A Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone is displayed inside a Nokia retail store in… (Ville Mannikko / Bloomberg )
If you've got a Lumia, then you'll get a bunch of new apps, including Groupon, that no other Windows Phone will get to tap into right away.
On Tuesday, Nokia announced that the ESPN Hub, PGA Tour and AOL Entertainment Hub apps and an upgraded Groupon app will be available on the Lumia handset before other Windows Phone devices.
Although Groupon is already available in the Windows Marketplace, Lumia owners will be the first to experience the app's extensive upgrade incorporating augmented-reality real-time local virtual deals for the first six months after it's launched this summer.
"Our new and exclusive Groupon app for Nokia Lumia customers combines the intuitive Windows Phone Metro [user interface] with location-based data to deliver deals which are both personalized and location-relevant for users," Mihir Shah, Groupon's vice president of mobile, said in the Nokia news release. "We look forward to continuing to partner with Nokia to evolve and innovate our app experience further."
The ESPN Hub app, which will remain exclusive to the Lumia until next May, will offer scores updated in real time on its home screen and drill-down personalization. Also, a Windows Phone version of the ESPN Fantasy Football app is heading for the Lumia first this fall.
And Rovio, maker of the wildly popular Angry Birds franchise, is said to be partnering with Nokia to develop content and products specifically for the Lumia line of smartphones. Angry Birds isn't yet on the Windows Phone platform, but is expected in the near future.
"Nokia is one of our longest-standing partners, and Windows Phone and Lumia are of strategic importance to Rovio," said Mikael Hed, chief exeuctive of Rovio. "We are very committed to bring our games to Lumia devices, and are looking forward to delighting our fans on the Windows Phone platform."
Holding content to a specific line of smartphones on the Windows Phone operating system is a shrewd strategic move that enables Nokia to sustain a competitive advantage, Wharton associate professor of marketing Americus Reed II told The Times.
"It has to do with trying to create differentiation," Reed said. "And exclusivity is the key ingredient."
Crawford Del Prete, IDC chief research officer, agreed. "With new and exclusive apps launching on a regular basis, and Nokia Lumia rapidly expanding into new markets, Nokia and Microsoft are demonstrating meaningful differentiation for consumers, developers, operators and retailers," he said in a news release.
Because the device is dependent on the software, "It also highlights the important relationship between Microsoft and Nokia," Reed said. Users don't form two separate opinions about their experience, he said, one for the phone and one for the software.
Reed knows a little something about the opinions users form about the phone. One of his marketing classes spent this last semester steeped in studying how to better connect the phone with consumers, making a final presentation to Microsoft executives.
This limited-exclusive approach enables Nokia and Microsoft to, in a way, replicate an experience unique to the iPhone, whose body and brains come from the same source and are made to work seamlessly together. "You live or die by the experience they have on the device," Reed said.
Some other titles coming to Windows Phone, according to the announcement, include a number from Electronic Arts: IFA, Madden NFL, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Mirror's Edge and Yahtzee. Other apps soon to appear in the Windows Marketplace include PayPal and Box.
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