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Nokia Lumia momentum grows with high-profile apps from Rovio, Groupon

Some would say it has been slow going for the Nokia Lumia but the Windows Phone smartphone appears to be gaining momentum, at least when it comes to attracting big-name mobile application developers to the platform.

At CTIA this week, Nokia unveiled a list of new apps from the likes of Groupon, Angry Birds maker Rovio, ESPN, PayPal, Time magazine and others, some of which are exclusive. This is an important step forward for the Lumia ? which has not been setting sales on fire so far ? as consumers often consider what apps a smartphone offers when making a purchasing decision.

?Nokia knows that just a beautiful engineering design alone won?t generate long-lasting momentum and stickiness,? said Neil Shah, wireless device strategies analyst at Strategy Analytics, Newton, MA. ?Hence, this move is purely an ecosystem play and a very important one for Nokia as well as Microsoft.

?Generating such additional value for the consumers should help Nokia to build the momentum and mindshare capitalizing on the successful Lumia 900 launch in the United States market,? he said.

?As more Lumia devices sales expand globally and the developers? confidence grows, we will see more and more big named apps jumping in in near- to mid-term.?

Exclusive content
Nokia has been undergoing a strategic transformation as it abandons the aging Symbian platform and moves to embrace Windows Phone as its primary platform for smartphones.

With smartphone sales growing rapidly, Nokia is pinning its hopes on the Lumia line of smartphones and putting a lot of marketing muscle behind the phone. The company recently said sales for Lumia have exceeded expectations in the U.S., but that establishing momentum in Britain and other markets has been more challenging.

One important way Nokia and Microsoft can help drive interest for Windows Phone and the Lumia is with a strong ecosystem that offers the popular apps consumers want while also offering something unique compared to other smartphones.

Some of the apps announced this week are exclusives that were designed to leverage the Windows Phone Metro user interface and features such as live tiles.

The list of exclusive apps includes The PGA Tour app, which provides interactive coverage of select events and holes, showing each player?s exact position and scoring information, in addition to live scoring and highlights.

Another exclusive is the ESPN Hub app, which will include sports scores on live tiles.

An updated Windows Phone Groupon app will be exclusive to Nokia Lumia for six months when it launches this summer. It will include a new augmented reality deal discovery function.

Third ecosystem
Additionally, Nokia is working with PayPal to deliver an app that will leverage Windows Phone Live Tiles to create a flexible user experience.

Rovio is working on creating games for Nokia Lumia smartphones and the Windows Phone ecosystem and to develop new products and content exclusively for Nokia Lumia.

Other apps announced for the Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone this week come from Tripdots, Electronic Arts, AOL, Time magazine, Newsweek and Box.

?App brands such as Rovio, Groupon, Box, are all realizing the emergence as well as importance of Windows as the next big ecosystem behind Android and iOS,? Mr. Shah said. ?Hence, committing and jumping into Windows bandwagon and partnering especially with Nokia, the premier vendor promoting this ecosystem, makes complete sense.

?From a mobile marketer's point of view too, growth of a third ecosystem is very important as it allows them to target consumers with fresh ad experiences on a new intuitive platform such as Windows Phone,? he said.