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Is Nokia causing fragmentation on Windows Phone with their exclusive apps? Nope.

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.

 

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: 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.

 

 

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.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

218 Comments
  • Very well written article. Good job.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Great job Daniel and I agree 100% we need other OEM to be just a agressive as Nokia to drive this OS forward.
  • This.
  • Agreed.
  • I'm not happy about this at all. Focus S owner here.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
     
  • 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
  • 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???
  • 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.
  • 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 ... ! :)
  • 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.
  • I agree!
  • 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.
  • Umm doesn't HTC already have exclusive apps on their windows phones?   HTC hub anyone.
  • 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!
  • I guess it blows to have been an early adopter of Windows Phone. I waited until Nokia and feel richly rewarded for my patience.
  • 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.
  • 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
     
  • "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.
  • 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.
     
     
  • 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 :-/
  • 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.
  • 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!  
  • 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.
  • I lol'ed...
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
  • 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.
     
  • 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
  • @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?
  • U can't go wrong with nokia
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yeah too much Nokia focus and I just hate that fact. It should be about the OS not a device.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • That's HTC's fault. It's their job to promote their Windows Phones. 
  • 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.
  • Really good article!!!
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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??