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Nokia Intends To Rebuild U.S. Share

London – Nokia is not turning
back from rebuilding its market share in the U.S. and has been developing U.S.-focused
handsets through a dedicated R&D facility in the U.S., said Colin Giles,
senior VP and global head of sales.

Although those handsets haven’t
reached the market yet, other handsets on the U.S. market have already
“prioritized a number of U.S. requirements” to help gain carrier sell-in,
including stricter RF requirements, carriers’ general network requirements, and
user-interface requirements, he said

Speaking here via conference call
to the U.S. press from the two-day Nokia World event, Giles admitted that the
“stumbling block” that held back U.S. share had been “a lack of understanding
of the U.S. market,” including such things as RF requirements. The company, he
admitted, had been “building products for the global market, but they weren’t
tailored well enough for the U.S.”

Now, a U.S.-based R&D
facility is designing U.S.-specific products, taking into account operator
requirements “very early in the R&D process,” he said without saying when
the phones would be available.

At its global event here, the company
expanded its global Symbian ^3-based smartphone selection with three more
models to join the previously announced N8. Giles said he expects them to
“perform well” in the U.S., although agreements with U.S. carriers weren’t
announced. Nokia has been “talking to [U.S.] operators about the N8 and other
products in the pipeline” and has received “positive feedback from U.S.
operators about Symbian ^3,” he said.

The new OS adds more than
250 new features and improvements and is “faster, easier to use, more efficient
and more developer-friendly,” a company statement said.

Although Nokia plans to “re-enter
the U.S. market,” Giles noted, it will do so on a “step-by-step” basis. As a
result, in 3G smartphones, the company will “launch with what we do best,” and “we
do W-CDMA [HSDPA and HSPA] really well,” he said. Longer term, the company will
develop an LTE roadmap. “That’s the strategy,” he said, implying that smartphones
for use in Verizon Wireless and Sprint CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A networks are not in
the offing.

The four new Symbian smartphones
launched here use W-CDMA technology, which AT&T and T-Mobile use in the

The phones are the previously

Nokia N8

and the newly announced Nokia
E7, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6.

The N8, available unlocked to
U.S. consumers AT $549 through Nokia’s website, is Nokia’s flagship phone,
featuring 3.5- inch AMOLED capacitive multitouch touchscreen, marking the
company’s first use of AMOLED technology, which offers better viewing angles,
colors and battery efficiency, the company said.

The N8, which lacks hard QWERTY
keyboard, also features ARM 11 680 MHz processor, multiple customizable home
screens, 12-megapixel camera, Carl Zeiss Optics Lens, Xenon flash, 720p HD
camcorder and HDMI output. It also features HSDPA, Wi-Fi, assisted-GPS,
Bluetooth, 16GB embedded memory and access to Nokia’s Ovi store for
downloadable apps.

The Nokia E7, said to
include such enterprise functions such as  Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, features 4-inch
touchscreen with Nokia ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility.
It has a slide-from-the-side QWERTY keyboard, and the touchscreen angles up
when the keyboard is exposed. Its estimated retail is 495 euros, excluding
taxes and subsidies.

The Nokia
C7 touchscreen-only phone is positioned as a social-networking phone with Facebook,
Twitter and Yahoo! and Gmail accounts visible directly on the home screen. The
Nokia C7 features a 3.5-inch AMOLED display and a combination of stainless
steel, glass and soft edges. The expected retail price is 335 euros.

touchscreen-only C6 features a 3.2-inch AMOLED display with ClearBlack
technology. It also has social-networking apps in a stainless-steel and glass
design. The expected retail price is 260 euros.