The Nokia Lumia line has been good to Windows Phone. The platform has struggled since launch to curry favor with developers and users alike, but the new and improved hardware and general ecosystem upgrade that accompanied the Lumia 710 and Lumia 900 haven’t gone unnoticed. Neither has all that money Microsoft is apparently shoving down developers’ throats.
Be it bribes or upgrades, the mobile world is listening. Today at CTIA in New Orleans, Nokia announced that a slew of partnerships with big name companies that will help drive momentum for its app efforts. Groupon, Box, EA, ESPN, Rovio, PayPal, and Time are among the outlets that have entered an application partnership with Nokia Lumia. You can check out Nokia’s press release for the list in full.
A few of the specific apps that will be a part of the deal include the PGA Tour app, Angry Birds Space, FIFA, Madden, Mirror’s Edge, Tripdots, PayPal, and The Daily Beast. That’s just skimming the surface of the catalog increase Lumia users are about to experience.
Despite the fact that the Windows Phone platform has had its fair share of challenges, developers and app startups have remained surprisingly interested. But this announcement doesn’t necessarily mean good things for the brand on all fronts – in fact, it’s pretty divisive. Only Nokia Lumia devices (there are four, but the Lumia 610 and 800 are only available in the U.S. unlocked) are privy to the app upgrade – other WP handsets are not. It’s establishing that these are the top tier devices and the ones that outside talent want to work with (some of which could do with Nokia investing in their companies).
There’s competition within the Android platform as well, and it’s not as if we don’t know that some handsets are higher quality than others. But they all have the same available third-party software (for the most part – being stuck on an old OS can hurt that, as users have discovered).
Any forward motion is a boon for Windows Phone though, and Microsoft might see introducing developers to Nokia devices as a chance to start getting on their good side, paving the way for the rest of the lineup. But perhaps it’s just throwing all its eggs in one basket and banking on the larger success of its Nokia Lumia phones to buoy its business.
Our mobile writer Jeffrey Van Camp will have more coverage from the floor at CTIA, including some hands-on time with Nokia handsets.