Why has Nokia let Microsoft cripple the Lumia 2520?
22nd Oct 2013 | 11:27
Windows RT is the 2520's Achille's heel
When Nokia decided to make a tablet, it had to choose: did it want to be fast, or did it want to take its time and be the best? It chose the latter.
As Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, said back in 2011: "There are now over 200 different tablets on the marketplace, only one of them is doing really well. And, my challenge to the team is I don't want to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can't tell from all of the others."
Is the Nokia Lumia 2520 the unique tablet Elop envisaged, or has Nokia just grabbed a Surface and painted it red?
Lots to like
There's lots to like about the Lumia 2520. It's a pretty thing and the red one's going to look great in your local phone emporium.
Where Microsoft messed up the distribution of its original Surface, Nokia's no slouch at getting hardware into high street shops, getting carriers to subsidise them and persuading sales staff to sell them. That alone means the 2520 is a tablet to take seriously.
There's substance to the style, too. The specs are decent, fast charging is welcome and the inclusion of LTE's going to delight all three of the British Nokia fans who can currently get 4G coverage.
The Power Keyboard is fun and handy, the camera would be tempting if taking photos with tablets wasn't against international law and the price isn't too bad either.
That's the good. The bad, of course, is the OS: it's Windows 8.1 RT.
Two out of three ain't bad
In 2011, Elop said that only one tablet was doing well. That isn't the case any more, but the tablets that are doing well are doing well because of three things: they're good, they're aggressively priced, and they don't run Windows RT.
As Meat Loaf put it, "two out of three ain't bad" - but is that enough?
I hope so, but I fear not, because I suspect that the problem with Windows RT tablets isn't the "tablets" bit of the equation.
In the bad old days, with market share slipping and Apple and Android rising, Nokia found itself making great hardware with sub-par software. With the 2520, it's making great hardware with... er...
You've already supplied the punchline, I'm sure.