stores

This Wednesday, July 17th, T-Mobile is set to launch the aluminum based Nokia Lumia 925—a sister device to the flagship Lumia 920 with improved camera optics and a thinner, lighter shell. But you wouldn’t know it if you called your Microsoft or T-Mobile Store to find out.

A handful of anxious and future Lumia 925 owners have been either calling or stopping by their local Microsoft or T-Mobile stores to find out more information about the high end Windows Phone—T-Mobile's first, for Nokia. Turns out, quite a few are getting shrugs and “we don’t have any information” from customer service reps.

Microsoft Stores reportedly don’t have anything to say on the device, though they will take your Lumia 1020 pre-order—which is great if you’re on AT&T. With T-Mobile, it seems that they know more about the Android-based Sony Xperia Z, which also launched the same day as the Lumia 925.

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The Yorkdale shopping mall in Toronto, Canada has released an app for Windows Phone. It's a must-have for all shoppers who are making their way to the stores to help get through parking (or taking advantage of the valet service), locating favourite shops and finding places to grab that much needed bite to eat between spending all hard-earned cash.

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Microsoft has announced today plans to make its Surface RT tablet available at retail stores as soon as mid-December, to take full advantage of the holiday season. In addition to the extension of sources where Surface tablets will be available for consumers to purchase, Microsoft will also turn several of the temporary stores that were opened for the Surface launch into permanent retail outlets.

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Walk into any mobile phone shop anywhere and you’ll be greeted with row after row of rectangle shaped devices. How on earth does one choose which phone to buy when faced with this veritable sea of similar looking handsets? Nokia have done good work with their promotion of their Lumia range, often having dedicated displays to highlight the devices in stores but this alone does not sell devices.

As Windows Phone does break away from the standard looking icon-based user interface and offer something new, there is a need to tell its story. We checked in to the ‘Meet Windows Phone’ event yesterday evening to see what Microsoft and O2 are doing to engage the man and woman on the street.

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Mega-retailer Best Buy has invested some serious time into training employees at their brick and mortar stores about Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8. Speaking to Forbes, Best Buy's merchant vice president for computing, Jason Bonfig, said that they have dedicated over 50,000 hours to making sure certain blue-shirts, Geek Squad consultants and "Microsoft Advisors" all have a working knowledge of Windows 8, so they can help customers feel comfortable with what is surely a change in what they are used to seeing on a Windows computer.

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Microsoft has revealed the entire list of pop-up stores (or holiday stores) it plans to open throughout North America this coming holiday season. It's a positive sign to see Microsoft build a larger retail presence to combat its main competitor - Apple. 32 stores will open up shop in 20 US states, as well as shops in British Columbia, Toronto, and Alberta, Canada. 

With the imminent release of Windows 8, coupled with new Office, Surface tablets and Windows Phone hardware, there's plenty of opportunity for Microsoft to build on its branding revamp to a more simplistic and modern feel. It's a common thought that Microsoft has almost become a new company to what consumers have grown accustomed to.

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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and that’s what we seem to have here at the Home Depot. According to one of our readers, Nate B., at least one of their stores has this new kiosk on display.

The obelisk looks a lot like a giant Windows Phone that’s been repositioned for the Home Depot’s uses although it retains a very Metro-Tile look and feel. Heck, the tiles even flip to reveal more info!

No word if these are going elsewhere or if Microsoft is involved but we do like the idea of Metro (or whatever it will be called) spreading around. 

Check the video of it in action after the break and don’t forget, you can grab the Home Depot app for Windows Phone here. Thanks, Nate, for the video!

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A few days ago, we visited London’s newest shopping mecca, Westfield to get a quick take on how much coverage Windows Phone is getting in the retail space. Much has been made about Windows Phone not having good retail exposure. We wanted to see if this was true and get a feel for how things look for Windows Phone in the UK's largest shopping centre.

Almost as soon as we entered the main concourse, we were surprised to find a full-blown ZTE promotional stand. Currently ZTE produce one Windows Phone, the Tango spec Tania, a device that’s somewhat hampered by having only 4GB memory it does make up for it with a generous 4.3" screen size. The stand was there primarily to promote a new Android phone but the Tania was along for the ride and being displayed right up alongside it.

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Tonight when we're driving around Long Island, we passed no less than three AT&T corporate stores (Long Island is basically a giant strip mall but with attitude). All three stores had Lumia 900 banners hanging from the ceiling and were quite visible from the road -- no doubt an odd thing to see Windows Phone featured so prominently.

Now we have a sneak peek at what some of the in-store promotion will look like with this giant billboard hanging against the wall emblazoned with the slogan "beautifully different".

We've also heard there will be a lot more with the Lumia 900 (and Titan II) with an area to test out the phones (see above) and even a section with accessories for the 900. We'll be curious to hear feedback from you folks tomorrow on what your experience was and perhaps we'll even throw a few photos up if we come across 'em.

Thanks, Jeff B., for the images!

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Remember our coverage earlier in the year where we looked at how abysmal the selling (and marketing) of Windows Phone in retail stores across Europe and the U.S. was? Well it looks like it's Australia's turn. WPDownUnder have ran a superb article covering their experience in a number of stores located in Melbourne. According to their report, Microsoft's marketing efforts in Australia have been weak, and stores are continuing to push out Android handsets and the iPhone. 

They visited a handful of mobile phone retail stores and compiled data on pricing, demo units, and feedback for both the platform and Nokia. We wont ruin the cold-call report over at WPDownUnder, so here are the statistics they ended up with:

  • 13 stores checked (probably 90+ % of main shopping centre/mall outlets).
  • 5/13 stores selling WP7 (just better than 1 in 3).
  • Only 2 of those 5 report moderate to OK sales of WP7 devices.
  • Of those 5 stores, 2 stores sold 2 models, 3 stores sold 1 model.
  • In all 13 stores, between 25-50 handsets would have been on display in each store on all platforms.
  • Only 1 store (Mall kiosk) had any form of Point of Sale information (other than handset tag info).
  • Only 4 of 13 stores spoken to demonstrated any knowledge of Nokia and WP7.

We recommend you check out the full report (link below) for an insight into how awful Windows Phone is in Australia, along with some interesting observations made in some stores. Let us not forget Optus believing the Samsung Omnia 7 runs Symbian. Hopefully Nokia could sort things out with some advertising in Australia should Telstra get hold of a Lumia device.

Source: WPDownUnder

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