Samsung phones are too bulky. Apple's iPhones are for blind fan-boys, or "iSheep." It's easy to imagine those barbs being traded at any social gathering these days when people break out their mobile devices. So why not take full advantage with a "pox on both your houses" approach?
That's the attitude of Microsoft and Nokia in marketing their Lumia devices. In a hilarious video ad released Monday, the companies' ad wizards take us to a wedding ceremony interrupted by Samsung fans on one side of the aisle and Apple users on the other. Trouble starts when someone asks a man holding an apparent Galaxy Note to "move your enormous phone." The Samsung user replies to a middle-aged woman with an iPhone "aren't you a little young for an iPhone?"
Seconds later, it's pandemonium with fists (and people) flying and someone predictably landing in the cake. Even the bride surges into the mayhem, though her OEM allegiance is undeclared.
An Open Window?
Funny as it is, the Microsoft ad doesn't offer much of a rationale for Windows 8 phones, but seem to position it as a third option in the wake of BlackBerry's collapse. The ad simply shows the devices being used by two waiters who suggest the fighting would stop if the guests knew about Nokia Lumia devices. A shot of the Lumia 920 shows several apps in Live Tiles display mode, while the small print says "Apps from the Windows Phone Store, availability may vary."
One of the biggest raps against Windows is that its application market pales in comparison with those of Apple's iOS and Android, which runs Samsung devices. Both have more than 800,000 offerings, while the Windows App Store has about 63,000.
Still, recent figures on the global smartphone market from Kantar Worldpanel showed Windows Phone more than doubling its market share, from 3.0 percent in the three months ending in February 2012 to 6.7 percent in the same period this year, coming in third place after Android (58.3 percent) and iOS (29 percent). BlackBerry's share slipped more than 11 percent in that time frame to 5.1 percent, perhaps creating...well, a window of opportunity.
"I'm sure Microsoft will find a niche with its current Lumia offerings, but I don't think they'll take any reasonable share away from either Apple or Samsung, as [those companies'] product development cycle is much more frequent," said wireless analyst Kirk Parsons of J.D. Power and Associates.
Your Mother's Phone
The new Lumia ad picks up where Samsung's recent attacks on the supposedly cult-like devotion of Apple fans left off. One ad in the latter campaign showed a man holding a place in line outside an Apple store for his 50-something parents, trying to plant the idea that Samsung Galaxy devices are not just more functional but more hip with millennials.
That earlier ad also showed Samsung users touching phones to share a playlist with near-field communication, while NFC is not yet available for iPhone. When this happens in the new Windows ad, an iPhone user speaks to her Siri digital assistant and says "search: one-trick pony."
The Lumia 920 is also equipped for NFC.