Ricky Cadden has many valid points in his explosive rant against Nokia and its lack of cool 3G handsets and any sort of strategy to expand in the U.S. market.Last November, I attended Nokia World, the largest handset maker's annual self-congratulatory confab where it highlights all its achievements for the preceding 12 months and maps out its ambitions and goals for the next 12 months. During a news conference there, a reporter for a well-respected U.S. wireless publication stood up and asked Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo bluntly, "Is Nokia interested in the U.S. market?"
OPK, as he is affectionately referred to by Nokia staffers, replied in no uncertain terms, "Yes, Nokia is interested in the U.S. market."
Three months later, I have yet to see any evidence of this, and Symbian blogger Ricky Cadden has apparently had enough. He issued this rant on the first day of 3GSM, berating Nokia for its lack of cool handsets for us folks across the pond.
He makes some good arguments throughout his rant. Nokia holds 36% of the worldwide share for mobile phones, yet has made only a handful of low-end phones available for the U.S. market. No 3G phones to speak of. What gives? Granted, about half of U.S. mobile phone users subscribe to Qualcomm-owned CDMA-based technology (think Verizon Wireless and Sprint), but that still leaves, oh, 150 million potential GSM customers here. Last time I checked, 150 million was a solid market for anything.
The number of cool phones that Nokia releases for its other markets is practically uncountable. For the world's No. 1 phone maker to turn its back on the world's No. 1 market just doesn't make sense. Yet Nokia has done exactly that.