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Summary:

The wait for Microsoft’s Lumia 930 in the UK is over, nearly five months after a similar handset — the Lumia Icon — debuted in the US. Have potential buyers already moved on or will the Lumia 930 still be well received?

Photo by Kevin Tofel/Gigaom
photo: Kevin Tofel/Gigaom

When they’re paired with exclusive carrier deals, smartphone release cycles can present a challenge, particularly if you want the latest and greatest handset.

Take the Lumia 930, for example. It launched in February as a Verizon exclusive dubbed the Lumia Icon and is just now becoming available in the U.K. on July 17, says Engadget. Nokia had said as much back in April, saying the Lumia 930 would arrive overseas in June for around $599 off-contract, but that hasn’t made the long wait any easier to digest. Since then and now, several flagship phones have launched, which could leave Microsoft with fewer Lumia 930 sales than originally planned.

Lumia Icon home screen

There’s little difference between the 930 and the Icon, which is actually a great handset — the best Windows Phone to date, per our review in February. I also used one to test Windows Phone 8.1, which is the software the Lumia 930 will run out of the box, and enjoyed it. It has a great 20 megapixel PureView camera — including optical image stabilization and Carl Zeiss optics — a 5-inch 1080p display and a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor that is more than capable of providing a good Windows Phone experience.

Even though the Lumia 930 package is compelling, the timing seems a bit off for those who base purchase decisions based on hardware specifications. A particular problem for some is the processor — there are already several phones available with the next-generation Snapdragon chipset available, for example.

Why Microsoft has waited to bring the Lumia 930 to a wide range of regions sooner rather than later is a bit of a mystery, particularly when the company is trying to grow market share and the Lumia 930 competes well with other devices in this price range. Perhaps the Lumia hardware cycle is slowing or maybe the greater focus is on the faster growing low-cost phone segment. Regardless, those in the U.K. who have been waiting for this phone won’t have to wait much longer. Have those buyers already moved on?

Nokia itself has confirmed the Lumia 930 rollout in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Here in the U.S. the device looks like it will stay a Verizon-only event, however as the Nokia Conversations specifically says “Further rollout throughout the world (except the US) will continue over the coming weeks.”

  1. Giving Verizon the exclusive on the Icon was a bad idea. If you go into a Verizon store and try and look at it the salespeople actually try to steer you towards a Samsung or Apple. And Microsoft wonders why they can’t get any traction in the smartphone market..

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