Nokia’s Weber devises U.S. plan of attack
If Nokia’s big challenge this year is getting back in with US consumers and operators, it should be a busy 2012 for Chris Weber.
Weber — who heads the Finnish company’s business here — took a moment with us at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to lay out some of his plans a day after AT&T announced it would sell Nokia’s Lumia 900, and a day before the Lumia 710 goes on sale at T-Mobile USA.
Weber told Reuters that he has to first find a way to convince enough consumers to at least try out Nokia’s Windows Phone-based devices, to at least give them a chance.
In this regard, he expects a lot of help from T-Mobile in the form of flagship phone status in their stores. This involves 6 Lumia display locations in each store, a poster out front, and a center island display to top it all off. At AT&T, Weber says, details on a promotional assist from the carrier are “still being worked out.”
But if the AT&T keynote announcement of eight LTE devices yesterday was anything to go by, Weber may have to fight harder for attention there. Weber also needs to gain attention at other U.S. operators, such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel.
To do this, the executive promised to bring out a broader range of phones and more devices exclusive to carriers.
“We’re going to have a broad portfolio with multiple devices, mutiple price points, multiple user experiences and multip operators. That’s a lot of multipes,” Weber said. Asked about other operators, he said: “Certainly Verizon is a very important partner in that equation.”
But Weber was cagey about details and refused to confirm any agreements between Nokia and the biggest U.S. mobile provider. For now, the executive said he has to make sure that the U.S. sales process goes smoothly.
“That’s easy to say. There’s a lot of heavy lifting to this,” he said.