Nokia's $900 Lumia 800 bundle: is this how to conquer the US?

Nokia's 0 Lumia 800 bundle: is this how to conquer the US?You could argue that given the past 18 months, nothing Nokia does these days can be called strange, and yet we really are struggling to work out what to make of this latest piece of Nokia news.

It revolves around the Nokia Lumia 800. To us it's a modestly impressive first Windows Phone effort – a foot in the door, you could say. Over in the US, though, it's just been announced as an uber-exclusive high end bundle deal costing nearly $1,000. What the...

Enough has been written about Nokia and Microsoft's lofty insistence that they can go toe-to-toe with iOS and Android long term, so we won't repeat any of it here. But we will say this: if the pair are going to springboard into the stratosphere over the next couple of years, they need to make an impact in the US.

Nokia isn't big over there at all – as proved by the most common response on Twitter to its big ad spash during the recent Grammy Awards, which went something like “wow, Nokia still makes phones?”

To date, Nokia's efforts to turn things around have ranged from the misguided to the simply absurd. It invested heavily to land a major contract to build and maintain LightSquared's 4G LTE network, only for the FCC to block the network's rollout this week because it interfered with GPS signals.

Nokia teamed up with Microsoft to adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone OS, only to all but completely ignore the US when the first devices were announced in October.

And now it has got round to announcing the Lumia 800 over there, only it's not on any of the carriers, and instead you have to pay around $900 for a Lumia 800 “Valentine's Day” bundle which comes with a few headsets and a speaker.

The deal has attracted plenty of attention, but almost all of it the kind you don't want, leading a Nokia PR over there to defend the move by tweeting what must surely be the most blatant statement of the obvious we've ever heard: it's “not meant to be a volume play at all”.

The idea, of course, is that the Lumia 710 and 900 are spearheading Nokia's push for some carrier love, and the 800 is being deliberately offered on a completely different basis.

But when a handset that's been priced specifically to keep sales low gets you as much media attention as the phones you're actually trying to build your future around, surely something's not quite going to plan?

Read more about: Windows PhoneNokia Lumia 800

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3 comments

SteelH  Feb. 17, 2012 at 21:58

This is another classic example how a once market leader totally miss the new business model. They will teach this to all future economics students.
Nokia were already dead even before they decided to work exclusively with Microsoft, but now they don't only look dead but also stupid. Android was the only way to go for them. Sure Microsoft are paying them millions, but don't see how that will save them on the long-term. It's a pity, they made many great phones in the past, would love some Nokia Android phones.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 18, 2012 at 07:09

Yes, to a degree I agree: Android would have been the better choice.
The Lumia (like the N9) is a device that stands out because of its hardware (I mean the gorgeous looks and quality feel - not the crap battery). The problem is: on the WP platform all handsets stand out cause noone's got one. But the moment you unlock (can I say "unlock", Apple?) the screen, all WP models look the same again.
The Lumia's design with Android on the other hand...oh Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I just bored myself back to sleep with another WP/Nokia post.
I'll try and find my interest at the bottom of my coffee mug ;)

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 18, 2012 at 07:12

PS Gizmodo also summed it up: "You can buy the Lumia 800 Now if you're rich and very stupid"

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