Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

“Smartphone Beta” Teaser Site Hints at Nokia’s New Sales Pitch

For some time, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has been referring to his company’s initial crop of Windows Phones as the first real Windows Phones, a move that draws cringes from the other companies that have been making such phones.

Now Nokia’s hubris appears to be targeted at the entire phone industry.

“The smartphone beta test is almost over,” reads a teaser site that appears to be counting down to the launch of Nokia’s Lumia 900 smartphone, which is due to go on sale from AT&T in the coming days.

Included on the site are several things that have led sites such as WPCentral to conclude it is Nokia’s handiwork, including what appears to be a Nokia logo scratched out in the top left-hand corner of the site.

The Web site features a trio of YouTube videos with mock smartphone executives discussing such problems as the devices being fragile, with antenna issues and a limited viewing angle.

An image in the site’s directory — but not on the main page — suggests that those who have been using a smartphone over the last five years have a “tester,” and should bring it to an AT&T store to trade up for the Lumia 900.

But the open question is whether consumers will feel similarly about the new Nokia phone, or if they will prefer the current generation of “beta” devices from Apple, Samsung, HTC and others.

The stakes for Nokia and Microsoft are huge, with some pundits calling the Lumia 900 the companies’ last, best hope to make Windows Phone a hit. AT&T has promised a huge push for the phone, which goes on sale for $99 later this week.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus