Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
When AT&T announced it would be the exclusive carrier of Nokia’s new Lumia 920 and 820 Windows Phones, a lot of people worried that the company was making the wrong decision. Why would Nokia keep its hero phone on just one carrier instead of giving everyone a chance to own one?
Today, we get a glimpse at Nokia’s strategy. Instead of releasing its flagship phone on every carrier, it’s slightly tweaking the name of the devices and repackaging them as carrier exclusives.
Case in point: Today, Nokia and T-Mobile announced the Lumia 810, which is nearly identical in every way to the Lumia 820 AT&T will sell. The only real difference is the numbering scheme.
And don’t expect it to stop there. A Verizon spokesperson strongly hinted to the New York Times last week that Nokia would be announcing a Lumia phone for its network too. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’s essentially the same device as the Lumia 920 with slightly different branding.
Now is this ideal? Nope.
It would be a lot better for consumers if the branding was consistent across all carriers, just like it is with Samsung’s Galaxy S III and the iPhone. Unfortunately, carriers have a lot of control over these things, and Nokia is surely feeling the pressure from its partners. The good news is that it seems like just about everyone will get to buy one of Nokia’s new Lumia phones if they want to.