I woke up today to the announcement of Nokia ‘s new flagship, the Lumia 925. After excitedly clicking through the link to check out specs

Between Nokia Lumia 925 and BlackBerry Messenger

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Lumia 925 and BBM icon

I woke up today to the announcement of Nokia ‘s new flagship, the Lumia 925. After excitedly clicking through the link to check out specs of the new flagship, I suddenly felt drained of all excitement. There really was nothing significant to get excited about the new device. Just imagine if the HTC One had been announced as having the same display size, camera, processor and internals as the HTC One X. Meh! That is exactly what Nokia did with the 925 – it has exactly the same internals as the older 920. Oh; it’s got a slimmer, nicer body, an AMOLED display instead of LCD, and new camera gimmicks. Sigh.

Right now, I am far more excited about the Nokia Asha 501 than about the Lumia 925. Much more. Maybe it’s just me though. If I had the limited resources that Nokia has, rehashing a flagship model without significant improvements on features would be out of the question. Honest. It was just in March that we tried to make sense of HTC’s four flagships in the space of a year. While Nokia hasn’t gone that far, the 925 following the 920 with almost same specs looks disturbing already.

Then when I thought the day couldn’t get worse, BlackBerry announced that it’s popular messaging client BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would hit iOS and Android for free in about two months time. Under normal circumstances, that might have been good news. Well, it still is good news in a way. Now, more millions of smartphone users can chat and connect with BlackBerry smartphone users via BBM. Except that it is looking like very soon the number of BlackBerry smartphone users to chat with will dwindle drastically. At the end of the day, we might have BBM users across iOS and Android only.

Why? BlackBerry devices are currently not competitively priced. Many BlackBerry smartphone users are still on that platform because of BBM. With scores of more affordable Android smartphones in the market, I foresee lots of BlackBerry smartphone users migrating to Android when it’s time to replace their current phones. They will eat their cake and have it – at the expense of BlackBerry. I know its a dilemma for BlackBerry. Like Nokia, they have limited financial resources, but WhatsApp was going to eat their instant messaging lunch. It is like being between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps what BlackBerry can do now is review their smartphone pricing strategy. Perhaps.

Or I am just a doom sayer and too cranky. Whatever. Today has been a bad mobile news day for me. I worry about Nokia and BlackBerry. I shouldn’t, as I have no stakes in either company, but then I worry all the same.


  1. I heard the BBM news a few hours ago, and I was dazed! Like “Blackberry, SERIOUSLY?!?!”

    I’ve been waiting for months to buy the Q10, but if BBM is coming to android, hey! no need to buy it anymore. I just wait a couple of months, but a cheap droid with physical keyboard, and use that for my BBM chatting. I alread get almost-prompt email on my Lumia and old droid.

    Mr Mo is right about blackberries not being competitively priced. The Q10 is quite expensive, but at least BBM and secure , encrypted data was eclusively reserved for blackberry. Now that Samsung is getting their own secure, encrypted service approved by governments, I think BBM should remain exclusive to blackberry.



    Once the Samsung Mega 6.3 is released in Nigeria, I’ll retire my BlackBerry.

  3. I am not sure about what to make about the news of blackberry bringing its bbm service to android and iOS, for me all I see are positives. Positives for me that I now have the option of using the BBM without buying a blackberry and the possibility that Blackberry could monetize the BBM by making users pay a monthly/yearly subscription fee (a la Whatsapp).

    I doubt Blackberry is bringing BBM to iOS and Android for free (even whatsapp isn’t free).

    All that matters now is the execution, if done properly it could work.

  4. The Nokia lumia 925 was never meant to be a flagship device it’s like the 928, they’re basically the same device for different carriers, the 920 is the international version.

  5. I think lumia 925 was made to correct the shortcomings of the 920 most notably the weight issue. Think of it as more or less a refresh version of lumia920 just like how iphone does 4, 4s. Only downside is lack of SD card with only 16gig to play with.

  6. Mr. Mo, I know you’ve always preached for diversity of both operating systems and hardware devices, but diversity for the sake of it without actually competing our bringing new things to the table makes no sense. These to device manufacturers appear to be unprepared to compete with hardware competitive pricing, the possible reason they’ve chosen to stick with Windows Phone and BlackBerry operating systems.

    I mean, if BlackBerry had chosen Android instead of pursuing their own operating system development, their lot would have been a whole lot better and they would have been able to attract non-BB users, but pricing of their devices is the only problem they would have had. The same thing applies for Nokia, but I think Nokia are better placed to price their devices more competitively but their continued romance with Windows Phone as their only love may eventually destroy their every chance of a possible recovery.

    Nokia’s case is the one I consider more disturbing because their 41MP camera phone on Android would have stirred things up seriously, but offering that technology on a Windows platform that very few people really care about isn’t doing any justice to that technology. It’s a shame.

  7. Henry,

    I agree with you. It is looking to me like Windows Phone as a platform is holding Nokia back. They seem unable to play around as they would have loved to. Sigh. Like I said, right now, I am actually more excited about the Nokia 501 running the new Asha OS than the Lumia 925.

  8. I don’t know if anyone noticed but, BBM will only be available on ICS and iOS6 upwards. That already cuts off a very high percentage of all users

  9. @Muyo-san

    I tend to differ with you on the issue of a large percentage of all users just because BBM will be available to the ICS and IOS6 and above OS.

    While I agree with you on users of IOS6 because personally, apple products are unbearably exorbitant , you need to sample the market these days to see that there are quite a number of budget Android devices running the ICS OS and many more to come in the days ahead. A very good example is the TECNO N7 which by any means is an awesome device at least for its price tag (25k – 30k) and I see them denting a big hole into Nokia’s bottomline here in Nigeria.

    As for BlackBerry, I’d love to liken what’s about happening to them to having a huge and successful party that is unfortunately coming to an end. #SMH

  10. I don’t understand all the hate for WP8, even from you Mr MO, it’s more than a little disappointing you’re supposed to look at these things objectively after all, Windows phone is a beautiful OS, and it has a promising future, it is currently the fastest growing OS in the market after all, please Henry more than a few people love WP, it’s simple it’s fast it’s beautiful in it’s simplicity, anybody that truely liked IOS or the blackberrys’ of old should be able to appreciate the lack of customization options unless they’re still bitter about nokia dropping Symbian like I once was, for awhile I hated WP but I came to love it when I realized the fact that I liked my Blackberry because it’s OS is simple, I didn’t want to go back to my days of using symbian when I spent all my time on the phone downloading this theme or that app in order to make the “ultimate” ui experience, I loved it! But when I got out I was so surprisingly relieved. Going with Android would mean going back to that which is unacceptable to me.

  11. I don’t understand all the hate for WP8, even from you Mr MO

    Emmanuel, this is me walking away from you. I don’t understand people who think that pointing out the weakness of their favourite platform is hating. I point out the weaknesses of Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and iOS here everyday. I do same for Windows Phone, and it is hating…


  12. +1000 @ “I don’t understand people who think that pointing out the weakness of their favourite platform is hating”

  13. True dat, Mr mo, I’m also eagerly waiting for the nokia asha 501, sometimes one just needs a phone that can do the basic things and still have enough juice to last for 48 days, “yes 48 days”, and the new past, present, future interface is kinda refreshing also.

    Personally i feel Nokia will gain back a considerable amount of the market share with time using the asha devices (Low end) and Lumia (high end). Microsoft needs to allow a little more freedom for developers to customize the windows phone 8 interface, so each mobile phone manufacturer can tweak the OS on their phones to look a little different from each other. Right now there isn’t any major difference between htc, samsung and nokias versions of win phone 8 devices apart from the physical design features.

  14. At a point i loved the Lumia 925, but when i checked out the specs and no memory card, I lost interest.

    I feel Blackberry should have made the app a paid app.

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