|Rolling Thunder: Nokia's 1st US WinPhone Launch ... |
... and their US reentry under Chris Weber.
>> T-Mobile brings Nokia Lumia 710 to the U.S.
Nokia and T-Mobile deliver a leading entry-level Windows Phone experience to the nearly 150 million Americans still to make the transition to smartphones.
Nokia and T-Mobile USA Press Release
Bellevue, WA and Sunnyvale, CA USA
December 14, 2011
T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Nokia today announced the upcoming availability of the Nokia Lumia 710, the first Windows Phone from Nokia in the United States. Targeted at the nearly 150 million Americans who haven't purchased their first smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 710, capable of running on T-Mobile's 4G network, delivers high-performance hardware, Nokia's best social and Internet experience, and access to popular smartphone applications and services from Windows Phone Marketplace.
Running on America's Largest 4G Network(TM), the Nokia Lumia 710 benefits from the unique people-first approach of Windows Phone, bringing together all interactions with family and friends in People Hub. The Nokia Lumia 710 also provides one-click access to popular services, such as Netflix, T-Mobile TV with mobile HD¹ and a leading mobile Web experience with Internet Explorer® Mobile, Bing(TM) Search with voice activation and Local Scout for locally relevant search results. The smartphone also brings access to signature Nokia experiences, such as Nokia Drive for voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation and ESPN for exclusive sports content.
¹ Mobile HD TV can deliver a bit rate of 800kbps and 16:9 resolution; the bit rate and resolution you experience will vary based on many factors, e.g., programming, network connection and device.
"We're excited to team with Nokia in bringing its first Windows Phone to the U.S. with the elegantly designed Nokia Lumia 710," said Cole Brodman, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA. "Windows Phone offers a compelling mobile OS choice for people who want a smartphone built around them, their family and friends. We expect it to play a more prominent role in our lineup and marketing efforts in 2012."
"Our research shows nearly everybody in the U.S. wants a smartphone, but many believe they can't afford it," Brodman said. "That's where T-Mobile shines. Our Unlimited Value and Monthly4G plans make it more affordable than ever to step up to mobile data on our 4G network."
"The Nokia Lumia 710 is the perfect first-time smartphone: a well-designed product that delivers the most compelling Windows Phone experience in its price range and with access to great content and thousands of applications," said Chris Weber, president, Nokia Americas. "This is the perfect first Nokia Lumia experience and the start of our re-entry into the U.S. smartphone market."
Available in a black or white finish, the Nokia Lumia 710 features a 3.7-inch ClearBlack WVGA scratch-resistant display for outstanding outdoor viewing and a Qualcomm 1.4 GHz Snapdragon(TM) processor providing speedy access to entertainment and information on-the-go. It also features a 5-megapixel camera with Nokia's leading camera technology, enabling people to take pictures in almost any light condition and share on social networks in seconds. With the most integrated work-life solution of any mobile platform via the Windows Phone Office Hub and an interactive mobile gaming experience via Xbox LIVE®, the Nokia Lumia 710 is the complete all-round first-time smartphone experience.
Availability: The Nokia Lumia 710 is expected to be available at T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers and retailers nationwide, and online at t-mobile.com starting Jan. 11. The Nokia Lumia 710 is expected to cost USD 49.99 after a USD 50 mail-in-rebate card, with a two-year service agreement and qualifying Classic voice and data plan. For more information, visit t-mobile.com.
For more information on T-Mobile's Unlimited Value and Monthly4G plans, see:
About T-Mobile USA: Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile USA, Inc. is the U.S. wireless operation of Deutsche Telekom AG (OTCQX: DTEGY). By the end of the third quarter of 2011, approximately 129 million mobile customers were served by the mobile communication segments of the Deutsche Telekom group - 33.7 million by T-Mobile USA - all via a common technology platform based on GSM and UMTS and additionally HSPA+ 21/HSPA+ 42. T-Mobile USA's wireless products and services help empower people to connect to those who matter most. Multiple independent research studies continue to rank T-Mobile USA among the highest in numerous regions throughout the U.S. in wireless customer care and call quality. For more information, please visit t-mobile.com
T-Mobile is a federally registered trademark of Deutsche Telekom AG. For further information on Deutsche Telekom, please visit telekom.de.
About Nokia: Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia's technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. ###
>> Q.&A: Nokia and T-Mobile Executives Talk About Windows Phone
Brian X. Chen
The New York Times | Bits
December 15, 2011
The struggling phone maker Nokia announced on Thursday that it had teamed up with T-Mobile USA to offer a new phone running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software. Landing in stores Jan. 11, the Lumia 710 will cost $50 with a two-year contract on T-Mobile, with rates starting at $50 a month. Chris Weber, president of Nokia Americas, and Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president of marketing for T-Mobile USA, discussed the strategy behind the phone in an interview.
Both companies have challenges ahead. Nokia is trying to regain relevance in the mobile market, hence the partnership with Microsoft. And T-Mobile USA has been positioning itself to be acquired by AT&T. The two men were asked how their companies were going to help each other during this transition period.
Mr. Sherrard: We have a really deep partnership, and on the Nokia Lumia 710 we basically aligned on the target we’re going after — first-time smartphone users — and we’ve aligned on the marketing of the plan. We’re speaking with one voice so that one plus one equals three. Everything from our above-the-line campaign with TV, digital and in the store is really going to scream a great experience for first-time smartphone users.
Mr. Weber: I’d say three simple things: best product, best price, and best partner. If you just think about the first-time smartphone buyer, there’s 150 million feature-phone users in the U.S. You take all the smartphone users added up and it’s significantly less than 150 million, so it is the green-field opportunity. What better partner than T-Mobile to target there? We’ve got great hardware, great specs, and great rates. We have the best turn-by-turn navigation app, Drive, for free, and exclusive content through the ESPN app. We wrap the phone with a concierge service, so you can talk to a live customer care representative whenever you want. We want to delight consumers with this device, and we have a great value proposition for them.
Q: What is Nokia doing to attract software programmers to Windows Phone 7?
Mr. Weber: We’re working in conjunction with Microsoft to make sure the application marketplace for Windows Phone grows. You can look at the trajectory since Feb. 11 when we announced the partnership with Microsoft. It’s a nice hockey stick in terms of the number of apps — they just surpassed 40,000 apps, so we’re making very good progress there.
Q:How are you competing with Android and the iPhone?
Mr. Sherrard: T-Mobile has a good Android business. This phone is going to be added to their business. Its sweet spot is first-time smartphone buyers — feature-phone users, not current Android users — and I think we have a great value proposition in the monthly price point from T-Mobile. Also, the ease of use with Windows Phone software, we think, is really compelling. If you take these competing platforms, and if I show you the standard demo with communications, social, search and those types of things, you have to download six-plus applications on competing platforms, whereas on the Windows Phone that experience is integrated in a seamless way. We think that creates a better, more delightful experience for consumers.
Mr. Weber: From Nokia’s perspective we want to expand our Windows portfolio because it addresses really well the first-time smartphone buyers. It addresses the complexity issue. A lot of people haven’t tried a smartphone because they think it’s going to be too much work. And the Windows Phone experience is simpler and a little more curated.
Q: How does Nokia’s relationship with Microsoft affect the Windows Phone platform? So far the platform hasn’t been successful with LG or Samsung, for example.
Mr. Weber: We have a deep partnership, from the engineering level to the sales and marketing side of things. We feel well connected and well supported, and we think we’ll be able to help shape that platform. I think Windows Phone software is some of the best software Microsoft has ever done. I think one of the opportunities we have at Nokia is to be able to tell that story on marketing, on why it’s better or unique. To date, those other O.E.M.’s [phone makers] haven’t represented the software as well as they could.
Q: There have been stories about sales employees in AT&T and Verizon stores refusing to sell Windows Phone devices to customers. What’s it going to be like in T-Mobile stores?
Mr. Sherrard: We are doing incredible levels of training. Nokia is helping us drive a lot of seeding of devices, and we’re also going to make it a focus for us. In January and February this is going to be the centerpiece of our marketing, and in our stores. It’s going to be an important goal for our sales force to drive. We’ve had a history of launching new platforms and doing it well. ###
>> Nokia Re-Enters U.S. With $50 Smartphone
The Wall Street Journal | All Things Digital
Nokia Corp. is getting back into the U.S. smartphone business with an entry-level model powered by Microsoft Corp.'s latest Windows software and sold by T-Mobile USA.
The Lumia 710, one of two models that Nokia has launched in Europe, is slated to go on sale Jan. 11 for $50 after a rebate and a two-year contract. The Lumia 710 retails for €270 ($351) in Europe [unsubsidized and SIM-free].
Choosing to launch with that model, rather than the higher-end Lumia 800, means that Nokia could appeal to more cost-conscious shoppers. However, it also means that consumers' first look at the new Nokia won't be of the company's
"It's the right space to launch our first Windows phone in the U.S.," Nokia U.S. President Chris Weber said in an interview. "It is the greenfield for us."
Playing in the company's favor, Mr. Weber said, is the fact that Nokia will launch the phones after the busy holiday period when there's not as much competition. Nokia plans to launch the product with a significant amount of advertising, including TV spots.
As for the Lumia 710, it comes in mostly white or basic black and features, a 1.4GHz single-core Qualcomm Inc. processor, a 5-megapixel camera and 3.7-inch screen. The Nokia phones, which run Microsoft's latest Mango software, also come with turn-by-turn navigation built in as well as an ESPN app that is unique to Nokia's Windows phones.
The Lumia 710 marks T-Mobile's second phone powered by Mango, joining the $99 HTC Radar, which is already on sale.
"We think Windows is a great addition to the lineup," said T-Mobile Senior Vice President Andrew Sherrard. "It's a strategic bet for us."
Nokia and T-Mobile have a long history together, but its most recent U.S. smartphone effort, the March launch of the Astound, a rebranded phone using Nokia's Symbian operating system that was met with disappointing sales..
In an August interview with AllThingsD, Mr. Weber said that Nokia would no longer sell Symbian phones [directly] in the U.S., focusing entirely on its Windows Phone efforts. ###
>> Nokia eyes CES for 'Rolling Thunder' relaunch into the US
December 15, 2011
Although the Lumia 710 just launched on T-Mobile yesterday, Nokia's big push into the US market won't begin until CES kicks off in January. Chris Weber, President of Nokia North America, calls the 710 launch "Day 1 of Rolling Thunder," in reference to Nokia's internal name for its Windows Phone rollout in the US. "We will be launching a portfolio of devices in the U.S. across a range of price points, user experience and operators," says the former Microsoft employee brought into Nokia in February by another former Microsoftie, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. Weber noted that CES was the focal point for Nokia's big coming out party, "We’ll have a very large presence and it’ll be clear that Nokia is back in a quite strong way in the US." Ten years ago Nokia held a 35 percent share of the US cellphone market, now it's near zero.
Stephen Elop told us in October that Nokia would launch a "portfolio of products" into the US in early 2012. We've also heard rumblings that Nokia and AT&T were working together on an LTE handset. Later CNET chimed in with support as well as additional information about a Verizon LTE device. All told, we're expecting to see a new Nokia flagship launch at CES with LTE and a display almost certainly pushing north of 4 inches. Anything less from Rolling Thunder will elicit polite golf claps from a US consumer base that has completely ignored Nokia's device portfolio since the iPhone launched back in 2007. ###
- Eric -