A launch lesson – Nokia U.S. 5800 XpressMusic Phones
Not to pick on Nokia but there is a lesson for all of us to learn from Nokia’s efforts at launching the 5800 XpressMusic phones in the USA. The phone was a huge hit in Europe but bombed in the U.S. due to communication glitches with consumers that use carrier AT&T.
The 5800 works on GSM networks (AT&T and T-Mobile in the US) and Nokia sold it unlocked, direct to consumers. GSM is the predominant wireless communication technology in the world, dwarfing the competing technology CDMA. The 5800 was such a huge success in Europe, my guess is Nokia expected it to work just as well in the U.S. After all, GSM is GSM right? Unfortunately that didn’t happen and Nokia must now regroup.
In bypassing carriers, Nokia could sell direct to consumers and in theory get to market faster, improving sales velocity.
Ouch. This was a big deal for Nokia. No doubt they’ll recover but it’s a tough lesson to learn.
Priya Ganapati at Wired.com covered this story in more detail here.
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