Dell's Mobile Phone Strategy: Selling High-End Nokia Devices - InformationWeek

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6/19/2007
10:45 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Dell's Mobile Phone Strategy: Selling High-End Nokia Devices

This isn't quite the line of thinking people had in mind a few months ago when tossing around the idea of Dell entering the smartphone business. Dell's small business Web site is now selling unlocked E and N series Nokia phones. If you a

This isn't quite the line of thinking people had in mind a few months ago when tossing around the idea of Dell entering the smartphone business. Dell's small business Web site is now selling unlocked E and N series Nokia phones. If you ask me, the deal is better for Nokia than for Dell.If there's one thing Nokia desperately needs these days, it is to connect with American buyers. When speaking with a Nokia rep at CTIA back in March, I was told that Nokia is going to make a stronger push into the American market and sell unlocked devices directly to customers through retail channels and its flagship stores when network operators don't carry the phones. This partnership with Dell seems to play on that strategy.

You can find the high-end multimedia Nokia devices such as the N95 and N80 on the Dell Web site. Dell is also selling Nokia's enterprise class devices, the E61 and E61i (both of which include Wi-Fi). All the phones come unlocked and with no contract. They also come without carrier subsidization, so anyone interested in picking one up will have to pay the full retail prices (E61 for $383.40, E61i for $423.77).

Nokia is making other attempts at gaining some market share here in the U.S. It recently launched a street-level advertising campaign in New York City touting the N95, which included "S60 Agents" and bus-stop advertisements.

Nokia hasn't said how well its high-end devices are selling to U.S. customers, but its overall market share in the U.S. slipped in the first quarter of 2007.

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