Nokia’s range of smartphone devices are “too expensive” according to Telefónica’s European general manager.
Simon Lee-Smith, European general manager for devices at Telefónica, revealed his feelings in an interview with Telecoms.com recently. Lee-Smith told Telecoms.com that Nokia’s premium devices are “not yet at the right price point,” adding: “If Nokia wants to sell in volume, they need to bring out devices which are cost-competitive.” He also touched on Nokia’s differentiation tactics across its high-end Windows Phone and Symbian devices. “All device manufacturers seem to think that a €400-plus device is the norm. Well, it isn’t. Customers and operators won’t pay that cost for a device which doesn’t differentiate sufficiently.”
Lee-Smith’s comments seem to confirm earlier reports that Telefónica’s UK arm, O2, was not interested in Nokia’s Lumia 800 device. Reports in September indicated that Nokia dropped O2 as a stockist for its first Windows Phone devices. Sources close to O2 and Nokia claimed that the Finnish manufacturer has some strict requirements for carriers to stock the upcoming device, including marketing campaigns and store displays. O2 was reportedly reluctant to agree a deal ahead of Apple’s iPhone 5 launch. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop allegedly attended a dinner in the UK on Tuesday September 13 alongside all UK operators apart from O2. Nokia’s Lumia 800 device is not being stocked at O2 as a result.
Telefónica’s commitment to Windows Phone as a whole has been somewhat lacking. The company was the final carrier to test and approve the Windows Phone “NoDo” update and is still testing the Windows Phone “Mango” update for its Samsung Omnia 7 devices.