Recently it was revealed that sales of Lumia smartphones have reached an all time low: just 2.3 million phones were sold in the last quarter, down from 8.6 million during the previous year. That is a massive 73% plunge in Lumia sales year-over-year. So surely this is the end, right? This is the end, my friend…
Except that it’s not. And yes, of course, I am now going to mention Terry Myerson’s comments in an internal email that did something to quash the “Windows Phone is Dead” demons:
“Let me be very clear: We are committed to deliver Windows 10 on mobile devices with small screen running ARM processors. We are currently in development of our next generation products and I wanted to reconfirm our commitment to Windows 10 Mobile… and it is our intention to support the Windows 10 Mobile platform for many years.” (credit: Windows Central)
However, this (while nice and heart-warming to read) was not something shocking or even totally unexpected. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella has said in the past year that Microsoft is “committed” to Windows 10 mobile, and that they would showcase Windows 10 on their own “first-party devices including phones.”
So what, exactly, I have given up on? Well apart from giving up eating half a dozen cookies with my tea in the afternoons, I’ve given up worrying. I’ve given up grumbling about Android having this feature or iOS having that feature. I’ve given up comparing. I’ve given up feeling ostracised every time I see “Available for iOS and Android” on poster advertisements for apps. I’ve given up feeling like this is the end, because it’s not. I’ve given up thinking Windows phones could ever actually compete with Android and iOS in the marketplace. They didn’t and they can’t, it’s a simple fact. And I’m happy with that feeling of knowing, no matter how tiny our market share is in the smartphone world, even a sliver of a market share is fine with me, as long as the thing keeps working the way I want it to, need it to, and like it to.
I recently purchased a brand new Lumia 950 and then switched it out for the bigger 950 XL. These phones had very obvious software issues back in December and January, which was when I last used these devices for long periods of time. Windows 10 has seen many updates since then, and for the first few months of 2016 I had been very pleased with how it had been running on my Lumia 930, an older phone from 2014. The latest flagship Lumias, with beefed up screens, tweaked cameras and faster internals, now seemed ripe and ready for me to dive back into that hardware. And I’m glad I did because the camera focuses well in low-light now, the speed and reliability of Windows 10 has reached a very satisfying level, and I get to enjoy all the benefits of the included feature-set such as Qi wireless charging, Glance screen and micro SD card capabilities. All in all, it’s been a great move for me.
Again, however, people will ask, why though? Why Windows, when it has such an app gap? Why Windows when everyone else is using Android or iOS?
Well, for me the first question is easily answered. I’m simply not that bothered by apps. And I know that sounds ridiculous in 2016, but I’m no Luddite. I do have apps that I actually use, such as FitBit, Uber and Facebook. And gaming? I’ve only really ever played ‘Words With Friends’ and ‘Angry Birds’, both of which are in the Windows store for my phones by the way. Yes, there is a gap: there’s no Lyft, Gett, or Via, the wonderful Uber-like taxi apps. But I’m ok using just Uber thank you, or even better hailing a good ol’ yellow cab!
As for the second question, well… please. I’ve never been a follower and I’m not about to start. I like the feeling of knowing I’ve made a conscious and informed decision when it comes to my mobile phone of choice. As James Whatley from ‘The Voicemail’ podcast once said: “Every f*cking f*cker’s got a f*cking iPhone!” I couldn’t have put it better myself! But seriously, we know why everyone has an iPhone, but I am not looking at switching permanently to Android or iOS, mainly because I don’t have the need to right now. Windows 10 mobile is robust and very enjoyable to use as far as I’m concerned, so there’s no real motivation to look elsewhere, although that may change if certain apps are not updated or are removed, or if Windows 10 becomes a forgotten project left to rot. But I honestly can’t see that happening anytime soon. I mean, Windows 10 isn’t even a year old yet!
So like I said, I’ve given up. And I’m going to enjoy myself from now on.