PORTLAND, OR, United States – I got a few minutes with Chris Weber, President, Nokia North America, after the smartphone sales announcement last Wednesday. Without further ado, here’s what went down…
Chris, what excites you particularly about the Nokia Lumia 710 coming to the US on T-Mobile?
First of all, this is a world-class smartphone that is aimed at converting current feature-phone owners over to the exciting world of smartphone ownership. Our numbers show that more than 150 million Americans don’t have smartphones currently. Many are on the fence because of high phone costs or high monthly plan costs.
The Lumia 710, with T-Mobile, will cost only $49 and monthly plans will cost around $50 per month.
What sets the 710 apart from the competition?
The Lumia 710 has a great hardware offering with a 1.4 Ghz SnapDragon processor, a color-popping ClearBlack display, and Nokia’s exclusive Nokia Drive, which offers great point-to-navigation so you can leave your GPS behind when traveling. Not to mention, you get Nokia’s amazing industrial design all backed by the amazing usability of Windows Phone.
This is the first look for Nokia fans in the US at Windows Phone – what’s cool about it?
Windows Phone is amazingly fast and usable right out of box. Because Windows Phone integrates popular social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – users can easily sign in and utilize these without installing apps for them.
It’s known that first-time smartphone owners hate setting up their devices and installing loads of apps just to get started on their networks of choice. On Windows Phone, you do a simple set up process and you’re good to go.
My favorite uses for Windows Phone are the People Hub, Live Tiles and the amazing Open Table integration that helps you find reservations all within the Local Scout utility – this is very cool.
Tell me more about the custom offerings for the Lumia phones, specifically Nokia Drive and ESPN – what can we look forward to?
Nokia Drive and ESPN will come pre-loaded on the phones at purchase. And Nokia Maps is available as a download. Rest assured these are huge for us and we see a lot of potential. There will be exciting announcement and additions in the near future, but I can’t say more now.
As for ESPN, our partnership with them has yielded unique experiences and custom content to the Nokia Lumia 710. Again, we have some awesome features that sports fans will just eat up coming in the near future, we are iterating fast and news will be coming in the coming months.
So, this is the start of a set of Nokia phones, can you elaborate?
I can say that we have been talking to a number of carriers and we’ve been astounded at their overwhelming support. We will be launching more phones on other carriers. The Lumia 710 is the start of a portfolio of products aimed at the United States.
We like to call our Windows Phone Portfolio rollout “rolling thunder”. What this means is that we will have numerous announcements spread throughout the coming months that will offer something for everyone. In our view, this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we anticipate being a major player in the US market by this time next year.
image credit: sfgate.com