- 03-08-2013, 08:41 AM #1
I am not a long-time member of WP Central, but from my time here, I have definitely noticed two member groups: those that are pro-Nokia (they really, really L-O-V-E their favorite brand) and those that are tired of having the Nokia brand shoved down their throats (their words, not mine.)
In many discussions of which Windows Phone 8 devices were the best, it was clear that the Lumia 920 is a smartphone favorite. But, this device was not available to everyone due to Nokia's exclusivity deals with certain carriers...leaving many people either disappointed or excited that Nokia chose their carrier. So, I decided to bring both groups together to talk about a part of the mobile device industry that most customers dislike- CARRIER EXCLUSVITY!
I have formed two questions: one for Nokia Lumia 920 owners and one for non-Nokia owners.
***Nokia Lumia 920 Owners: What is your view of carrier exclusivity? If Nokia released a future premium smartphone exclusive to a carrier that you do not currently have, would this change your view of carrier exclusivity or Nokia as a company?
***Non-Nokia Owners: Did the Nokia carrier exclusivity of the Lumia 920 affect your recent smartphone purchase? Has this had an overall affect of your view of Nokia as a company?
Please note that I am neither for, nor against any cellular manufacturer. I merely opened a dialogue to discuss whether the diehard fans of the Nokia brand would have a change of heart if a future carrier exclusivity deal was not in their favor, as well as how it affects the overall brand image of a beloved company. Please be open and friendly. Thank you for reading.
- 03-08-2013, 09:11 AM #2
Nokia's business approach appears to consist of making a lot of deals. They made a deal with carriers to grant exclusivity in return for some kind of kickback. I don't really blame them for that because they really didn't know how their WP8 lineup would sell and didn't want to risk investing in a big launch I guess, but it does make me question their confidence in adopting WP when they're looking for payouts to be on board from both carriers and MS. Microsoft's partnership with Nokia also pays Nokia to the tune of $1 billion / year (paid at $250 million per quarter) to adopt WP8. Do you or anyone else happen to know if HTC and Samsung are receiving anything from MS as well, or was this part of the partnership deal that was announced last year between MS and Nokia?
- 03-08-2013, 09:20 AM #3
Before Nokia started using Windows Phone OS, their phones were unbranded/unlocked. We had a Nokia Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, which is where I picked up my Nokia N8.
I only buy unlocked phones.
- 03-08-2013, 09:32 AM #4
Buying phones unlocked and then going on a monthly plan is cheaper in australia than signing up with the carrier that has exclusivity.
However i went ahead and signed up to the carrier at $65 a month ($600 calls, 1GB data) because they have much better coverage and a faster 4g network, plus i had never used their network before and i was curious.
Dont think carrier exclusivity is a big deal here.
- 03-08-2013, 09:32 AM #5
I'll be honest, I had to switch networks to get the Nokia 920. The thing was, I had researched my phones so I knew what phone I was getting. Thankfully, I was able to get a good deal on my WP, with unlimited internet, so all is good. However I do wish I could have got it on Three. I think Carrier Exclusives do nothing but hurt consumers.
- 03-08-2013, 02:08 PM #8
I'm on ATT with a L920. Everyone wants what they can't have. If I was a Verizon subscriber, I would be pissed that all I have to choose from are mid tier phones. Luckily, I don't have that prob. Fact is, Nokia needed the help of a major carrier to push their brand/flagship phone. What incentive would ATT or Verizon have to do this if their competitor also offered the same phone. Nokia is not Apple and does not currently have the weight to push their will on the carriers. I wish, like most people that they were able to offer the L920 on all carriers. Maybe with a bit more market share, that will come.
03-08-2013, 03:19 PM #9
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I switched to AT&T to get the L920. I am extremely happy because the phone is everything I was hoping, Nokia is just doing a great job supporting the platform and I am also happy because AT&T is just ridiculously better than Sprint. Win win.
- 03-08-2013, 03:21 PM #10
I work for a carrier, and I can tell you it isn't Nokia that is pushing the carrier exclusivity deals. In most countries there are no exclusivity deals! Where I live, I can get any Lumia device, subsidized to the same degree, on any carrier. The big exceptions are the U.S. and the U.K.
This is what is happening:
Apple and Samsung can both dictate how much of a subsidy they expect carriers to shoulder, say $500. This typically leaves around $200 left over, which is what customers end up paying for their "on-contract" device. U.S. carriers can decide to take it or leave it, and although they don't like these terms, they usually accept, because they need the iP5 and the GS3 to compete. Ultimately, almost every U.S. carrier has these very popular smartphones on offer, but it cuts into their profit margins more than they appreciate.
If Nokia were to try the same, they would instantly get laughed out the door! Unfortunately, Nokia can't manufacture the L920 any cheaper than their competitors can manufacture their own flagship smartphones, so Nokia requires a similar subsidy. Without a similar subsidy, customers would end up paying a larger part of the devices cost. How many people would still buy a L920, if the on-contract price was higher than that of an iP5 or an GS3? I have no idea, but apparently Nokia believes they must compete at least partially on price, if they are to have any chance of penetrating the U.S. market. Nokia really only has one way to get that same subsidy, and that is by caving to carrier demands, which typically means device exclusivity.
In other words, the "exclusivity strategy" isn't Nokia's strategy. It's a U.S. carrier strategy.
You can argue that Nokia is also signing these agreements, so they too are at least partly to blame. While that is true, from a business perspective, Nokia simply hasn't got much choice.
For the sake of my U.S. friends, I'm still hoping that at least one of Nokia's upcoming flagship devices, the EOS, is not a U.S. carrier exclusive. However, if that were to happen, it would likely cost more than any other flagship smartphone, as it wouldn't enjoy the same degree of subsidization. Unfortunately, based on all the reporting, that seems unlikely at this point.
- 03-08-2013, 04:17 PM #11
Not sure why Nokia is always getting singled out for their exclusivity deals. Even though a5cent has pretty much summed up the problem (US carriers) its worth noting that phone exclusivity did not start with Nokia. The HD2 was exclusive to T-Mobile in the US, Evo exclusive to Sprint, iphone exclusive to at&t for several years, Samsung Focus, HTC Surround, HD7S exclusive to at&t. Nokia isnt doing anything new with their deals so it really shouldnt be regarded as anything strange or "bad for the platform".
- 03-08-2013, 05:01 PM #12
03-08-2013, 05:15 PM #13
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I switched from Verizon to ATT to get the Nokia 920 and to get my wife the 820. I was more into the OS and new platform of WP8 than I was into a particular brand of phone at the time. At this point, I am quite happy with the Nokia and my wife's 820 works very well also. Other than a couple of things, there isn't much I want this phone to do that it cannot currently handle. Of course, I am excited for future updates, but am currently pretty satisfied with the OS and the phone.
- 03-08-2013, 05:33 PM #14
Again, I am not pro or against any manufacturer. I am also not pro or against any carrier (Though I have my preferences, so does everyone.) This discussion is meant to shed some light and provide information for those that have been affected by carrier exclusivity. Nokia is mentioned, simply because this is a WIndows forum. Thanks for reading. :)
- 03-09-2013, 11:01 PM #15
I hate being tied into a 2 year contract so I actually ended up buying my phone unlocked online. yes I spent a lot of money but one of the perks is that I get to keep my unlimited data plan for only $10 a month. I can tether, stream or do anything as much as I want. Personally, It's upto Nokia and who pays them the big money so we really have no control over it. The more subsidized a phone will be, the more it will sell and exclusivity has its other perks like free advertising from them. It sucks if you have to switch your carrier but at the end of the day Nokia wants to sell phones and will try its best to get its high end phone on every carrier. Just gotta play the waiting game.
03-10-2013, 11:16 AM #18
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The exclusivity is stopping a lot of being purchasing the Lumia 920 in the UK in my opinion. I have a SIM only contract with T-mobile (EE) who are the only ones who sell the phone for a reasonable price. They wouldn't even let me BUY a phone from them, instead they were awkward and said I needed to take out a new contract.
Half the shops you go in don't even have the phone in stock and tell you to go away.
It is an idiotic policy. I think if Nokia get engaged in these exclusivity deals they should properly audit the carriers to ensure they are selling as many as possible, not offending customers like me who just want the phone.
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