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Nokia in the U.S: ‘You say goodbye, I say hello’

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When we launch Windows Phones we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc., It will be Windows Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do (elsewhere).

In an AllThingsD interview, Nokia’s President (U.S.), Chris Weber, explained that Nokia will be dropping the Symbian and S40 platforms in the U.S. and Canada once the company’s Windows Phone 7 handsets launch. Relatively few will notice as Nokia(s nok) repeatedly attempted to bring a Symbian-edged knife to a gun fight against the likes of smartphones running iOS(s aapl) and Android(s goog) over the past few years.

The company is also exiting the low-end market in the U.S. at a time when consumers have already left it: More than half of all new handsets now sold in the U.S. are smartphones. Waiting until the market abandons your product before leaving that market usually isn’t the best of business models.

Love it or hate it, however, Nokia’s decision to use Microsoft Windows Phone 7 actually does open up an entirely new market for the company. Although Nokia never succeeded in the U.S., the reasons were mainly two-fold: a user interface that never caught on here and a lack of carrier subsidies to get handsets in front of potential customers at reasonable prices. With Microsoft’s mobile platform, the user interface issue goes away based on my usage. And because the platform could appeal to consumers, carriers are more likely to pay part of the hardware costs on Nokia handsets.

That means for the first time, a Nokia phone that U.S. customers want could be in carrier stores at competitive prices.

*Headline excerpted from “Hello, Goodbye”, Performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Magical Mystery Tour, MP3, EMI, copyright 1967, Apple Music.

10 Responses to “Nokia in the U.S: ‘You say goodbye, I say hello’”

  1. Ido Salama

    Kevin – completely agree. I think Nokia’s proven hardware – they know how to make quality phones, even if they arent as sexy as iphones – coupled with “the potential” of WP7 makes Nokia a real contender. After reading some reviews, I decided to play with it myself at a VZW store and I absolutely love how unique it is. Playing with android gives validation to the multiple patent suits against Google. I do agree with many reviewers who wrote that it feels unfinished. While it would be nice if they had an app market with at least the top 25 iphone apps, even if that means not have 100,000 apps right away. I am crossing my fingers for real competition from Nokia. I know there’s a chance.

  2. alex braynt

    So sad. I love my Nokia 5800. I bought it for the built-in GPS and maps, as well as the “lifetime” access to updated world-wide maps. Whenever I travel out of the country, I simply download the maps I need. It’s a great travel tool, and, as a stand alone GPS, it does not depend on an active cell phone account. I hope and trust that Nokia will continue to make good on its commitment of free lifetime maps in a format that will work with the 5800.

    I am not a Windows user, so I will have to abandon Nokia products if and when my 5800 gives up the ghost. That could be some time off, however, as it is built very well, and I take very good care of it.

  3. Kevin Darty

    Sorry if that sounded rather harsh but your article suggests that Windows Phone is a platform carriers trust and push which couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, there have been several articles in the Microsoft fanboy world suggesting that the carriers are conspiring against Windows Phone.

    Of course what everyone complaining about that seems to miss is that carriers push what sells. If it doesn’t sell then it collects dust on the shelves for as long as supplies are being sent. Kind of like the Microsoft Kin.

    While it is still possible that Windows Phone CAN become popular, one year later and you never hear about it except from Tech Blogs and Microsoft fanboy Tweets.

    Change that and maybe carriers will be able to sell it.

    • I hear what you’re saying, but this short post was simply to share the news of Nokia’s statement today. We’ve written plenty of articles (and are sure to write many more) on the challenges ahead for Nokia and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7; both individually and together.

      However, I think Nokia has a much better shot with the U.S. carriers with WP7 than it ever did with either Symbian or S40, which is why I alluded to that. I didn’t suggest that Nokia has a winner on its hands here. I’m saying it has potential. ;)

  4. Kevin Darty

    No offense but this sounds like a paid advertisement. What are your “real” thoughts on Nokia’s re-entry into the smartphone arena with a Mobile OS that so far is having a hard time maintaining a 1% Market Share?

    • Echelon Effect

      you are an Idiot, wp7 now has 2% of the US marketshare at it will continue to rise as more handsets penetrate the market right now wp7 only has 10 handsets, Android has over 100 so of course they are ahead of the game cause they flood the market , when wp7 starts flooding the market you will see the difference because the fact is wp7 is a better OS than Android, it sleeker, more intuitive, modern and beautiful than Android or IOS as predicted by the IDC wp7 will dominate.