So much for the game plan. With high hopes and greater hype, on Feb. 25 Nokia announced its first North American touch-screen rival to the Apple iPhone. By March 2, Nokia had halted U.S. sales of its much-ballyhooed 5800 XpressMusic amid user complaints of connectivity problems.
Nokia introduced the device in October 2008 in Europe and by January Nokia said its first mass-market touch-screen device had hit 1 million European sales. Bolstered by those sales, Nokia brought the 5800 XpressMusic to North America without a carrier deal.
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic squarely targeted the iPhone, and Nokia touted the fact that $399 unlocked device also runs on AT&T’s 3G network. Or at least Nokia thought it would.
“We have learned that some Nokia 5800 XpressMusic devices are having issues with 3G performance,” Nokia said in a statement. “This is a very isolated problem concerning only the North American market and is not specific to any other region or country.”
A Nokia spokesperson said the company was seeking a “quick remedy” to the problem, which Nokia claimed was limited to devices attempting to use AT&T’s 3G network in New York and Chicago.
Running the fifth edition of Symbian S60, the 5800 XpressMusic smartphone features a 3.2-inch touch-screen with 360-by-640 resolution, a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi and an FM radio receiver. The 5800 XpressMusic also comes with software for viewing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents.
The device delivers access to all music, video and photos through a one-touch “Media Bar” drop-down menu. The Media Bar also offers a direct link to the Internet and to online file sharing. Because the device supports Flash content, individuals can surf the entire Web.
A contacts bar allows users to highlight four favorite contacts on the home screen and track a history of recent text messages, e-mails, phone logs, photos and blog updates with one touch.
The 5800 comes with 8GB of memory onboard with the ability to expand to 16GB through a MicroSD slot.