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Phone Battle Royale; Razr, Lumia 920 Take on iPhone 5

September is a big month when it comes to technology. The Summer has ended, fall is beginning and the gear up to Talk Like a Pirate Day has begun. Wait, I think I have that backwards. Here at Gunnar Optiks, we released a few new styles that should help with all that other stuff released this month. You know, just that iPhone 5 thing, minor stuff right? What about the new Motorola Razr phones? How about the new Nokia Lumia? Three phones, three operating systems, three completely different foundations that may see one manufacturer meet its bitter end.

Let’s start with last week and the announcement of the new Nokia Lumia 920 Windows 8 phone. At a huge press event in NYC, the storied phone manufacturer in conjunction with Microsoft revealed their latest device carrying the latest operating system from Microsoft. The highlight of the device was the PureView system, creating better pictures in low light conditions than any other high end smartphone on the market.

For Nokia though, this phone is a make it or break it phone. They won’t say as much, but as the announcements were being made, their stock slipped nearly 15%. As the Nokia stock is currently a penny stock (trading somewhere around two dollars) this shows that investors aren’t sold on the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft and no one seems to really think that the Lumia 920, as good as a phone that it appears to be, will defeat the iPhone 5. Nokia, while one of the most reliable manufacturers of cell phone technology, can never expect to beat the popularity and pop culture status of the iPhone. The biggest problem for a Windows phone though is the lack of apps. The marketplace is no where near that of Android or iOS, one of the factors that led to Blackberry’s demise.

It makes sense for Motorola and Nokia to get a one week jump on Apple in revealing their new phones, yet it appears that the only question in that week is how the new phones compare to the iPhone. While most Apple customers will never admit to it, every comparable phone, especially one as high tech as the Lumia, has been more advanced than the iPhone since day one. Regardless, the iPhone has something those other phones don’t have – a rabid fan base.

Which is why as soon as the new Motorola Razr phones were announced immediately after the Nokia Lumina 920, pundits were already wondering if they would be able to compete with the iPhone 5 when it comes to sales. To put that in perspective, no matter how well an Android or Windows phone does, have you ever seen anyone lined up around the building over night to get the brand new Razr phone? That’s something that only the love for the iPhone creates.

Through marketing, psychology or however you want to spin it, Apple has succeeded in creating an unconditional and irrational love for its product line. The people waiting in line for the iPhone 5 probably have the iPhone 4 in their pockets. This is a fan base that will spend anything, go to near obsessive lengths. Back in 2007, many predicted the iPhone would ultimately fail, including this guy. Now, it’s ridiculous to think the iPhone would be anything less than grossly successful, bordering on obscene.

The iPhone has transcended normally technology caveats. When people buy tech they usually look for a combination of features, price and the technology itself and how it compares to the market. When people buy iPhones some adhere to that generality, but most buy an iPhone because it’s a freaking iPhone. They have been brainwashed by the branding and could care less what is better, cheaper or more technologically sound.

That’s not saying that the iPhone isn’t technologically sound. The iPhone 5 obviously is going to be the most advanced iPhone yet. This is more a commentary on the fact that Apple can basically stay behind the curve on technology (as they tend to do, they didn’t invent the computer or the cellphone or the mp3 player, they just made it all really pretty) and customers will eat it up regardless. The Motorola Razr runs dual processors and is faster than the laptop I’m using to type this. Yet, for all that speed and processing power the Razr just can’t compete with the undivided love users have for the iPhone.

Years ago I wrote an article comparing the iPhone to the Blackberry. Rightfully so, even with odd categorizations, the iPhone was declared the winner. Since then, the Blackberry has fallen the furthest down the technology hole, almost to the point of irrelevancy. So is Nokia next? It all comes down to the success of the operating systems, Android vs. iOs vs. Windows.

The Nokia Lumia 920 will tout the mobile version of Windows 8 as the latest and greatest OS as Windows 8 moves onto new PC’s in the market. The Razr will rely on Google’s Android system, which has proved itself to be one of the best and most versatile mobile operating systems designed. Apple of course will continue with their iOS operating system, not named after frosty treats like the Android updates.

So which phone are you going to be waiting in line for? But really, in the end, whatever device you are reading this on, you better be wearing your Gunnars.

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