Talking tech since 2003

Confirming a leak we saw earlier this week, it seems that the Nokia Lumia 1020 camera smartphone has been officially revealed at a press conference in Manhattan yesterday. As predicted, the 1020 will feature a 41-megapixel camera, will run on the Windows Mobile OS, and will be available for $299.99 from AT&T starting July 22 when you sign up for a two-year contract.

According to a post on Bloomberg, the camera’s impressive photo and video quality is thanks to Nokia’s Oversampling technology. A post on ArsTechnica from last year discussing Nokia’s use of oversampling in previous camera phones explains that the technology “helps reduce noise, increase color accuracy, and increase sharpness.”

“The Lumia 1020 is a flagship phone that stands out from the crowd,” said Nokia’s head of smartphone devices, Jo Harlow, after the reveal yesterday. Of course, the device is at something of a disadvantage in terms of its possible appeal to consumers—and that’s the Windows Mobile OS. As snazzy as it may be, it only holds about 3.2 percent of the mobile OS market as of the first quarter of 2013. Compared with the 17.3 percent held by Apple’s iOS alone and the 75 percent held by the various devices utilizing Google’s Android, Microsoft has a lot of ground to cover.

The Bloomberg post quotes Avi Greengart of market research firm Current Analysis, who says that Microsoft could potentially reap big benefits with the Lumina 1020:

“Microsoft needs to appeal to consumers with something and they’re unlikely to match Apple and Google’s app system. The camera may be it.”

The problem Microsoft is facing, of course, is the lack of developer support, making the Windows Mobile App experience a virtual ghost town compared with those of its competitors. The reason for that is the lack of users; without a solid install-base, there’s little to no incentive for mobile developers to bother making software on the platform when Android and iOS have so many users. But because the Lumia 1020 excels not in software but in hardware, it stands to reason that shutter-happy users will make the switch and bolster the Windows Mobile market share. That, in turn, could lead to more app-makers bringing their wares to Microsoft’s mobile OS store, and could make the mobile market a true three-horse race.

All in all, I’m intrigued. Should this smartphone ever make its way to my mobile carrier (or if I should make the switch to AT&T), I’ll seriously consider picking this up. Sure, I’m pretty devoted to Android these days, but I’m more than willing to test the Windows Phone waters if it means I get a ridiculously powerful digital camera out of the deal.

Would you make the switch for a camera this good? Let us know in the comments.

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