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Nokia resurrects iPhone death grip in pitching Lumia 900

updated 11:05 am EDT, Mon April 2, 2012

Nokia tries attacking Android and iPhone in ads

Nokia has tried an unusual pseudo-guerilla marketing campaign in the run-up to the Smartphone Beta Test shows mock, backdated videos of protagonist Gary unsuccessfully trying to convince two co-workers that design flaws are important. One, "Death Grip," tries to revive the now non-existent iPhone 4 issue by chastising Gary for "holding it wrong."

Another, "Fragile," is ostensibly dated to 2007 but is more about the iPhone 4 and 4S being prone to breaks. An "Outside" spot makes fun of some Android phones' OLED screens and their propensity to become unreadable outside, with Gary's companions suggesting that the screen was fine as long as he only ever used the phone inside.

The page doesn't directly reference Nokia, but giveaways come through the combination of a countdown to April 6, just ahead of the Lumia 900 launch, along with Nokia references in the site source.

Nokia's campaign is an unusual start to what's supposed to be AT&T's largest launch ever, which should include a multi-week ad blitz and heavily subsidized phone prices. While a $100 maximum contract price should help the Lumia 900, Windows Phone's current poor showing and Nokia's mostly absent presence in US smartphones have left any success uncertain. Choosing to use arguments that either haven't been relevant for some time, or which were never major obstacles, may not have much effect in hoping to argue that the "beta" is over and the Lumia 900 is the finished product.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Blairmc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This stinks of Microsoft tactics.

    I'm guessing its easier than making quality products that people might then choose to buy.

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not sure ads mean anything today

    When these phones come out with low price tags, they will attract customers no matter what the ads say. With AT&T mandating sales quotas, the sales people will have to push them no matter how they feel. Hey, a sale is a sale and keeps them employed. AT&T's campaign will get more of these phones sold than the phones deserve but that's the way the corporate market works. Just sell, baby....

    I assisted in the purchase of an iPhone to replace a Blackberry for my PC-centric son-in-law. I didn't push him or my daughter, he cam up with the idea. While at the AT&T store, the salesman (nice guy but typical salesman) went through all the other phones, especially Android phones and tablets, to make sure he had enough information to make an intelligent decision (sarcasm). Of course, he has an Android phone, not an iPhone, so he was pushing what he had and maybe what AT&T told him to push. I don't know what Verizon does but my experience with AT&T shows me they don't care what device they are selling, as long as they make the sale. Therefore, if AT&T can bring in anybody into the store for this launch, they probably will convince enough people to buy the Winblows phone instead of a phone that is known to work. I'm not really blaming the customer, they come into a store to get advice, something that most stores don't give you--they only want to make the sale.

    Bottom line: I see this phone selling well, at least until people find it awkward to use and return it.

  1. BigJohn11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The funny thing is..

    Nokia sales have been plummeting to the very devices they are making fun of. Hmmm.. I guess there devices must have sucked more.


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cheap c*** Sells

    I think that the phone will sell well initially because of the number of people who use Windows platform and the promise of integration with that platform, but the early adopters will be crushed by remise as they realize that cheap does not equal smart.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's funny.

    My wife has a Nokia flip phone that comes with instructions to avoid touching an area on the back of the phone because it would impact the signal. :

  1. Inbloom

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I have has the chance to use a Lumia for over a week now and it's not a bad device. The Lumia defiantly is not a iPhone nor does it try to be one. However, it will be a great device for a lot of people. Great camera, great email management, and deep social network integration is all that a lot of consumers need in a device. And the Lumia and Windows Phone have that to offer. Don't knock ot until you have tried it or used one.

  1. Fonejacker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Death Grip???

    I think Apple and Google's Android have a death grip on the smartphone market, no room for another platform. Sorry Nokia/Microcopy, you can't sell your antique technology any longer. You have been outsmarted by Apple and Google.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is that the new Hyundai?

  1. facebook_Kevin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012



    Shady tactic that allows Nokia to implicitly make false claims about other phones without actually having to be held accountable for libel. My new formula for making garbage slander commercials:

    1. Find a minor issue with a number of anecdotal cases, and a few exceptional cases (from the millions of happy customers) from the product you'd like to slander (All antennas are affected by being surrounded by our meaty mitts, to some extent or another, and the iPhone 4 wasn't any more or less in that category; Most that aren't reinforced and have no cases break sometimes when you drop them onto hard objects, my guess is the Lumia will be no exception; All displays wash out in the sunlight to some extent)

    2. Pay some actors to sit in a room and make speculation about that product that is neither verifiable, nor true. Have other actors play straw men (thanks Plato), and have lame rebuttals so that initial false argument sounds more valid ("You must be a baby... waaa waaa")

    3. Blur out the devices, and don't mention them specifically by name, so you competitors can't sue.

    4. Wait for all the non-tech savvy people to make the false connection themselves....

    5. Profit!

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