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You have to hand it to Nokia (NYSE: NOK). Under its CEO Stephen Elop, it’s not much in the business of doing things by halves. The company has just confirmed to me that it has no plans to offer its new MeeGo-based device, the N9, in the UK.
This follows on from yesterday’s news that Nokia would not be selling the N9 in the U.S.. It also plans to stop sales of all Symbian and feature phones in the region, as it gears up for the launch of its first Windows Phone-based devices at the end of the year.
Nokia’s statement is an elaboration on a comment it made to mocoNews yesterday, in which it said it had not yet determined what would be happening in the UK market. Today, that decision is a little more clear (the bold is us):
“As an organisation Nokia takes a market by market approach to product rollout and each country decides which products to introduce from those available. These decisions are based on a local assessment of existing and upcoming products that make up Nokia’s product portfolio and are intended to provide the best local portfolio for the UK market. Although we are delighted with the very positive reception that the Nokia N9 has received, here in the UK there are no plans to offer the Nokia N9 at present.”
As with yesterday, Nokia has not given a further explanation for the decision. But it is likely to involve wanting to present a more cohesive product line to the market, and to make sure that all consumer attention is focused on the products that are more a part of its future roadmap — which is build on Windows Phone, not the MeeGo OS that powers the N9.
There may also be cost considerations, as the N9, coming as a standalone and increasingly niche product, might cost too much to produce and market and support in too many places.
Now the question is whether Nokia will be extending other strategic decisions initiated in the U.S. to the UK as well.
Namely, where does Symbian stand going forward in the UK, and what about feature phones? Symbian may have been a disappointment in the U.S. and sales of lower-end phones (which once did do alright in the U.S.) are in a permanent decline, but the story has been somewhat different in the UK, where as part of Europe, it forms Nokia’s largest market — albeit one in decline, with device revenues down by 30 percent over last year, according to the last quarterly earnings in July.
We have contacted Nokia to inquire about this and will update this post as we learn more.