How not to launch phones – Lessons learned from Nokia

While Nokia is already struggling enough against the tidal wave of Android and iOS in the smartphone market and the feature phone market is giving in, it is difficult to comprehend why Nokia is releasing phones in such a half-hearted and slow manner.

Here are a few examples of recent Nokia launches that are best-case studies of how not to do it.

Asha 210:

Announced in a press conference on 24th April. It was supposed to be launched in a single-SIM and dual-SIM version and depending on market wither with a dedicated Facebook or Whatsapp button.

The phone was finally launched in the 1st week of August. But up to now the phone is only available in a dual-SIM version and so far neither the Facebook or Whatsapp version has shown up. The phones distributed in the Middle East only have a generic Web button opening the browser.

Asha 501

Announced on 9th May as Nokia’s answer to the low-end Android market with a refreshing UI. The phone got generally really good reviews and expectations were running high. Also to be launched as a single-SIM and dual-SIM variant.

This phone was finally on sale from the 1st week of August. But like the Asha 210 only as a dual-SIM version.

But while this phone has great potential the Achilles heal of this phone is definitely that until now there is no Whatsapp client available since the Asha 501 uses a new version of the Symbian S40 platform.

Lumia 925:

The phone that the Lumia 920 should have been right from the start. If Nokia would have launched Windows Phone 8 with the 925 instead of the 920 it is clear that the take-up would have been significantly better.

Even today (16th August) this phone still isn’t available in the Middle East. That’s a whole 3 months after the official announcement of the phone. To make matter worse, in the US this phone is only available on T-Mobile, making a bad situation in the US even worse. Now you have 3 different phones on 3 carriers (920 on AT&T, 928 on Verizon, 925 on T-Mobile). The best of those 3 (the 925) is reserved for the smallest carrier. Now tell that this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Nokia is really it’s own worst enemy by launching phones way too late after their official announcement, not having a deep enough distribution in the US across all major carriers and then disappointing customers by offering a new phone experience, with the most important app (Whatsapp) missing.

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