Nokia nixes flagship phone in US
Seven hours on the shelves for 3G-unfriendly mobe
Nokia is pulling the flagship 5800 Xpress Music phone from some US stores as the handset seemed to be having problems with American 3G networks.
The withdrawal was spotted by The Nokia Blog, who popped into the New York store last week to take a look at the handset which was launched on Friday, only to be told that it had been withdrawn from sale after only seven hours on the shelves. The withdrawal was due to a problem with 3G connections, though staff were anticipating a quick fix.
The 5800 has only been launched in the New York and Chicago stores, both of which are now selling European versions of the handset which operate without problem, but don't support 3G connections. If 3G connectivity is the problem then it could also be down to AT&T, the exclusive carrier for the US version of the phone. However, MobileCrunch reckons that speaker problems also plague the handset which is being billed, if not by Nokia, as a response to Apple's iPhone.
Nokia has never been able to crack the American market, despite comprehensively dominating the rest of the world. Americans have always viewed mobile phones as tiny little laptops, and expect them to work that way - with tiny little keyboards showing tiny little websites - while Nokia has always been about squeezing more functionality into what is, basically, a telephone.
But that's not Nokia's only problem with America. The Finnish giant can't seem to get the hang of American marketing and doesn't seem to be trying - as pointed out by The Nokia Blog, the launch of the 5800 warranted a concert in Malaysia, a street fair in Thailand and the presence of the good Miss Hilton in the UK, while the US launch was limited, with distinct lack of fun hoohah, to two shops and one network.
Problems like this aren't going to help the Nokia brand in the USA, and even if a software fix rapidly solves the problem the brand will still suffer - and in a country where most people think the dominant smartphone platform is the iPhone, that's going to matter a lot. ®
US carriers suck
They hate Nokia.... it's mutual.
Nokia packs great features into their phones, and the carriers disable anything which does not result in revenue. Fortunately you can get unlocked Nokias, and use them anywhere.
I know what you mean about finding apps, but there is in fact the Ovi App Store coming up in a few months time (so you see they have been spending those millions investing in this stuff. In fact the upcoming N97 is dependent on Ovi). It should then be much easier to find apps.
The beauty of Symbian is that no matter which S60 phone you have you have a rich choice of 3rd party apps and they're not forced through an approval process to run on the phone.
I prefer the 3rd party market to be just that though rather than being strictly controlled by the manufacturer (*cough* Apple).
Downside of Nokia products though is there are so many of them and support does seem to dwindle once they are in the shops as attention moves to new models. However compared to some other manufacturers, at least they have some support (and don't charge you for their supporting software either).
Try supporting what you make, Nokia
I've an E71 -- great little phone, but have you tried to find applications for it. That's a googling exercise in extreme frustration. Spending 3 hours looking for apps at hundreds of websites, after sifting through hundreds of forum postings that don't lead to solutions, is discouraging. If Nokia spent a million on three or four web coders and crafted an 'iTunes' store for apps for their line of phones, us dumb 'Americans' might warm to Nokia. Or, hey, here's a thought: open more than 2 stores in the US. Or, hey, here's a thought: have franchise partners who can help service the phones. With an older 6230, I needed a firmware upgrade to have it see its own SD card for music storage. Couldn't download the software from the web, couldn't download an installer app. Couldn't take it to a local store for a firmware update. Was instructed that I would have to ship it to Nokia for 2-3 wks. My business cell phone, without it for 2-3 wks? Nokia -- grow up and support your products. Oh, and make a VNC client for the E71 that works. Maybe some of us dirty Americans will respond by that tired old method of viral marketing your products for you. We do like a lot of your output, but the support execution sucks -- unless that's just how you do it overseas.