, but not necessarily highly desireable cross platform types of apps (i.e. Instagram, Pandora). 
 
Nokia is getting money under the table by Microsoft - and you know this how? 
 
 
 

"Why don't you think it's plausible?"

19 months after launch and HTC and Samsung haven't done so yet, that's why.

Neither company is sinking serious expenditures into advertising, market distribution, developer outreach and assistance, advertising, employee training, etc.

I just don't see that level of commitment from either Samsung or HTC.

"Seems like you guys have your heads stuck up Nokia's......"

Really? Even after we wrote extensively about the flaws in the 900, tossed up a poll (which we sent to Nokia), made a fuss about how bad their cameras are you're still gonna play that card?

Like I said I don't like that Nokis is doing (had to do) this, but it's for the good of the platform.

expectafight says:

Other people can blast you for the other asinine comments you made here, I'm just going to tee off on one with a few questions:
 
What possible benefit would Nokia have to NOT disclose all of the their revenue streams at the current moment?  Why would a company that is in the posistion that they are in hide more cash infusions?
 
We all knew that Nokia was going "all in" with Windows Phone, so this is their version of going all in.  People wanted the apps that they had on the Symbian side of the house from Nokia...Nokia releases Maps, Transit, Drive, Contact Transfers etc.   People complained that the ecosystem is weak...Nokia partners up with well known devs in the market to sure that up.  What are they supposed to do?  Honestly?

freerider189 says:

But if you're 100% sure this isn't going to start an arms race and cause fragmentation then surely it means HTC, Samsung etc. become irrelevant as Nokia hog more and more of the best apps/games. Therefore we will end up with HTC, Samsung etc. not bothering to bring out WP hardware and we will be forced to choose from whatever hardware Nokia offers. And so we have the iPhone problem: if we want to stick with our beloved OS, then we have to put up with being dictated to in terms of hardware.

socialcarpet says:

I have the Lumia 900, but I would love to see HTC get Instagram on board and underwrite the cost of developing the app, even if it meant they would have an exclusive deal on the app for 90 days or 6 months or a year or whatever.
It would certainly be better than not getting the app at all. It would also mean that someone other than Nokia and Microsoft is actually doing something to help Windows Phone instead of half heartedly selling Android hand-me-downs.
It would be a great thing. Personally I don't have that much faith in HTC do anything like that. I think Samsung just MIGHT though. Fingers crossed. 

expectafight says:

The ultimate problem?!
 
Do you have any idea how often this happens? Flipboard for Android will be a Galaxy S3 exclusive.  I'm not torn up about this, even though I'm targeting a One X and I do use flipboard pretty heavily.  That's a differenciator.  That's what Nokia is doing.  They are carving out their nitch and become the biggest fish in this small pond. 
 
Complaining about the software experience for apps that have a TIMED exclusive is pointless.  Straight up.  If HTC is fighting to get devs on the OS and is willing to pay devs for it (and even work along side the devs to make development time more valuable) then that makes it even better. 
 
If the number one complaint with most people with the OS was the lack of apps/dev commitment, how is any of this a bad thing?  Rovio was willing to dismiss the platform (twice if you ask me).  Now they have an incentive for doing so AND they are bring exclusive content.  That can't be a bad thing.
 
(and no, I don't have a Lumia, I have a Venue Pro.  On TMobile at that.  I'm not privy to the Nokia collection or the AT&T collection or the HTC, Samsung or LG sections of the marketplace.)
 

Tahiti Bob says:

So if I understand the article, it's up to HTC and Samsung to help the ecosystem grow as well as Nokia. So tomorrow we would have ESPN only for Lumia, Draw Something only for HTC and Instagram only for Samsung and that would be perfectly fine. Maybe add a little BBC iPlayer only for ZTE to round it up, why not? At least all the apps would make it to Windows Phone and that's what counts.

No, the point was none of those OEMs are doing anything remotely close to what Nokia is doing.

And there's no reason to believe that will change because none are 100% dependent on Windows Phone's success. That's only Nokia.

HTC and Samsung don't have the leverage or skills to do what Nokia is doing, for better or for worse.

harchestr says:

I don't mind if Samsung and HTC start getting exclusive popular cross platform apps.. All that means is Window Phones is getting the benefit of the devs making them. I can wait the time frame of how long the apps are exclusive for. At least I know they will be access to me. Unlike now no one even know how long it will take Pandora to come to the platform.

iampoz says:

Nice article and well done Nokia. We all should be applauding Nokia for what they're doing not getting offended by it. It will encourage growth of a platform we all love (well most us). I don't own a Nokia and my next device might be the Samsung Focus S2 if the rumors end up being true but I'm not going to get pissy because one company is putting more effort into the platform than the others (they've had plenty of time to do so). All device makers have their own exclusive apps. They need to do this to differentiate their devices from the others and the majority of exclusive apps will eventually come to the rest of us. We've all been patient so far what's the big deal in waiting a little longer. Now if someone could light a fire under Citrix's arse il be ever so grateful.

expectafight says:

Here here for Citrix...I have a feeling that they will be around when WP8 rolls around though. 

theefman says:

Its amazing that people are complaining about this. Ask yourself, why hasnt HTC or Samsung done this? More importantly, where would the platform as a whole be without Nokia and their marketing and promotions? You're all moaning that this is unfair to you, take Nokia out of the equation and the question most likely to be asked is if you would even have a WP device, and would the platform even survive beyond this year, with the lackluster support of HTC, Samsung and the rest.
 
Would we have at&t actively promoting a WP device if it wasnt for Nokia?
 
Would Verizon be showing any interest if it wasnt for Nokia?
 
Would the at&t CEO say in public that he loves his Windows Phone if it wasnt for Nokia?
 
Lets not forget that HTC and Samsung have been there from the beginning and have done nothing to push the OS. Maybe you should stop complaining and appreciate that what Nokia is doing benefits the platform overall, as Daniel stated so well in the article. And while you're at it, give your beloved WP OEM a poke and ask them why they dont seem to give a damn about their WP customers.
 
All I can say is, great article and well done Nokia.

GonzoMcGee says:

Well said! Absolutely agree

1jaxstate1 says:

Because MS is not paying them to do this. Nokia is gettign paid to do this.

smapor says:

Some of you guys need to learn to read. These apps will eventually be available to all.........

When Nokia grows the WP base, developers will continue to develop because of the grown market share led by Nokia.

Sorry
This is no different than Apple updating the OS and older handsets can't use some functions (aka Siri, which can work on iPhone 4)

if you can't see the big picture, then here is a tissue.

MarcoBug322 says:

What i whining and blaming on Nokia who investst alot of money in these apps and titan or other brand owners wants to eat them for free.
Just buy a Nokia i wont whine about the few exclusive other brand apps.
Nokia has to have a selling point WP7 is small its the only way to make it big just thank Nokia for this effort and stop whining.
next time rethink before u buy.
 
people really thinking the world upside down here.

1fishermun says:

I upgraded from the focus to the lumia, but switched to the the titan 2 due to the sub par camera. Even though I supported windows from the pre mango days, because i didn't choose Nokia i have to wait for angry birds etc. That's not a very good way to reward loyal wp7 supporters. Nokia shouldn't tie up other non Nokia made apps like angry birds etc. Its a slap in the face to everyone who has stuck around from the start. I'm supporting wp7 Os, not Nokia I shouldn't be penalized for that.

hopmedic says:

Ummmm....  I've had Angry Birds on my Verizon (HTC) Trophy since before Nokia had phones on the market.  The release date was 5/27/2011.  I'm thinking Nokia didn't come out with phones for about six more months....
Quit your whining.  You're not being punished.  You got what you paid for.  Nokia customers get what they paid for.  Do you really expect Nokia to pay/support/incentivize someone to create the app for their customers, then give it to everyone who isn't their customer?  Did I see you in Zuccotti Park?

threed61 says:

Fragmentation was coined by the high and mighty turtleneck to slime the Android competition. You could just as easily call it choice. Choice is good. If you want to be where everyone uses the the exact same phone, try North Korea.
Not everyone wants or needs the same features, choice is good.

zacman says:

You know that you have to seal your phone when entering into north Korea? Better don't make stupid comparisons if you have no clue.

threed61 says:

Keep your hair cut short so the breeze from things sailing over your head doesn't mess it up.

MarcoBug322 says:

Being loyal doesnt guarantee any thing in life buying the right device does.

Big Supes says:

I don't see HTC or Samsung sharing their apps so what's the bug deal? Go Nokia! Someone has to set the ante and we sure can't rely on other OEM's at present...

erwt says:

There's a difference between first-party apps like Nokia Drive and HTC Hub and these new third-party exclusives. It's to be expected that Nokia or HTC's own made apps won't be shared, but this new deal at this big of a scale is really unprecedented on the WP platform (or any for that matter?). I don't necessarily have any problem with it myself, but I can sort of see where people are coming from.

Tahiti Bob says:

No one complains about 1st party apps being exclusive, so Nokia Drive being only for Lumia is fine. The issue is with mainstream 3rd party apps like CNN, ESPN or Groupon, exclusivity on these shouldn't exist.

Antwan3k says:

Exclusivity on ESPN and Groupon already doesn't exist.. Go to the marketplace on any given WP device and you can download both ESPN Scorecenter and Groupon right now.. Nokia is pushing to get apps on the platform so if they get timed exclusives for apps like Angry Birds or Paypal and exclusive features for apps like Groupon then that seems perfectly fair.. If you put all the extra time and effort into a project for work, do you think it's fair that the guy who been on vacation for the last two weeks gets equal credit?.. No, of course not.. If these 3rd party apps are that important to you, either buy a Nokia device or wait until Nokia's exclusivity runs out.. In the mean time, petition HTC and Samsung to step up their Windows Phone support.. Its just that simple.. But the last thing we need to do is bash a company who is FULLY supporting Windows Phone..

Judge_Daniel says:

I only wish there was a Nokia phone available on every carrier. Otherwise, I don't have a problem as long as the apps will eventually make it to all Windows Phone.

safesax2002 says:

Well said. Choose a Nokia phone....some of us live on a Verizon only market. :( I think I could go with AT&T if I wanted to stand outside to talk and not have 3G (or 4G).

hopmedic says:

^^^THIS^^^
I would have to stand outside to use ATT, as well.  Nokia!  Hey, Stephen Elop!  Get on the horn with Verizon!  Can you hear me now?

lantern20 says:

I think the apps are great!  It's only good for WP.  I am disappointed that they are exclusive to Nokia.  I started with a Lumia 900 & exchanged it twice because of various issues.  I really liked the feel of the Lumia and would have really liked to stay with it, but I currently have the Titan II.  The phone works well.  I just wish I could get the Nokia apps.  I miss Nokia Drive.  I would also really like to get some of the upcoming exclusive apps.  I can and will wait patiently for when they come to the rest of the WPs.  I'm glad Nokia is getting the apps to WP!

jalb says:

I don't really care when it's Nokia's first party apps, but when they are using Microsoft's money to pay off real devs for exclusivity deals, it kind of sucks.  I don't want a Nokia phone, and that shouldn't mean that as an early adopting, hardcore booster of the OS, I get a second rate experience. 

I think the unique applications of Nokia rather worrying because actually we users want a Windows Phone and not a Nokia Phone.

inteller says:

What an AWESOME app story salespeople get to tell new smartphone customers.
 
Not only do they have to convince skeptical Windows Phone neopyhtes that there are plenty of apps, but they have to convince them to buy a certain phone to get the apps the promise.
 
Brilliant?  No.
 
These huge exclusive deals are getting ridiculous.The carrier and ODM app marketplace was always a good idea, allow a few specialized apps on each phone in lieu of BS like TouchWiz.  However, creating what amounts to whole separate marketplaces with these lock in deals is just dumb.  And what if I get a Nokia now, get the apps but later decide I don't like it and get a Titan II?  All of a sudden I lose scads of apps that I had access too.
It's time to stop this nonsense.
 
Just like when Tango created two classes of Windows Phone consumers, this crap is creating two classes of Windows Phone users.  You can say its not fragmentation or whatever, but it IS the creation of a class system.  The app haves and have nots.  Why should any customer feel punished for picking the phone that they thought was right for them and thought they'd get access to the same apps as anyone else?  Oh and the retort "Well you should have bought a Nokia" rings hollow, callous, and a little bit elitist...something typically reserved for iSheep

"Not only do they have to convince skeptical Windows Phone neopyhtes that there are plenty of apps, but they have to convince them to buy a certain phone to get the apps the promise."

The problem with this is Nokia phones sell themselves over HTC and Samsung.

See the Lumia 900 vs Titan II. Ask me which phone I think is better and it'd be the Titan II. Doesn't matter though as the 900 is killing it.

Nokia jumped from 0 to being the #1 Windows Phone OEM. In ONE quarter.

inteller says:

Really?  Nokia is selling lots of phones on Verizon or Sprint?  How sucky it must be to have a Trophy and get this thrown in your face that the apps youhave been waiting for will not be available to you because Nokia bribed some asshole devs to make the app they didn't want to make in the first place.
It should be Microsoft heading up this endeavor not Nokia....and crucial ecosystem apps should not be exclusive to one device provider...in fact Microsoft TRIED seed money once already and it was a mixed success....you had turds like Yelp who pumped out a crappy shell of an app to get the payola.  Microsoft had to step in AGAIN and team them up with a MS partner to write the app update (nventive)
 
Assholes like Groupon who had no intentions of SIMPLY UPDATING their app with new features have NO BUSINESS cutting payola deals with Nokia to do something ANY GOOD DEV would do.
It also sets a dangerous precedent that assholes like Pandora et al will just hold out until some "john" will bankroll their development.  Devs become the whores and Nokia is the john.  It also makes all the legit devs who took a risk look like chumps for bankrolling their development costs themselves.  Places like USA Today might be thinking "hey we can just hold back on updates and let Nokia bankroll us"
 
These are bad bad times for WP7 app development.

hopmedic says:

I have a Trophy, and I don't find it "sucky" at all.  I think it is great that Nokia is getting the platform rolling, and I do not fault them at all for wanting to keep their apps for people who actually support them.  I for one would not spend time or money writing an app for my customers, only to then give it away to everyone else.  That rips off my own customers.  Nokia users paid for what they are getting, just as HTC and Samsung users, including myself, got what I paid for.
Yes, I do, however, want to see Nokia on VZW.  Hey, Stephen Elop?  Can you hear me now?

inteller says:

You mean to tell me you are prefectly fine waiting a year for an app that other people get just because you don't have the right brand of phone?  Come on, stop pretending here.  Your perspective is one filled with hope that Nokia will bring a phone to Verizon, which may or may not happen.  What is a certainty is that until then you will not have apps until after a certain time period other people do, all because you own the wrong brand of phone, NOT because your phone is incapable of running it.
 
Nokia is just creating a huge demand for sideloading with this crap.

expectafight says:

ONE MORE TIME.  TIMED EXCLUSIVE != NOT AVAILABLE EVER
FFS!!!!!
Here's the best of the best here.  You spoke about Microsoft's mixed results to get devs on board (leaving out apps that shined/beat their android contemporaries to market like NetFlix)...what do you think that cash infusion to Nokia is doing right now?  They are bring apps to the platform.  Arguably better than previous attempts.  Microsoft invested in the right people and now you are starting to see the returns.  And this is still pre-WP8. 
 
Dev's will always look to turn a profit.  Simple reason why, there's a market for them.  EA will still gobble up smaller devs, Zynga will try to do the same thing...Why is that a bad thing?  The Marketshare isn't big enough for some of these devs to go crazy over trying to develop for WP *yet*. 

inteller says:

netflix is a HORRIBLE example....it doesnt outshine anything and has been surpassed in functionality by its platform counterparts.  I guess Netflix is waiting for uncle moneybags Nokia to bankroll a major upgrade they will make exclusive to Lumia devices.

expectafight says:

why respond if you're only going to skim my comment.  NetFlix was on WP7 day one.  On Android around this time last year, to some devices running specific OS versions.  So unless you rooted and played around with the build.prop file, the majority of folks weren't getting Netflix.  Tell me again how horrible that example is. 

socialcarpet says:

A couple of exclusives which will expire doesn't "create two classes of Windows Phone users"
Tango didn't create two classes of Windows Phone users either. Clearly you don't know anything about Tango or you wouldn't have said that. Tango is an update which will come to all Windows Phones. Yes, it adds support for sub-1Ghz 256MB phones, but it's not limited to them.
Using the term "iSheep" pretty much negates any shred of credibility you might have had left. I'm not a Nokia-sheep and I'm sure you're not an HTC-sheep or a Samsung-sheep. That  nonsense has to stop. Apple makes a great product, that's why it sells well. Nokia stepped to the plate to make their Windows Phones top notch. The Lumia is a great product, that's why it sells well. If your OEM of choice isn't selling many Windows Phones, it's not Nokia's fault. It's not Microsoft's fault either. 
Everyone needs to chill the fuck out about this issue. A handful of apps which probably would not have been developed anyway are now going to be available to Nokia users and eventually everyone else. You can thank Nokia for Angry Birds Space or whatever else it is you want when it does become available to you. 
Instead of focusing on this, ask yourself why your OEM isn't doing more to contribute to the Windows Phone platform. 

inteller says:

the typical response "go tell your OEM to do more"
 
give me an effing break.  It was HTC and Samsung who went out on a limb and supported WP7 from DAY ONE.  They didn't jump off burning platforms and other analogies like Nokia.  Tango DOES create two classes of users, I suspect Windows Phone 8 will create yet another class if current phones get WP8 "lite"  This app fragmentation is possibly worse than the OS forks though, as you are creating an ecosystem where two Windows Phone users can't stand side by side and download the same app on the same day of release. 
You really want fanboism within your own platform?  You've already started it by laying in with the "go tell your OEM to do better" schlock.

expectafight says:

Seriously?
 
 Tango opens the platform to lower specs, yes, but that's still in the chassis guidelines.  Those low cost devices are meant for developing nations.  SO, applying practical logic, in the US, you wont see that "problem"....mainly because the phone in this article is $100 on contract.  And there's only one WP thats above $150 on contract right now...In the country...
 
Anything else, you're just speaking out of your hindparts. 

inteller says:

really?  SO most of Europe are developing nations?  I've heard that "we'll never see it schpeel" since day one, but guess what, 610s are popping up EVERYWHERE.  They will be in Mexico, and word has it they are coming to Canada.  Two classes of devices in the same geography....and what was Microsoft's solution to fixing this mistake?  Telling all devs to recompile their apps to use less resources.....what a hack job!

expectafight says:

again, what the hell are you talking about? 
 
sections of China, the Philippines and other developing nations were the target.  The apps that can't run on the OS are marked in the marketplace, so once again, in practical thinking, you make absolutely no friggin sense...
 
you pick and choose the spots where your argument appears to you as the strongest to respond to but there are a few people in this thread who have shot you down pretty soundly with not even so much of a peep coming back from you.  Just stop now.

inteller says:

is that your best response....care to explain how Australia is a developing nation (getting the 610).
 
Tango will create 2 class systems in all of these countries, Nokia will break it down even further by restricting apps.  There will be lots of "oh sorry you can't get that, wait a year" or "sorry your phone can't multitask while mine can" said at the carriers and people will just say f that.

WinFan1 says:

in response to that speaking from what ive personally seen and heard most people who own iphones dont even know that their phone multitasks. if people with expensive phones like that dont know they have multitasking or generally what multitasking is why would it matter for the 610? Also the sales reps i know or have ever met try to sell me a phone with multitasking as a selling point so based off MY <<< experience your argument is flawed.

Badranath17 says:

If it wasn't for Nokia these apps probably wouldn't even be coming to the OS. Nokia has used their initative and gone out and got these apps under development and they will be released to the whole community in the future.

Antwan3k says:

People shouldn't be upset with Nokia or Microsoft.. They should be upset with Samsung and HTC for not doing similar deals to get apps on the Windows Phone OS and also for not properly advertising great devises like the HTC Titan II.. Redirect your anger and concerns to the parties that deserve that criticism.. Nokia should be applauded for their efforts.. Plain and simple..

brorim says:

Some people around here does not seem to understand how big a company Nokia actually is

Jrexxx says:

I know a lot of people will get mad at me for saying this, but if it weren't for Nokia, WP would have been dead by next year. Microsoft knew that, and that's why they are paying so much so that Nokia adopts their OS.
HTC, Smasung, LG and Dell had a year and a half before Nokia released their phones to do something interesting, but they didn't! They just put WP7 on ex-android devices, and tried to sell them with 0 advertisement or engagement to WP. Wp has always been an afterthought for them. I'm not saying that the handsets that they released were bad, but they didn't even try to show the world how good they were.
And that brings me to Nokia. They already said that there is no plan B, that they are betting everything they have on WP, and I think that they have proven it: they've already paid millions, if not billions, on advertising, esepcially in Europe. They anounced that Symbian was dead, allthough their not going to kill it before 2016, a decision that is causing them a lot of trouble financialy at the moment. So I can only understand Nokia when they do such a move: their puting their money on the table, their reputation, their whole company and investing heavily in WP. Why should HTC ,Samsung and ZTE (Acer and Fujitsu too) (LG and Dell having quit WP) benefit from all these apps when they don't even care if WP fails or succeeds? At the end of the day it's the consumer's loss, I know, but that's how business is done. Nokia are trying to sell their own phones, not HTC's or Samsung's.
To sum it up, I could understand people's frustration if HTC and Samsung had invested themselves in WP, but they haven't, and Nokia is taking full advantage of their deal with Microsoft, because if they don't, they will definitely fail!

socialcarpet says:

I couldn't have said it better myself. Bravo.

1fishermun says:

Microsoft and AT&T did a good job advertising the Lumia 900, yes it's drawing more attention to the wp7 platform I do applaud them in that respect so please don't put words in my mouth...plain and simple. I'm talking about exclusive 3rd party apps trying to limit our choice to one device in America not north Korea. Loyalty should count for something.

murani says:

Loyalty? Nokia and every other OEM is a business that has to do what they must to be successful. Samsung and HTC have been displaying apathy with no signs of the situation changing.
Realistically if you choose to purchase a device from an OEM that half-asses its way in doing anything on the Windows Phone platform thats on you. Don't miscast the negative result of that decision as disloyalty on either Microsoft or Nokia's part.  You do yourself an injustice by not holding the other OEMs accountable for their lack of effort on helping to grow the platform.

That's how it is.. that's how business is. Don't be too naive..

@murani - I totally agree with you.

hopmedic says:

What he said.

murani says:

Frankly I am not surprised to see people think of "their" needs and try to mask it by saying its for the good of the OS.  Like Daniel stated, neither Samsung (who is the # shipper of phones) or HTC has given anything but a middling effort when it comes to Windows Phone OS.  Lets all be clear about the fact had Nokia not joined the party the OS might already be on End-Of-Life status.  Instead they have sparked interest and sales. Where the hell are the HTC Titan II commercials? I am a proud owner of the HTC Titan and they never featured the Titan on their website instead choosing to proudly display their Android offerings.
More than anything else Nokia is making Windows Phone relevant. You can bitch and moan all you want but in addition to the apps being brought to the table they even convinced Microsoft of the importance of implementing LTE now instead of waiting until Windows Phone. That decision likely helped save the platform as carriers would have been sure that Microsoft still didn't get what it took to make headway.
In the end as Nokia is the one OEM that is adding value to the platform. If you want to be disappointed or upset with anybody it should be at the other OEMs for treating Windows Phone like a second-class citizen.

@murani...Well said!

AzD says:

Um, no, it's not "well said" actually.

WP is already on end of life status - Windows 8 and its related iterations are going to replace WP. Microsoft has made no bones about that and also the fact that they view the mobile space as essential to their future success. With or without Nokia, MS is moving forward in the mobile arena. Nice that they have a willing and vocal partner in the venture but make no mistake - Nokia may be doomed to fail, but MS is going to continue its pursuit of mobile market share. This isn't a case of Nokia saving MS, its MS propping up Nokia's end-of-life.

socialcarpet says:

Not really.
Microsoft isn't going to sell Windows Phone 8 by itself in a box at Best Buy. They need GREAT phones running that OS to sell it. And there are already 10,000 Android phones + the iPhone dominating the whole market, so guess what, 5 more Android look-a-likes from the boring Korean phone makers aren't going to get noticed.
Nokia's ability to innovate and make hardware that looks, feels and acts distinctively different from the mountain of look-a-like Korean black slabs is EXACTLY what Microsoft needs to get people's attention focused on Windows Phone. That is why Microsoft invested in Nokia, it was a shrewd business move.
If you think Windows Phone would have done anything other than languished in the single digit market share without Nokia, then you're wrong. Nokia needed Microsoft because they had no OS. Microsoft needed Nokia because they had no iconic hardware that people could identify as "uniquely Windows Phone". 
Now they have both. Just like Android sat still until Motorola and Verizon came up with the Droid branding that got people's attention and gave Android an identity---- Nokia will do the same thing for Windows Phone. It won't be the only Windows Phone, but it's going to be the face of Windows Phone and they will build the hardware that drives the design language of the Windows Phone platform moving forward. 
 

My biggest question is, why is Nokia doing this and not Microsoft?!?!?!? Devs need funding? Microsoft has more money than Nokia could ever dream of and it is Microsoft's OS...so why the hell not dump tons of cash to get amazing exclusive apps? For cryinout loud...that is how 4 Xbox's have now ended up in every home!

invertme says:

People who are upset by this need to grow up. Nokia is trying to grow their brand by making it more appealing to buy their products. This is a GOOD thing. HTC and Samsung can do the exact same thing - no one is stoping them. Also it's not like it's forever.

murani says:

Some devs have snubbed their noses at Microsoft for one reason or another.  Microsoft has had a team in place to evangelize to devs and see what it would take to get big name apps from the get go. Brandon Watson handled the wide spectrum apps while somebody else was tasked to bring in the big name apps.
Also its important to keep in mind that Nokia has seeded over 20,000 phones to devs. The fact is that the OS was not really ready for primetime until Mango arrived as there were simply no way to get around some technical issues, like native access, that weren't available until Mango.

Arun3 says:

Nice arguments. Got to agree on most of what's written. Great job. :) People are becoming aware of WP as a result of Nokia Lumia phones....

A very balanced, well written article.  Enjoyed the read.
 
That image...I wish that I could balance my cup of tea like that :)

NickMon68 says:

I have an LG and been on Windows for over a year, how does this help me ?
 
I want to play angry Birds Space....
 
Not fair !

"I have an LG and been on Windows for over a year, how does this help me ?"

Technically it doesn't, not directly.

Indirectly it does, if you care about the future of the OS.

Nokia will put this OS on the map and that's not just good for Nokia but LG, HTC and Samsung who will all then swoop in and starting making some really great devices backed by advertising.

NickMon68 says:

I have an LG and been on Windows for over a year, how does this help me ?
 
I want to play angry Birds Space....
 
Not fair !

Chazz says:

I'm a proud owner of the HTC titan and even still I applaud Nokia for their efforts. I see nothing wrong with what they're doing and in fact will support them next upgrade. They are making sure the platform that I love stays alive, while the other oems put out a phone, let it sit with no advertising at all, and whine that it's not selling compared to their other platforms. But when you see them release a phone for android, they hold press events, put out commercials and feature gem on ATT's site. Why do they expect a windows phone to sell with no support but applaud their android numbers after actually investing into it? It makes no sense, the titan 2 would not have come out if it weren't for the lumia. I'm sure all oems would wait for wp8 and continue release 1-2 phones a year. Nokia is doing in right, and even if I don't like their phones im gonna buy them because I want windows phone to grow and they are the only oem with the same sentiment.

aloolol says:

Great article and very well written..
But don't you think nokia should consider making the apps available for all devices but for a price, a price that would still profit them? And having the apps free for the lumia line ?

Sent from my Lumia800

That's a fair, so yes I agree.

Not sure why they don't do that but my guess is the "exclusive" thing is what's driving it.

inteller says:

that's what they should do.  bring it to all devices for a price.
 
I suspect this is a problem of the Marketplace hubs, not Nokia.  They can mark an app exclusive to their hub but can't also market outside their hub and put a price on it.  They'd have to publish it twice I bet.

TonyDedrick says:

Ultimately, it is a good thing for WP.

However, I think some are taking the criticism as some kind of attack on Nokia when I think that's far from the truth. I don't think anyone is hating on Nokia. I think the real question is what was Nokia able to do or say to get these apps? And not just get them, but get them exclusively (and yes, its not forever I know), but it appeared MS was getting the door slammed in their face when trying to get these apps.

And no, I also don't think anyone is suggesting other OEM's reap the benefits from others. I don't expect that Nokia share any of its branded apps with other WP. If Nokia also created a WP that cooked bacon, I don't expect them to or they think its required of them to share with other phones. Again, I am not complaining one bit. I know not many care in this community, but I am excited for Angry Birds Space. Its coming and I can wait as long as I need to (and hopefully, this includes the game not being ignored and updated). I just would like to know where did MS stand in these negotiations for some of these apps and games.

But again, I do not hate Nokia for making a move that benefits their bottom line.

inteller says:

nokia got the deals because they were blatant about it.  Microsoft was being reasonable and practical about it.  They offered up a little seed money and let the dev bite.  If not they have a marketing policy of promoting alternative apps.  That IS the better way.  Nokia is just bankrolling these whore devs...prolly to the point where they can fund efforts on other platforms they create WILLINGLY.
If you have a hostile dev like Pandora, DO NOT bankroll them.  If  you have a whore of a dev like Groupon who won't put out feature updates to bring platform parity, DO NOT bankroll them.
 

dakranii says:

Question.  People in this thread keep blaming Samsung and HTC for not securing apps.  Is that the phone manufacturer's job?  Shouldn't it be the OS creator's job?  Have Samsung and HTC had to go after bringing apps to Android?  Doesn't Google do that?  Samsung and HTC are hardware manufacturers.  I have a hard time seeing why they are to blame for the lack of apps.  I place that squarely on Microsoft.  
 
I'm an HTC user by lack of choice.  I'm on Verizon and don't have the option of getting anything other than my Trophy.  I would have considered one of the second generation of phones if I could.  I appreciate the efforts Nokia is putting into Windows Phone and I'm glad apps are coming.  I'm not sure how I feel about the exclusivity. 

socialcarpet says:

Microsoft is now doing a lot to encourage developers. They are even offering to pay for the cost of developing a Windows Phone version of an app and offering technical support. There's really no excuse anymore for not making a popular app available for Windows Phone at this point. 

inteller says:

MS pays -to a point-  They are not bankrolling these lazy unmotivated devs though.  You either want to be on the platform or you don't.  When you don't you end up with a result like the first version of the TripAdvisor app.  When you do you end up with USA Today app.

Nitaino says:

I'm with you I use HTC hd7 (Tmo USA) and I'm tired of HTC! They haven't do shit for WPs They only care about Androshit. I'm a Glad a Manufacturer like Nokia step up and said: This OS is worth it! Let's work for it!. So my next WP will be a Nokia one but I'll wait for WP8 because I want new hardware and Screen Res too.

cae758 says:

One of the key reasons I bought the NL900 was because I knew Nokia would set the bar high. They have no other choice at this stage. Yes, I wish the camera was better, but I have a Canon T2i. ;-)

Every time I come across an app not on WP7 I used to have on my Nexus One or iPhone 3G, I email the developer to encourage development of one, letting them know I'm interested and if there is a beta program to let me know. Off the top of my head, I have already done this with Daytrotter Sessions and Goodreads.

Because of these exclusivity deals, I feel like I should be contacting Nokia instead. If HTC or Samsung create exclusive deals, I'll be disappointed, but I won't whine about not having my cake and eating it too. Whoever makes it happen deserves the exclusivity.

WP7 is not in the same position as the other mobile OSs, so exclusive or non-exclusive apps both can only help and support in the long run. At this stage, I'd be willing to contact HTC and Samsung about the apps I want to see even if it means on the Nokia, I am cut out of using them initially. I'd rather wait and know they'll be there, then not at all.

Rob41664 says:

People are forgetting that not all of the apps announced yesterday are exclusive to Nokia. The paypal app doesnt say exclusive anywhere on any artilce I have read. Again, its not like these are permanent exclusive apps just a limi9ted time. I agree with all the other posters that have said if it weren't for Nokia WP would be dead by now. I havent seen Samsung or HTC advertise their phones at all. The Titan II came out the same day as the Lumia but I have still yet to see 1 ad. Samsung and HTC havent put any effort into WP other than recycling their older Android handsets. Until they try to do something with their handsets they have no room to complain. All they want to do is put their crappy overlays on top of WP to differentiate from the other one instead of design and apps. Sure Nokia has everyhting riding on WP so they have a bigger  reason to promote but Samsung and HTC will benefit from their work if they would just take advantage of it.

AzD says:

HTC and Samsung don't need to advertise their phones because they haven't hitched their horse soley to WP. They let Microsoft and the carriers market their phones. They make minor hardware changes to Android phones in order to maximize their investment in the hardware - and then are blasted by people on websites like this for - get this - SMART BUSINESS PRACTICES.

Oooh, their phones aren't pretty or super-cool like Nokia - well good for Nokia, and I am all for making a stand-apart handset, but when it ships with connectivity issues and poor camera perfomance despite the Carl Zeiss optics - well call me skeptical. Oh and God forbid these pretty new phones aren't upgraded to Apollo when it comes out.

Odds are very good that Samsung and HTC will continue to be going concerns in 1, 2, 3+ years. Nokia - mmm, sketchy at best. I appreciate Nokia being in with WP for the "long haul" but if their "long haul" turns out to be them out of business in 2 years, well, that is just BAD for WP.

bilzkh says:

Money is not the only reason, Microsoft could've thrown some around too - or even have the apps developed itself (e.g. Facebook via a consulting firm). The more likely reason why Microsoft couldn't secure a number of the key apps is because (1) severe lack of market share, and (2) not enough confidence in WP.  While Nokia Lumia suffers from the former, it still seems to have a recognized chance in rectifying the latter. 

For example, Nokia has taken substantive steps towards bringing the WP platform to mid and low-income markets with Lumia 610 & 710, and it intends to further lower the price for WP handsets.  Given that most Android handsets in the wild are not high performance monsters like Galaxy S2/S3, Nokia WPs have a fighting chance in low-income markets.  With Nokia's commitment to marketing, I'm sure the quality difference between a low-end Android and low-end Lumia, the latter offering Office Mobile, smooth UI, multi-touch, etc. will be clear to most potential users.  Again, Nokia's commitment to low-pricing helps, and I suspect there's some thought into a WP-based successor to the Asha-series. 

I'm sure Rovio et. al see significant potential for growth there, and if Nokia actually does succeed in expanding that marketshare - then we will see others support WP more generally. 
 

smoledman says:

In the end all that matters is marketshare, not how many vendors there are. If Nokia can clearly win and cause Samsung/HTC to abandon WP platform that will benefit the consumer. Samsung & HTC are Android-phone makers, let them stick with that and Nokia will be the Windows Phone maker. Apple is proof of 1-magical vendor rules them all.

alijahg34 says:

Shame shame, a one year exclusive on an app, just makes me realize why I should have went with another platform that way I can get the apps I want. Mark my words they will change that tune very very soon. And if i can't upgrade my device when WP8 comes out im dropping out all together.. Sad part no ones cares that they are being alienated because of there hardware choose

socialcarpet says:

If you can't upgrade or you don't have the exclusive apps you want, it's the fault of your OEM. Nokia is bringing their "A" game. If your OEM won't do that, that's their fault, not Nokia's. 

Rob41664 says:

If I am not mistaken the 1 year exclusive is for an app that isnt even sllated to come out until the fall which would put it at about a 6 month exclusive.

Antwan3k says:

I sure hope "another platform" isn't Android.. Your handset will probably be obsolete in 3 months when new hardware comes out and devs start concentrating efforts on the new baseline specs and I hope you get ICS right off because who knows if the device you choose will ever get updated with the latest software.. This is all after paying $300 plus a 2-year contract contract to have a device that still doesn't consistently run as smooth as WP or iOS.. :-/ yea, that's much better than applauding Nokia for securing timed exclusivity on a few 3rd party apps and bringing mindshare and market share to the OS. /sarcasm

sdreamer says:

I think the main problem with fragmentation are updates. Seeing how all the handsets make a minimum require means future update should happen for them, and seeing how Tango brings lower minimum requirements, I'd expect everything to get updated, that's the logic I see Microsoft bringing to the table when they make these hardware requirements, unlike Android which has hardware all over the place, making updates really hard for both Manufacturer and Developers (differen resolutions, different CPUs, different ram all over the place). Whereas in Apple's case they offer one hardware for developers to target (well a few different variations if you consider the iPad). Microsoft took both roads again and melded it to their tastes, allow certain aspects of software to be exclusive, allowing manufacturers to differentiate, but keep hardware virtually the same to make it easier for updates and developers to develop. So, imo, they keep a "controlled free market" however weird that sounds, one where manufacturers can standout and not look like the rest (which is what the others have been doing, and where Nokia is pushing to get out of), and one where we can expect similar experiences. If other handset makers don't want to be left behind, they need to start differentiating themselves from the others, not in terms of hardware (Microsoft has that strapped down), but in terms of exclusive content (Nokia is doing this, HTC has done a little in the pass, Samsung and LG have their own but just left it).

WPCentral recently ran a story reporting that OEMs like HTC and Samsung were complaining about lack of the customization of the OS that Nokia has. Nokia hasn't even utilized that power [yet] and other OEMs are complaining about Nokia having exclusivity to it. Hey HTC and Samsung, if you really care that much about customizing the OS, then show some committment to it first. Do something other than complaining that you can't screw up the OS's interface as you did with all your Android handsets (ie: Sense).
I agree with Daniel in this article 100%. I have not seen 1 commercial about the Titan 2 or Focus S but I have seen tons of Lumia 900 commercials. Nokia is trying to survive as a company right now and if that means beating competitors fair and square, I don't blame them for that. There was nothing stopping HTC and Samsung from doing something similar before Nokia started doing it.
If every single experience was exactly the same, regardless of manufacturer, how could OEM's differentiate their products?
I do love the Titan and Titan 2 but it doesn't seem HTC really cares at all about either device... so my next device will most likely be a Nokia. I have yet to see HTC or Samsung care to create something for WP7 (licensed or self-coded) that is worth sticking with those OEM's for. I mean if the best thing you can come up with is the HTC Hub, Samsung Now, or HTC Locations, it's obvious that you're not committed to making your WP7 offerings great as Nokia has made theirs. This is laziness by other OEM's, nothing more.

socialcarpet says:

Based on HTC Sense and TouchWiz and most of the messy OEM apps they both slather on their Android handsets, I'd say Microsoft would be wise not to give them the keys to the castle.
I wouldn't be opposed to some VERY limited customization being allowed by OEM's. Say, custom tile colors, their own branded hub maybe, but any OEM apps or hub they include must be able to be easily deleted by the user, just like the crappy carrier bloatware can be. Otherwise, no deal, because we are heading for Android hell in a handbasket. 

zacman says:

Well have a look at the Nokia tango firmware update then. Lots of customization in there. For example Marketplace gets replaced by Nokia Market and even the tile has an own Nokia logo instead of the WP bag there.

alijahg34 says:

And stop with the Nokia muscled the apps on to the platform, they don't have enough market share to have muscle, now capital that's a different story.

alijahg34 says:

After read all the comments I see the sheep don't mind the shaft, burn windows phone you can just burn Nokia will fail

babse says:

I love how well rounded and non-bias this article actually is and I would like to emphasize two things Mr Rubino noted; if not for this "exclusivity" (mostly temporary), these apps would not even exist on our platform. Like many of us on here, I've been on the WP ship and have gone through the thick and thin of the dell venue pro. I wouldn't tag this fragmentation in the sense of what we see with the android ecosystem, primarily because MS is giving you what is expected of it; a software offering that is consistent across the board. Its the same metro experience you get. Its the exact same compatibility you should expect when u put an app on your device. Just like how third party developers can choose not to support your platform, is the same way they can choose to only support one OEM. They have no obligation whatsoever to any of us; I mean they are called a third party for a reason aren't they? I can understand where many of us are coming from but Its obviously alot more sentiment than it is reason. 1st party or 3rd party app is irrelivant like someone noted on here. If I'm paying for it being developed, i better have full rights to that app until i recoup my expenses. I dont think that's rocket science. Again someone else hit the nail on the head with this; would you rather not have an app or wait for 6 months - 1 year to get it? Another key point to note is; how would you react if Nokia kept its LTE hardware to itself and there was no titan to and focus s2? Like it or not, nokia is doing alot for this platform so having an advantage albeit temporary (emphasis on temporary) is well deserved. That said, i might end up picking up a third venue pro if no one releases a vertical slider. QWERTY or DIE!

socialcarpet says:

Great article and right on point! Nokia has done more for Windows Phone in the last 2 months than all of the other OEM's have done in the last 2 YEARS. They are the ONLY OEM who is 100% committed to Windows Phone. They are developing apps and underwriting apps that we would probably never have had without Nokia's involvement.
Finally we have an OEM who is bullish on Windows Phone, who is willing to invest in the development of Windows Phone. Finally we have an OEM who is bringing unique and truly different handsets to the market that are exclusively Windows Phone and will differentiate the brand instead of giving us more Android hand-me-downs that will sit in a dusty little corner of the store.
Some people seem to misunderstand the definition of fragmentation as it applies to smartphones. Android's "fragmentation" is defined by having several different versions of the OS being in use at the same time and even being sold at the same time. It's made worse by some devices not being eligible or able to upgrade, while others can. This is not at all what is happening with Windows Phone. A few limited app exclusives does not even come close to that. Windows Phone will never become fragmented like that because Microsoft primarily has control over OS updates and OEM's aren't going to be shipping 3 different versions of Windows Phone at the same time. 
I understand why some owners of other phones might be a little peeved about this, but I think it's important to understand that Nokia is fighting for it's future here. They cannot afford not to take every competitive advantage they can get. That 2% of the market that Windows Phone represents is soon going to be 100% of Nokia's business. They do not have 200,000 Android phone sales to fall back on. They cannot afford to be anything less than relentless, aggressive and proactive as hell. 
Also, understand that Microsoft is offering to underwrite the costs of development for Windows Phone apps for just about anyone. Nokia is single-handedly raising Windows Phone marketshare by a significant amount and raising the bar for the quality of the experience. That is good for everyone. Nokia brings better phones and a better experience, that means the other OEM's must step up their game to compete. They need to develop more compelling apps for their own phones, even solicit third parties to bring apps. They need to advertise Windows Phone and it's features. 
More than anything else, Nokia is bringing brand recognition to Windows Phone. They are building market share for Windows Phone. They are engaging developers to build apps for Windows Phone. They are (slowly) giving Windows Phone the relevance that it's been lacking for the last 2 years while it languished in back of the stores, unnoticed and unloved by most.
This can only be a good thing for the Windows Phone community. 

bilzkh says:

If Samsung and HTC were just as aggressive as Nokia in pushing WP, we might then have the marketshare to attract all those firms and developers.  I genuinely feel for the people screwed into a single HTC option at some carriers, that sucks and I hope with Apollo you get attractive options.  But generally speaking, I have little care for Samsung and HTC given that they've done nothing compared to Nokia in pushing WP...

As I said earlier, Samsung ripped the Smoked by WP campaign for Galaxy Note, and couldn't do the same for Focus S, Flash and/or -2.  HTC?  Why not make a polycarbonate build WP like you did for the One-series?  If Nokia succeeds in whatever it's doing, and gains marketshare with WP, then that guarantees the survival of WP as a whole.  Unless Samsung and HTC pull off a coup with their WP sales, it is possible that WP adopters will be using Nokia.

Regarding updates for WP, that depends on the individual carrier.  Even when MS was keeping a bit of an eye on them, results were mixed - with some carriers being prompt, others not so much.  Alternatively, when MS stopped reporting on carrier update progress, not all carriers regressed - e.g. Rogers is still prompt in rolling out WP updates despite the fact that WP users are a product of legend in Canada.  I'm sure my Rogers Focus and Lumia got their respective updates before every U.S carrier, and many European ones. 

In Canada, Nokia is clearly the most available WP around.  Two of the largest carriers, Rogers and Telus carry Lumia 900, 800 (Telus) and 710.  Smaller carriers such as Wind and Mobilicity are picking up Lumia 710, the latter picking it up was really surprising to be honest.  In my circle of contacts/friends/family, I was the only WP user in 2010-2011 with the Focus, in 2012 all of the people I know who adopted WP are using Lumia 900 and 710. 

Right now, besides HTC Radar on Wind, there is no other 2nd gen device on the market in Canada except for the Nokia devices.  Either the carriers here don't have much faith in Samsung/HTC WPs, or Samsung/HTC are not aggressively pushing themselves, or both.

 
 

yosagojimbo says:

Big Question.....when are these apps gonna be available to lumia owners as in sure there was a similar announcement at CES in Jan ? Also if WP8 is gonna be announced in June with possible end of year release, who's gonna commit to 2 year contract. If MS came clear about updates to WP8 I'm sure more people would buy lumias

umm. you do know that samsung has made exclusive deals before on android.. right?
http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/10/2858725/angry-birds-space-samsung-rovio-exclusive-content
even though the exclusive deal was for DLC it is for the galaxy line specifically. They did it to promote their galaxy brand which is a similar situation to what is happening here with the lumia's. So, until samsung make an effort with WP7 then stop complaining.  

albadi88 says:

from nokia prospective this move well make them different from Other oems esp ur from a world only the shape of ur phone make different from others from user prospective fuck this shit why should i wait 6 months to get them i already like my phone so there is no reason why i should chang my hd7 to lumia this MS job to bring those apps on my phone not nokia

ejlee072006 says:

If u want the best windowsphone get a LUMIA..
This partnerships are done by MSFT for nokia.. We all know that in the future MSFT will buy nokia... Im 100% sure... Screw Samsung HTC and the rest of them.. They can Sell all the androids in the world as long as they pay the fees MSFT is goo staying 3rd place...
There's no need to catch up....

dlrohm says:

Its a bs hypocritical move by MS. Do you seriously think any wp7 developer could release an app and then say it's only available to only one type of hardware? No way.

Does wp7 have bigger problems, yes. But this crap doesnt help.

I was thinking the same thing. How the hell are they allowed to limit who can purchase an app through marketplace? That is ridiculous. You want to charge me to buy it, fine. But this is ridiculous. So now I am playing Russian Roulette with my next WP device, not really knowing what apps I will be blocked out of because of my decision? The maximum Nokia should be allowed to do on the marketplace, is give it's app away for free to it's customers. The rest of us should be able to purchase them. If I had any idea I was going to be getting in to what could very well turn into an Android type of marketplace, I would have just gone with the iPhone. Between this and having to beg to get my phone upgraded, the otherwise fantastic OS is starting to get to many black-eyes. You take the best OS on the market, then start to fragment the marketplace, make it impossible for me to get rid of my dissapearing keyboard glitch because TMobile doesn't feel like updating, and then only having high end phones on AT&T. It is just becoming a pain in the ass to be a Windows Phone owner/supporter. With the iPhone, if there is an issue with the phone, you get firmware when it is released. Not six months later after begging. I buy what apps I want when. Not when I decide to buy a second phone because I picked the wrong phone for purchase the first time. When I do upgrade to get a high end phone so I can use those "exclusive" apps I have a choice between AT&T, AT&T, and AT&T. ugh.....

socialcarpet says:

What part of...
THESE APPS WERE NOT GOING TO BE DEVELOPED AT ALL IF NOKIA HADN'T PAID FOR THEM
...do you not understand?
Without Nokia, you wouldn't have gotten them anyway. Now you will have to wait, but at least you'll get them. You're welcome.
For what it's worth, Microsoft is paying developers left and right to make apps available for Windows Phone. 
 

dlrohm says:

These apps were eventually going to come over to WP7 with Nokia or not so thats a moot point.

I don't think it's moot. Paypal have had 18 months to make an app and haven't yet. Clealry there are some big and small companies who are not jumping in on Windows Phone.

Sure, maybe in 6-12 months Paypal would have gotten on board, but it's happening sooner now with Nokia.

We've had Groupon for awhile for everyone now Nokia will have a "Groupon +" app that they co-develop with augmented reality. That's stellar and if it weren't for them, evidently Groupon would never have done it.

dlrohm says:

It's been said before in these comments by other people - making simple apps that are specific to the hardware is fine and I have no issue with that.  The problem I see is when major apps are targeted to specific phones (and YES, I know thats its only for a short time period).  It's only going to piss people off, and it's pretty evident that it is by the differing opinions in the comments of this post.  I simply don't like the trend and where it may lead.

Jess82#WP says:

If Nokia was the sole WP handset I could care less about HTC and Samsung, even far less LG. That's just me being biased :| their phones are awesome.

Are APPS the real reason you choose a platform or device? Come on people, how do these exclusives ruin anything about your current device? I am one very happy Samsung Focus S owner and wow, I have to wait for some third party apps? Big deal. Exclusives are everywhere, game systems, blurays, tv networks, you name it. Companies have to WIN you over and this is how they do it. Did anyone else catch all the exclusives the the galaxy s III has? All of those special apps and things like samsung cloud storage? Yeah, those ARE coming to the windows version of the phone and thats means they will most likely be available for my Focus S as well. But I didnt pick my Focus S based on APPS, I picked it because it just felt right in my hands...and the Nokia Lumia...not as much.(finally got hands on with one at my local Target of all places) The Lumia is finally making windows phone noticable, and more apps are key, I will happily wait for them to come to my phone when all its doing is increasing adoption of the OS. Ive been enjoying my Windows Phone OS for over 6 months now and I dont feel as though MS is snubbing their nose at me, or samsung for that matter, I have a killer device that I love and thats all that should matter. I remember when I first bought the xbox and I had to wait for Grand Theft AUto(ps exclusive)  to make its way to my black box of joy...when it did, it was amazing and well worth the wait...and in no way did I feel "cheated" or anything of the sort, patience is a virtue and you people who "need it now!!" will constantly be disappointed...not just with phones, but with life....take it easy, enjoy your current windows phone, and rejoice that one day, thanks to Nokia, we will have every app we desire...

Gemini Ace says:

The app exclusivity is one reason I chose the Lumia 900, aside from the sexiness.  We've known about this for months.  Anybody who picked a different handset maker should have done their research.
 
By the way, all the EA games we're getting are ones that have been on iOS for a while anyway. Not like we're getting brand new stuff here.

AzD says:

I'm sure this has all been said by others - but while I see the need for Nokia to differentiate itself in the smartphone space, I don't think this is good long term for the WP OS. Good for Nokia, bad for WP.

For all those saying that the other OEMs can/should/could do this - who are you kidding? They are hardware manufacturers, not software devlopers. They rely on the OS manufacturers to make their OS desirable. HTC and Samsung are going up in the world and Nokia is in free fall. Yet everyone is saying they should emulate Nokia?

This is a huge part of why Nokia is in the tenuous position they are in in the first place. They tried to develop all their software in house and are getting financially "smoked" by the manufacturers who let the software companies develop the software. So now Nokia has hitched it's wagon to WP - I get it, but they are still spending money on app development? Seriously, SPEND YOUR MONEY ON HARDWARE DEVELOPMENT because you're dangerously close to being a non-entity in the market.

SuperSport says:

HTC, LG, and Samsung are doing exactly what WalMart does.  They (and you who own their products) will benefit from Nokia's partnerships in the long run.
 
When WalMart started out, they would research areas where K-Mart had already opened a new store.  You might think it was so they could compete with and undercut K-Mart, and it was, but there was much more involved, and a simple reason they could afford to undercut, and why they grew so big.
 
When a store like K-Mart, or WalMart opens, they have to invest a LOT of money, (Many Millions), on getting the City/County to allow them to build, permits, etc.  They have to pay to upgrade the roads, signs, on/off ramps, sidewalks, transportation, etc...  This comes out of the pocket of the First Store to break ground in a new area.
 
What WalMart did was to watch where K-Mart and other stores/centers were opening and follow them.  The other Stores would spend the bulk of the setup fees and WalMart would walk in and plop down a new store right next door to them.
 
This is the same thing that is happening with HTC, LG, and Samsung.  They are letting Nokia SPEND, Spend, spend.  When the Windows OS is out there and mainstream, (Due to Nokia's Efforts), they will step up and Plop Down their phones, riding on the Coat Tails of Nokia.
 
So, don't think for a second that these exclusive partnerships are hurting your favorite brand in any way.  And, don't think these other OEMs are upset about what Nokia is doing.  Nokia is making it possible for these other OEMs to be able to play in this game at a very low price to them.
 
I sincerely hope not, but who knows, Nokia may go the way of K-Mart and start closing down because they spent all the money and other's benefited from their hard work.
 
PS:  I use a Lumia 900 myself, becaue I knew that Nokia HAD to support the OS more than any other OEM to stay alive.  That way, I knew they would stand behind it more than HTC, LG, and Samsung.  That has definately been shown, and I HOPE it continues to show true.  Although, I would hope the other OEMs would start to support it better too in advertising and software.  If they all support it, the OS will thrive.

AzD says:

"What WalMart did was to watch where K-Mart and other stores/centers were opening and follow them. The other Stores would spend the bulk of the setup fees and WalMart would walk in and plop down a new store right next door to them."

WHAT A COMPLETE AND UTTER LOAD OF BULL. You clearly have no idea about Wal-mart's business model or how it created its success. Whatever faults Wal-mart has, and there are many, it DID NOT make itself into the retailing giant it is today the way you are claiming.

lumianiem says:

Until Nokia poured its effort.  Did we see ads, the CEO of AT&T talking about it, the support at the AT&T stores?   Did you think any of the software mentioned would have just suddenly show up.   Grow up.  You picked a great OS....you just need to nudge your OEM to show more support.   Nokia is saving my OS from tanking...they get my business, my support and I am rewarded with great APPS.....lets compare Nokia Drive...to the Cube Game...
 

z33dev33l says:

Well let's see, either Nokia gets them first by paying cash out of their own pockets and then in time shares it with the OEMs who couldn't care less about doing anything for the platform, or we don't get them at all because no OEM cares. Without Nokia, WP7 really would be a lesser OS. Don't get me wrong, I used a DVP for almost a year before the first Nokia device got sent my way, but Nokia made WP7 MUCH better.
Not only does this give us the games, it builds the framework to create future versions of the game. This is helping WP7 perpetually, now stop getting angry that you picked up a piece of recycled android hardware and be happy for all that Nokia has done for our fine OS.

Ambrose99 says:

Right! And once these apps are made for a Windows Phone, there won't be much stopping them from coming to the entire Windows Marketplace soonafter. Nokia has taken the initiative, but its not like Rovio is going to make apps ONLY for Nokia. Once their aggrement time period expires, they'd be idiots not to put them in the full Marketplace.
Nokia is taking their cut for bringing these apps to Windows Phone in the first place, but it will benefit everyone in the long run.  

alex6272 says:

Grrr. Having an HTC phone I'm not terribly thrilled with Nokia having better exclusive apps but in a lot of ways they deserve it. They're doing the work and they seem to be getting the reward. Hopefully this doesn't become a horrible contest to see which OEM has the best exclusive apps. Then the WP Marketplace wouldn't be any better than the Android Play Store.

Bushybro says:

Great article. You hit on some very interesting points there. lumia series ftw!!

VHMP01 says:

Just numbers: $2.99/$1.99 is 150% above of the other established OSs, which is a fact. No matter what benefits; as being able to use your apps in two phones with the same account, because in order to compete and make users from other platform change, that is what's needed, some sort of advantage for the change itself. So, is it a better OS, I do not doubt it, would I change if it is more expensive; well the advantages would have to be well over that extra cost, if not, people won´t bother. 

I'm good with OEM apps, but apps like CNN or games that may be Nokia-only exclusive.. Well that's just crazy.

rizen74 says:

I don't see what the problem is with all of what Nokia is doing? You see "exclusives" done in all industries (eg. for Movie releases, tie-ins with McDonalds on their kids meals, exclusive phone releases with US Carriers... etc etc etc)... even on Android. These are "timed exlusives", doesn't mean they will not be available to the general public... it looks like it just means not now. Anyway, we don't know the details of it. What kind of exclusives are they? It might be that Angry Birds Space will be released as a bundled free app to all Nokia WP phones, while the general public still gets to have it but at a cost thru the Marketplace. There is insufficient details to make judgements. Whichever way, all this is good for WP, don't bitch about things like this...we all made our choices of phones to buy, so live with the consequences/benefits of our choices.

TESTAMENTU says:

If you want windows phone and you don't go for Nokia you're stupid. Let's face it, other options just don't cut it. Windows Phone relies heavily on blacks, and blacks on HTC's LCD displays are just hideous. And then there's Samsung, which has good blacks, but has become synonymous with cheap crappy hardware. As a matter of fact, I think Nokia's Clearblack technology has become vital for WP, as it gives the user the feel that Microsoft was aiming for when building the OS, hence Nokia's belief that the Lumia 800 was indeed the first REAL Windows Phone. And as if that wasn't enough, Nokia's apps have also become essential. I think microsoft should make WP exclussive to Nokia, since IMO other OEMs are just ruining the platform with their subpar devices. If you grab someone who has never even heard of Windows Phone and you give them a Samsung Focus, the would be like "meh, it's ok". If you give them a Lumia, the would be impressed and will try to know more about it. And I think this would've happened if Nokia chose Android too. They would've regained all their market share and more with Android, but I support their decision of going with Windows Phone. If they would have chosen Android, then the stupid hackers would be porting Nokia's signature software like Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive to their crappy little phones, and what's even worse, Nokia would have lost their high quality and uniqueness and become just another member of the pack, like Samsung and HTC.