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Nokia World date set for late October – WP7 time?

by Scott Bicheno on 22 June 2011, 14:21

Tags: Nokia (NYSE:NOK)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa6g4

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Do or die

Ailing Finnish mobile phone giant has announced the date for its Nokia World 2011 conference, an event that is arguably the most important in its history.

Last year's event commenced on 14 September, but the 2011 annual jamboree is happening over a month later - 26 October - increasing the possibility that it will host the formal unveiling of Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 offering.

I was at last year's event and, given what has subsequently come to light regarding the cultural reasons behind Nokia's inadequate response to Apple's launch of the iPhone, some of what I heard is more poignant than ever.

The acknowledgement that Nokia had lost the smartphone initiative to Apple, and subsequently Google, was there, but so was denial by the bucket-load. OPK has just been toppled and sales boss Niklas Savander - who is still with the company - drew the short straw to fill his keynote spot.

He soon moved onto all the scrutiny Nokia had been receiving over its smartphone failings, but rather than be contrite, he focused on how many more smartphones Nokia still shifted, compared to Apple or Android. That statement was set to be rendered obsolete within months. He talked about how popular the N8 was, but then contradicted all this bullish talk by announcing "we're back!" effectively conceding Nokia had been struggling.

 The keynote from former smartphone boss Anssi Vajnoki was also full of bristling defiance, especially in its defence of Symbian, which he felt was being unfairly maligned. His stance had clearly percolated down to the rest of the company and many other Nokia representatives we met at the event pouted about unflattering comparisons with other smartphone platforms in the press.

But it was already clear that Symbian was unlikely to ever compare favourably to newer, shinier platforms and the N8 just served to emphasise that. Nearly all reviews, including my own, reflected on a nice piece of kit let down by less impressive software. I figured it wouldn't be long before we saw similar handsets running MeeGo, and then Nokia would be back in the smartphone game, but I had underestimated how difficult it is to build a great smartphone platform.

Having said that, when Nokia finally did launch a MeeGo handset, it did end up looking pretty decent, which just adds to the sense of tragedy around new CEO Stephen Elop concluding MeeGo wasn't the answer. If the N9 had been launched at last year's Nokia World, maybe the situation now would be different.

All of which leads me to conclude that this year's Nokia World may well be the most important such event in the company's long history. My assumption is that Nokia will lift the veil on its first WP7 device at the event, and this initial response will be important. On the other hand, if it doesn't announce something pretty damn momentous, the criticism will reach new levels of hysteria.

Nokia keeps saying a WP7 phone will be launched before the end of the year, and it doesn't make sense for that launch to occur anywhere other than Nokia World. Previous events have been held as late as December, so Nokia could have waiter longer if it needed to.

On that note, while looking through the HEXUS archives for Nokia-related stuff, I stumbled across this press release from the 2007 Nokia World, held on 4 December that year. It features a quote from CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, in the year of the iPhone launch, which nicely encapsulates Nokia's hubristic attitude at the time.

"We are at the dawn of a new era in mobile communications driven by the rapid convergence of the internet and mobility, and Nokia is setting the pace of change," said OPK.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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The mobile giant has set the date for arguably the most important event in its history.
Nokia's liquidation?
“Having said that, when Nokia finally did launch a MeeGo handset, it did end up looking pretty decent, which just adds to the sense of tragedy around new CEO Stephen Elop concluding MeeGo wasn't the answer.”

Here is a challenge for the Hexus news team:

The N9 product page does not list the UK as a target market, alongside quite a few other western european nations as well as the US.

A Nokian on Nokia Conversations has said that the N9 will still be available in those markets through third parties.

Can Hexus clarify matters?

Q1. Will the N9 be available on contract in the UK if the UK is not a target market?
Q2. Will the N9 be available on contract in the UK if the UK is not a target market?
Q3. Will the N9 be available on contract in the UK if the UK is not a target market?

You will receive my undieing gratitude if you can clarify this matter.
I will love you even more if the answer is “yes”.
oops, maybe have an answer already:
http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=1036939&postcount=36

To the people worried about N9 not being sold in your country:

The availability list on the web is for the Nokia online shop. Nokia UK online shop (and others) closes June 30 (http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-…ne-shop-966300) so that's why it's not listed there. It's not a list of all countries it will be released in.
Jedibeeftrix
oops, maybe have an answer already:
http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=1036939&postcount=36

Good work :)
On the other hand; it has been said that N9 wont be coming to the markets where first wave of WP will be sold.
Like Finland gets N9 first, but no WP.

If the weight of the Hexus news ferrets could be brought to bear on this question I would be deeply grateful:

Will i be able to get an N9 on contract from x network in the UK in September?

Or has Nokia shafted UK geeks because it doesn't want to confuse the market with two offerings at the same time……….