Analysts impressed with latest Lumia

Michael Carroll
12 Jul 2013

Analysts believe marketing will be the key to success for Nokia’s latest flagship smartphone, despite the unit pushing hardware boundaries with an industry leading 41-megapixel (MP) camera module.

The Finnish vendor unveiled its Lumia 1020 yesterday, pitching the unit as a groundbreaker due to the high-resolution Zeiss camera module and associated features including optical image stabilization, and automatic creation of a lower-resolution version of each picture designed to aid upload to social networking sites.

President and chief Stephen Elop says the device “continues to strengthen Nokia’s leadership in imaging.”

Analysts agree the smartphone is a reminder of Nokia’s technical prowess, particularly around built-in camera units, but say the firm must get its marketing message right if it is to turn the Lumia 1020’s potential into profit.

“The company must still overcome incumbent rivals, slow adoption of Windows Phone and a modest marketing budget if it is to finally…turn a financial corner after its recent time in the doldrums,” says Tony Cripps, principal device analyst at Ovum.

Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, says Nokia has a large potential market for the smartphone among users who want the quality of an SLR camera without having to carry one. “From a marketing perspective, camera phones with quality close to SLR will attract a big audience…The question here is how to reach out to this audience, and what marketing message should Nokia send?”

Despite their concerns over marketing, both analysts agree the Lumia 1020 is a potentially ground breaking device. Cripps says the high-resolution camera “sets a new benchmark for high-end smartphone engineering – and [is] a timely reminder of Nokia’s R&D capabilities.”

Saadi believes the 41-MP camera won’t be bested by Nokia’s rivals in the near term. “These characteristics will no doubt put the bar far too high for those of Nokia’s competitors that are looking to differentiate on the camera quality. So far there are a couple that will soon be introducing 20-MP in their future products, but most use 8-MP sensors and plan to upgrade to 12-MP by the end of the year.”

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