Skip to content
Log In | Sign Up Connect

What’s your story?

Share and find customer experiences

Connect with the people behind them

Wacktrap is
feedback made social

Post Your Wack Now

Trending Content


Nokia Closes All US Cell Stores Ovi Apps Problems

| Share

by editor

editor's picture
In The News

Nokia's closing all US retail cell phone stores, for supposed Ovi Store and apps development, but apps are next to none with Ovi Store N900 delays months late.
Nokia, largest manufacturer worldwide of cell phones, announced December 10 that it's permanently closing the doors of its two flagship stores in the United States. New York and Chicago, you're out of luck. According to Nokia, its US retail stores closing are so that it can refine its sales strategy. Which leads to the question: what is exactly is Nokia's sales strategy?
Nokia is making a "strategy" shift, if strategy is actually involved, with the company indicating that it instead plans to focus more on applications and services through its Nokia Ovi Store. Really, Nokia? The early December announcement of physical Nokia store closings seems to have allowed plenty o' December time to go ahead and shift those efforts toward Ovi. But apparently that didn't happen, not for N900 customers anyway.
Apparently Nokia meant to have the Ovi Store up and going for N900 buyers, considering that Nokia holiday rebate terms require buyers to activate an Ovi account from the N900 device itself. But rebate customers have had a hard time, trying to fulfill those terms, since it's impossible. Apparently the Ovi Store is behind schedule: it appears way behind schedule, since Nokia Customer Service is telling buyers not to expect the store up and running for N900 and its applications until end of quarter 2010.
Where, exactly, is that Nokia newfound-focus on apps? While Apple's iPhone offers thousands and many are found for the Android phones, Nokia's offering its new N900 cell phone/internet tablet and Maemo 5.0 with current offerings of about 100 apps. And it's not exactly looking like those Maemo 5.0 application offerings are set to increase rapidly. The N900 Ovi Store isn't even set up for the N900 adequately yet, so on the chance that Nokia can get developers interested in developing for the N900, Nokia's own Ovi Store isn't getting excitement rolling. With Ovi delays, and no guarantee from Nokia on when that's going to be fixed, the only thing the company will say is that it plans to have Ovi completed for N900 customers by end of first quarter 2010.
Let's see, that's about four months after the N900 device started shipping to US customers, about six months after the N900 cell phone was supposed to start shipping. If Nokia's physical retail stores closing means that some intensive focus is being shifted to its Ovi Stores and applications, then what exactly would have happened if those cell phone stores had remained open? Would Nokia customers be looking at N900 apps rolling around in a year from shipment date, instead of six months?
The second part of Nokia's statement is more wack yet: in November, Nokia issued statement that the company plans to limit the number of devices launched as hardware (aka cell/mobile phones, handsets, internet tablets, whatever you want to call their hardware). This Nokia reason for limited hardware production/development of new products is the most wack part: according to Nokia, it [hardware] has become less important to consumers and services and applications have become more important.
Ummm...don't customers depend on the hardware, i.e. cell phones/internet tablets in order to use applications and services? If devices/hardware are really less important to customers, then, heck, why bother producing any new ones at all, Nokia? Along that line of reason, perhaps the other major hardware players like HTC, Sony, Apple, etc, should all shift focus away from product development, since customers are apparently less interested in mobile phone handsets than the apps that run on them. But then again, don't we customers need the continually upgraded phone technology in order to run those apps at their optimum. And if that hardware importance is really less important than apps, why is Nokia continuing to develop this hardware, including "internet tablets", retailing at about US $649 and above? Sounds a bit like a grand excuse for lack of product development or interest in the US market. Exit stage left.
Nokia's closing two physical retail stores in London too, so apparently Americans shouldn't take it personally. Nokia only has 12 retail stores across the globe, closing four of those Nokia retail stores and moving another store. The batting average isn't looking good here, Nokia: in about four years since the first Nokia store opened in Moscow 2005, Nokia's only been able to keep two-thirds of those retail stores open.
Nokia calls the store closings "part of a new retail strategy that includes more cooperation with operators and other retailers." So basically it's been unable to operate the majority of stores it has opened, and when you can't hack it (or refuse to stay in the game), call that loser status "cooperation" with others.
Nokia's been claiming for years that it has plans for focus on the North American cell phone market, the US cellular market in particular, but that's essentially never happened. Progress certainly doesn't seem to be happening for Nokia, if it's now closing its only two US stores. Retail stores located in some of the densest, choice US consumer markets. If you can't make it in New York, you can't make it...
But in the meantime, and while closing those only US retail stores, Nokia execs say the company is developing new cell phone handsets for the US market, in terms of working with operators to get those mobile phone devices on the US phone networks. Nokia currently carries next to nil, in terms of cell phone products available through carriers. And Nokia hasn't seemed to help that network process any, through not including it's hyped N900 "internet tablet" and previous N97 cell phone models through a single carrier. Oh, Nokia did get its E71X smartphone on AT&T's network. Apparently that was considered enough progress for the day, or year.
Nokia can't seem to keep one retail cell phone  store in the US open, not even in one of the most highly-concentrated cities. To the contrary, Apple has now popped up 279 stores throughout the US, with Apple stores that include its iPhones mobile phones will simultaneously raking in billions. Take note, Nokia: Apple has made it in New York, also the site of the current Nokia store location that's closing. This info wouldn't be quite as interesting of a tidbit, were it not for the fact that someone (assumedly Nokia) has been actively touting the idea that the Nokia N900 "internet tablet" just might be the cell phone to replace Apple's iPhone. While that might be an interesting change, it's a little hard to foresee that occurring when Nokia isn't able to keep even one retail store open in the US market.
While Nokia seems a bit careless about truly entering the US market or gaining market share here, since the company is open about its focus being on Europe, Apple's made it in the US and is now heading to Nokia terroritory: Apple plans to open between 40-50 new retail stores this year, with more than 50% of those Apple stores across Europe. Apple's heading to the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, and China.

| Share
Average: 5 (1 vote)