First off, let me clarify what I’m talking saying. I’m not claiming fault with the fact that Nokia has been unleashing some of their wickedly powerful Nseries devices on North American soil- I couldn’t be happier with that- and Nokia’s newly found focus on the market over here in general. Despite our very, very backwards way of doing things- our market shows massive potential for converged devices and online multimedia-centric applications and services due to our generally and pleasantly reasonable data plans- something that seems to be seriously amiss elsewhere in the globe. No, no- I’m happy everyday to hear more about Nokia’s plans over here. What does bother the hell out of me, and more that just a few others, is how Nokia has gone about the business of getting smartphones into our hands lately over here. My buddies Zach from Symbian in Motion and Ricky, the Symbian-Guru, have both recently voiced their opinions on the matter and I echo their thoughts on the entire subject.
Click through to read how Nokia is doing us completely wrong on this side of the Atlantic…
The problem is this- we need a little heads up from Nokia. The way they are going about it right now has been release a "crazy-sick" Nseries device with all the latest features and brilliant new hardware with fantastic S60 updates and all sorts of other goodies… and European WCDMA. Not to say that there is anything wrong with that at all. I have zero problem admitting that my market is a bit of an odd case and isn’t paid too much attention- and for a reason. We have our own silly frequencies, our carriers don’t play fair AT ALL, we’re terribly uneducated on the subject of smartphones and convergence as consumers and can’t be bothered to spend more than twenty bucks on a phone when we sign contracts for years at a time… So I have no problem that devices are released elsewhere that are not compatible with whatever we decide we’re doing over here- I’ve even got no problem with the fact that they never end up making it over here. No, not at all. I’m not even saying that Nokia needs to jump into tri-band WCDMA chipped devices just yet- though with Samsung and Sony Ericsson getting ready to gear up for war over North America too- it might be something to look into a little further.
What I have a problem with is the marketing and sales of these devices at the US flagship stores and online without disclosing the fact that they’re going to release a device fully compatible with our networks within a short period of time. I think many more consumers would be happier being told that the Euro spec Nwhatever will be available in July-August, and the North American spec will be available September/October than to purchase a $750 Euro spec device sold at a Nokia store in Chicago, suffer through a miserable EDGE data connection in favor of other features, only to find an AT&T 3.5G wicked-hot fast HSDPA version is available two weeks later. That’s heartbreaking. When I was at the Nokia House for the launch of the N82 speaking with the project managers, no one would tell us anything about a NAM variant- they couldn’t wait to tell us all about a white N82, or a sales package that would come with a backpack- but blank stares around the table when you ask them about anything other than 2100mhz WCDMA. That makes it a real bummer to be one of the seven people interested in smartphones in this country- but of course that’s the problem… we’re just not interested in smartphones, not yet. Apple got our ear pricked up- now it’s time for Nokia to educate the masses over here. It’s just that this is not the way to go about it. This just cannot be the course of action in a market where you can’t get someone to spend a single dollar on a mobile phone with a two year contract. Not in the land where the blackjack is the hottest thing in the known universe after the iPhone- it’s just not the way things ought to be done, and I seriously doubt it will work.
What teeters on the board of disgusting me however, is the fact that
Nokia releases Euro-spec devices in the US market; pushes them online,
in flagship stores and through distributors; and then does the same
thing months later with the US-spec version. This is a disrespectful,
money-hungry practice that in my opinion is borderline devious. -Zach Epstein, Symbian in Motion
That pretty much says it, doesn’t it? What do you think? Is Nokia being money-hungry? Are they just keeping their lips sealed with regards to ongoing product development? If so, why so secretive? If they do have the right intentions and aren’t just trying to screw us into spending another couple hundred bucks to ‘upgrade’ after a couple months, what’s the harm in telling us that there’s a North American variant on the horizon? Isn’t that the proper way to go about it?