Is the Nokia N97 coming to the US in June for less than $600?

I read over on Mark’s The Nokia Blog site that the Nokia N97 may be arriving at reseller facilities on 2 June. This is an estimated date and doesn’t mean that they will ship out to buyers on that date so I don’t think people should get their hopes up too high just yet. That is a pretty ambitious time frame for availability and appears to be just when about when the Palm Pre is coming (June 6th) and new iPhone(s) may be announced (June 8th).nokia-n97-white-2

As you can also see in the screenshot on Mark’s page, the price listed is $5xx.xx compared to the $699 list price. However, this price may be the price that retailers have to pay and since they have to make some kind of profit it still may be priced over $600 for the consumer.


3 Comments to Is the Nokia N97 coming to the US in June for less than $600?

Tim B.
May 20, 2009

So has Nokia said the N97 will have a simultaneous worldwide launch?

Shawn Roberts
May 25, 2009

Your discussion of the Nokia N-97 on the most recent podcast led me to post this. Let me share my theory on why S60 is not prevalent in the US and is unlikely to became successful here:

It is NOT GOOD; the UI and user experience is clunky, complicated and not intuitive (please, Matt Miller, spare me the “rock solid” comments, I understand where you are coming from but “rock solid” is not driving smartphone sales in the US). The fact that most S60 smartphones can do many many things is not enough. Many, many WinMo phones can do many many things but WinMo is losing market share. The most important factor is the user experience when a non-smartphone geek (no offense intended) uses the device. It is not a matter of adding up points for which phone has the most features. One could argue the Samsung Instinct and Omnia surpass the iPhone in feature set, however, those devices didn’t have an impact anything like the iPhone or even some of the Android devices. You probably recall some of the Sprint adds for the Instinct prior to the iPhone launch, a feature by feature comparison of the two phones and Instinct stacked up well. What was not included on the list and which would have been difficult to include is the intangible quality of user experience. Does anyone seriously think the Instinct is in the same ballpark with the iPhone in user experience?

A couple of specific problems with almost all S60 smartphones is the lack of capacitive touch screens and low screen resolutions. One other thing that is personal peeve: Nokia either selling or allowing its phones to be sold for outrageous prices in the US: e.g., N-95, N-96. To walk into a Best Buy and see the N-95 for about 700.00 and the N-96 for 900.00 is absurd. Most people are going to eliminate Nokia from their mental checklist when they see those prices. I realize that subsidized prices would not be that high, but comparing other out of contract smartphones with the Nokia models discloses that Nokia is high.

My analogy: S60 is like the Windows OS, Nokia is like Microsoft. Both companies essentially pioneered the proprietary operating system in their area and established monopolies. The comparison diverges a bit though because Nokia has serious challengers and a significant loss of market share. Windows has not really been challenged has seen only slight dip in its OS monopoly.
While I don’t have any empirical data to support this point, I feel confident about it: a majority of people use S60 and Windows not because it is superior in its field or necessarily pleasant to use, they use it because it is there, has been there and change is always difficult. One a person becomes conditioned to use a system, even a poor system, moving to a new system is tough.

Nokia is in trouble in their smartphone/S60 business; Microsoft not that much trouble.

For Nokia, success is not going to come in the US by simply altering its marketing approach or allowing carriers to have more control. Nokia will need to either substantially S60 (doubtful this can be done) or replace it with a modern, intuitive OS.


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