VentureBeat: Why can’t Nokia sell phones to Americans?
The question in the headline was attempted to be answered by VentureBeat in a recent article, but like we have discussed before the answer is not clear cut and is most likely not due to a single issue. VentureBeat talked with some analysts and journalists (not me) to come up with three possible reasons why Nokia is not having any effect on the US market.
- Nokia was too cocky when dealing with US wireless carriers
- Nokia phones are no longer the sexiest out there
- Nokia no longer leads on features
The article also alludes to the fact that most Americans are cheap when it comes to cellphones and want the lowest subsidized price phone, even though the initial price has little to do with the full contract price people will be paying over the next two years. US wireless fees are significantly higher than other countries, but Americans seem to accept these high costs for a couple hundred dollar up front kickback on their phones and I don’t see anyway of changing this perception any time soon.
It is a bit strange what marketing can do to turn this around though since millions paid $599 for the original Apple iPhone that had far fewer features and capabilities than most feature phones. The UI was extremely cool and that eye candy alone was able to make Americans part with some big bucks and sign up for 2-year contracts. I also find it a bit contradictory that Apple was allowed to sell the iPhone without ANY AT&T customization and crippling (except for MMS and tethering) while devices like the E71x were gutted by AT&T and made worse than the standard E71.
I would love to see Nokia launch a major marketing campaign with a theme of something like, “Hello America, we are back to give you the best mobile phone experience” and then see some fantastic Symbian device that blows away all the rest. This is something that is possible since the smartphone market is still young and Americans are suckers for good marketing.
We all know that Nokia makes high quality devices, has the best RF reception, has the best media capture quality, and know how to roll out compelling devices. I know the American market is small in relation to the world, but think it is much more about mindshare here than marketshare and it would be sweet to see Nokia make a comeback in the USA some day.