"If you ever thought that maybe your smartphone wasn't all it's cracked up to be, that's because it wasn't."
Take cover, iPhone owners: Nokia is about to rain some furious criticisms down on your smartphone. Three "mysterious" videos uploaded by YouTube user SmartphoneBetaTest this weekend take some not-so-veiled shots at the iPhone's vulnerabilities, all seeking to prove that your current smartphone isn't all that great and that, furthermore, Apple treats its handset owners like beta testers.
The videos -- widely suspected to be part of Nokia's advertising campaign for its upcoming Lumia 900 release -- show "recently obtained, never before seen footage" of three fictional execs (company unnamed!) discussing shortcomings in their firm's smartphones. The most viewed video, titled "Death Grip" (guess what that's a reference to?), features one exec panicking that his phone's signal is disappearing when he grips the phone a certain way; another exec scolds him and tells him he's holding it wrong (get it?).
Here's that ad:
The other videos attack the iPhone along similar lines: One of the execs expresses concern with a glaring issues on his device, only to have the other two execs shoot him down and belittle his intelligence. We're not given an alternative smartphone in these spots. We are simply supposed to know one thing: The iPhone has flaws.
(This isn't the first time that Nokia has called out Apple, by the way: Back in 2007, it chided the Cupertino company for dropping the price of the iPhone just weeks after releasing it, costing early adopters $200).
The next phase of the ad campaign, of course, is to tell you which phone you should buy. These ads are linked to a larger website, www.smartphonebetatest.com, which sports a Windows Phone-esque design and a countdown clock timed to hit zero when the Lumia 900 is slated for release in America by AT&T on April 8th. Nokia wouldn't comment on whether or not SmartphoneBetaTest was theirs, though a Nokia spokesperson did winkingly note in an email to HuffPost that the SmartphoneBetaTest website "certainly appears to have something to do with smartphones." Also, Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell makes a brief appearance, waiting impatiently for the countdown to end. The mystery! The suspense!
Actually, there is a certain amount of suspense surrounding the release of the Lumia 900: Nokia and Microsoft have both bet a lot of money on this smartphone, putting hundreds of millions of dollars into its promotion. Microsoft hopes that this "hero device" can boost the market presence of its Windows Phone mobile operating system, which has thrilled critics but has so far failed to click with consumers. Nokia, meanwhile, has seen its once-dominant hold on American phone sales slide ever downwards, and it sees the Lumia 900 as its great comeback hope.
And so this, it would appear, is the beginning of the big advertising push that will at least partly determine the Lumia 900's success or failure. Below, we've embedded the three videos, as well as a brief intro featuring Parnell.