Nokia dumps Dragon in major UK channel revamp
Rumours aswirl of attempts to lock down distributors
Nokia has terminated its distribution contract with specialist comms disties 20:20 and Data Select in a revamp of its UK channel.
Filling the chasm, the Finnish giant is ushering on board Micro-P to target consumer and biz telco dealers, broadline giant Ingram Micro will handle sales to IT resellers and Kondor will become Nokia's first franchise accessories distie across Europe.
James Kitto, head of retail and distribution at Nokia, said in a statement that he expected the "new distribution model" and a UK partner network channel programme to expand the sale of its handsets and accessories across the entire ICT dealer network.
The scheme dishes out product training, demo kit and sales support for all types of dealers.
The firm confirmed the departure of long-serving distributors 20:20 and Data Select - the mobile distributor that is owned by Dragons' Den star Peter Jones and is the subject of sale talks. Nokia was unable to comment on industry chatter that the two disties got the heave-ho because sales were below expectations.
Andrew Peat, purchasing and marketing director at 20:20, told El Reg that Nokia had asked for a "semi-exclusive" distribution agreement and it had refused as its strategy was based on a multi-vendor portfolio.
"We need several names on the door not just one. We were unwilling to provide what Nokia were looking for but they found partners that were," he said.
However this claim was dismissed by Gerry O'Keafe, Micro-P managing director, saying it would continue to sell handsets from Samsung, BlackBerry, HTC and Acer as well as Nokia.
"We heard rumours that we were asked to pass up on our existing relationships but that is complete rubbish," he said.
Nokia refused to comment further and Data Select was unavailable to comment. ®