Why Nokia Will Never be Big in the US

Unless US telcos change, Nokia will never be big in the US. Maybe even in the future

From my experience with Nokia, the Finnish manufacturer has always believed in providing phones that are open and interoperable. It does not work with telcos to intentionally limit its products’ functionality for the sake of more money (as in the case of Verizon’s Bluetooth-free Motorola v710). Nor has it taken the exclusivity route, never agreeing to make its high-profile models available only to subscribers of certain networks.


Wired.Com rightfully presents this stance as an obstacle to Nokia’s establishment on the US market. For some reason however, Wired quotes an analyst determined to make the telcos’ own stance sensible:

Carriers view Nokia as a company that puts its own brand ahead of its telecom partners, says Bubley. “Nokia puts a lot more stock in its own branding and marketing worldwide than other handset makers,” he says. “In North America their unwillingness to play a secondary role to carriers has hurt them.”

Granted, good business is always a win-win proposition. All parties involved must profit in some way, and Nokia should consider working with operators to offer subsidized handsets. It’s just that Nokia considers the customer a partner with equal footing, designing phones around their needs. US carriers, on the other hand, simply see subscribers as profit generators.

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