The Macalope Daily: A tough sell

Another day, another sign that Nokia, maker of lovable loser Windows Phone 7 handsets, may be stuck in a snow bank without traction tires.

(By the way, that’s a pro tip, kids. When you’re talking about a company based in Finland, use a snow metaphor. GOLD.)

“Mobile operators unconvinced by Nokia’s revival bid”

Make that mobile operators and Mac-headed mythical beasts.

Four major telecom operators in Europe, where the phones have been on sale since before Christmas, told Reuters the new Nokia Lumia smartphones were not good enough to compete with Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy phones.

The Macalope will just point out once again that he is not rooting for the Lumia phones to fail. Quite the contrary. He wants them to succeed. Eh, you know…modestly. The current odds of that happening don’t seem that great, though.

“No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator, which has sold the Lumia 800 and 710 since December.

Well, just wait until that marketing kicks in. Then people will surely be buying the phone they don’t want.

The Macalope always finds it odd that when Microsoft dumps a bunch of money on advertising it’s described as a “push” but when an Apple product sells well thanks to powerful word of mouth, it’s because the company brainwashed people with its insidious marketing.

The carriers quoted in the piece seem to be trying to milk Microsoft for all the marketing money they can get. Apple, on the other hand, gets all kinds of free exposure for the iPhone. And all the company had to do to get it was build the best phone ever made. So unfair!

“It’s good for operators if we can reduce the dominance of Apple,” said a spokesman for a second telecoms carrier, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of relations with mobile phone makers.

“Oh, man, we hate Apple, because they make us subsidize their phone so much and we have to carry it because people want iPhones. Hey…you’re not going to use my name are you?”

The evidence seems to point to Microsoft and AT&T making a big push for the Lumia 900 in the U.S. but other than AT&T’s word we have no hard evidence of how well the phone is selling. Since Wired’s Christina Bonnington gushed over it topping the Amazon smartphone list last week, it’s fallen to number three behind the Motorola Droid Razr and some Samsung phone the Macalope had never heard of before.

On the plus side for Windows Phone, it’s no longer the most awkward product name to come out of Microsoft in the past five years. That’s something, right?

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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