Report: Nokia Won't Launch Any WP7 Handsets in U.S. This Year
October 25, 2011 9:04 AM
The situation from Nokia may have just gone from bad to worse
not as bad as expected
earnings, Nokia, Oyj. (
) is preparing to launch Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" handsets at the annual Nokia World conference in London. That lineup is expected to include
the "Sea Ray"/"Sun"
and the Nokia 800, a WP7.5 version of the slick iPod Nano-esque N9.
arrived this week from U.S. advertising blog
, which revealed that Nokia and its partners had been shopping around a troubling document while looking for a U.S. ad agency. That document revealed that Nokia would likely not launch a handset in the U.S. at all in 2011.
Previously Nokia had always suggested that there would be some product in the U.S. by the end of 2011. It had used phrases like "limit availability" to characterize this lower volume launch and
labeled 2012 the time frame for the "full launch"
. But again, there was always the assumption that the company would deliver at least some product, in order to excited customers in the lucrative U.S. market.
If true, this is a major blow to Microsoft Corp.'s (
) hopes to grow market share in the U.S.
It's also evidence of Nokia's ongoing struggles in the U.S. both in sales and at a corporate level in adapting to U.S. carriers' business model. Unlike many foreign regions where handsets are sold at-cost unlocked, U.S. carriers tend to rely on subsidized locked handsets. Those subsidies add an extra wrinkle of complexity for handset makers, as they now must appeal to both the customer
Still, it's unacceptable that Nokia has been unable to master this slightly different business model, particularly when its non-U.S. peers like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) have done so with ease.
If Nokia indeed delivers its product payload in early 2012, it will not only miss the lucrative holiday shopping season, it will also be delivering already dated hardware onto the ultra-competitive American market. That may be a death sentence to Nokia's hopes of being a strong competitor in the U.S.
It's already simply dumbfounding that Nokia is the
flagship partner of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 project
, yet it has been unable to bring smart phones to market
as fast as other WP7.5 manufacturers
. Now the situation may be about to go from bad to worse.
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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