Nokia has reportedly backed out of plans to offer its X7 smartphone exclusively to AT&T in the United States. Nokia would only confirm that it's working to "regain leadership."
called off the exclusive U.S. release of its X7 handset on the AT&T
network, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It would have
been Nokia's first smartphone to launch exclusively with a U.S. carrier under
the direction of Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft executive who replaced
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as Nokia CEO in September 2010.
familiar with the situation," the Journal reported Jan. 19 that AT&T and
Nokia intended to show off the phone in advance of the Mobile World Congress
trade show, which runs Feb. 14-17 in Barcelona. However, believing that the X7
"wasn't going to receive enough marketing and subsidies support from AT&T,"
Nokia reportedly decided to pull the phone.
Communications Director Laurie Armstrong told eWEEK that Nokia doesn't comment
on market rumors or speculation. "That said," she added, "it is well-publicized
that we are working to regain leadership in the U.S. market, and we are in
active discussions with our operator partners on that strategy. We look forward
to bringing meaningful solutions to market, together with our operator partners,
and when we have something to announce, we will do so."
the worldwide mobile-phone market-share leader, Nokia has had a difficult time
producing a smartphone that can effectively compete against the market's major
players-namely, the Apple iPhone, Research In Motion's BlackBerry handsets and
the ever-increasing number of high-end devices running Google's Android
steps to "regain leadership," Nokia introduced four new smartphones in
September at its Nokia World 2010 conference-the N8, C6, C7 and E7-and
announced that a change was nigh.
going through a tough, challenging transition. We have a lot of work to do,"
Niklas Savander, executive vice president of markets at Nokia, told the crowd
during an opening address. But, he added, "today, we shift into high gear in
Nokia's fight back in smartphone leadership."
Savander also reminded
the audience that Nokia sells more smartphones than any of its competitors.
"Last quarter, more people bought Nokia smartphones than Apple and Google
combined," he said.
In the United
States, however, Nokia doesn't have quite the following that it does abroad,
and a month before Savander's statement, research firm Gartner
announced that Google's Android had become the No. 1 smartphone operating
shaped Nokia X7 smartphone is rumored
to feature a 4-inch AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) capacitive
touch-screen, an 8-megapixel camera, four speakers and the Symbian 3 operating
system. Reportedly, it will have a microSD slot with support for up to 32GB of
memory, a 680MHz ARM-designed processor and WiFi b/g/n connectivity, as well as
Bluetooth, 3G, GPRS (general packet radio service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data
rates for GSM Evolution, also known as enhanced GPRS) support.
truly decide to keep the X7 off of AT&T's roster, it would likely put more pressure
on its N8 smartphone-which, once it finally shipped, following delays, was
found to have issues switching on properly. Or a "very small number" of the
handsets did. In a video on the Nokia blog, Savander said the issue had been
figured out and that Nokia, as a precautionary measure, had "taken immediate
action across the product line."
iFixit performed a teardown of the N8 in October 2010 and found it to be "full
of awesome features." It was particularly keen on some design elements, calling
them "genius," and the phone's 12-megapixel camera, which it described,
affectionately, as "a honker."
Armstrong was unable to share Nokia's plans for Mobile World Congress, but
implied that plans were indeed under way. She did share, however, that CEO Elop
will deliver a keynote Feb. 16, though he doesn't yet appear on the confirmed keynote list, which includes Twitter
CEO Evan Williams, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and AT&T CEO and President
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.