The US version of the N95 8GB follows on from the US version of the N95 classic. Nokia is clearly keen to push Nseries devices to US audiences. The US is Nokia's worst performing market globally, especially among high end smartphones. In the US the market leaders in device sales terms are the Blackberry devices, Windows Mobile devices and the Apple iPhone. Nokia represents just a few percentages of the market. This is partly due to the differing frequencies used in 3G technologies, the US Nseries variants address this issue.
However a more serious and unresolved problem for Nokia is the power of the US operators. The majority of people in the US by their phones through an operator; and the operators tightly control the models of phone available. Nokia has been less flexible in accommodating operator requirements (or demands depending on your perspective) and consequently few Nokia phones are carried by US operators. As with the N95 classic there is, as of yet, no operator partner for the N95 8GB and as such sales will be driven through Nokia flagship stores and retail partners on and offline.
The US is seeing an increase in the number of people buying SIM free phones, but it is a very slow change. The reality is that Nokia still needs an operator partner who is able and willing to appropriately market an Nseries device in order to gain any real traction in the market. We are sure that this is something that Nokia is working on.
The pricing of the N95-8GB at $729 compares very favourably with European prices (partly due to current exchange rates). This equates to £360 for the US version compared to around £500 for the stand version (UK RRP pricing), which may cause some complaints from savvy shoppers.
You can read our review of the N95 8GB (standard version) here where we cover the main features of the phones and discuss some of the changes from the N95 classic.
From the press release:
With consumer demand for the most advanced wireless devices continuing to rise, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) announced today that it is optimizing the Nokia N95 8GB for networks using 850/1900 MHz HSDPA (high speed data packet access) in the Americas. Combining speed, technology and content - the new Nokia N95 8GB bridges the gap between traditional fixed entertainment centers and portable wireless devices with its stunning 2.8 inch QVGA screen with support for up to 16 million colors, eight gigabytes of built-in memory, A-GPS positioning for improved location access and enhanced battery life.A recent global study commissioned by Nokia, entitled 'A Glimpse of the Next Episode', predicts that by 2012, up to 25 percent of all entertainment will be created and consumed within peer communities as opposed to traditional media groups. With this trend dubbed by Nokia as 'Circular Entertainment', devices such as the Nokia N95 8GB, which allow the consumer to create, edit and upload content directly to the Internet, will be more important than ever as consumers personalize content and make it their own."Today's savvy consumer wants an all in one device that enables them to customize and share content immediately with their social communities. The Nokia N95 8GB fills this void as one of the most advanced wireless devices currently on the market in North America," said Bill Plummer, Vice President, Go-to-Market, Nokia Americas. "With the addition of HSDPA for ultra-fast connectivity, the Nokia N95 8GB delivers on the promise of a multimedia computer in one surprisingly small package."The Nokia N95 8GB comes with the advanced feature set expected from a state-of-the-art Nokia Nseries multimedia computer. The new Nokia N95 8GB offers a class-leading five megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and autofocus, WLAN, and a full eight gigabytes of internal memory, allowing for storage of up to 20 hours of video or up to 6000 songs. Complete with captivating 3D graphics, the Nokia N95 8GB will also offer compatibility with the upcoming N-Gage games service. It is also a full-featured GPS device with assisted GPS (A-GPS) and a large map database covering more than 100 countries, including a number of US state maps preloaded. The Nokia N95 8GB will also support Nokia Share Online 3.0, which will be made available via Nokia Download! and will enable consumers to upload photos and videos with one click to Flickr or Vox, allowing them to quickly share content with their social communities.Based on powerful Symbian S60 3rd Edition software, consumers can personalize their Nokia N95 8GB by choosing from a wide selection of advanced mobile applications, including games, navigation, entertainment, productivity and creativity. The Nokia N95 8GB comes out of the box ready to create, connect, consume and interact with some of the Internet's most popular services including Yahoo! Search, Amazon's MobiPocket Reader or Flickr. The device also features widget support which enables users to customize the online content they can receive quickly on their Nokia N95 8GB.