Did the N9’s Success Catch Nokia off Guard?
The Nokia N9 is selling like hot cakes and it is not even even released yet to most of the world. According to multiple sources the 64Gb model has completely sold out on pre-order and there is even a report out there that the pre-orders that were made available for booking of Nokia N9 has made the stock sold out. That is in the countries where you can order the phone, if you are in country where you can’t get the N9 people are scrambling to find a legitimate source to import the N9 from.
So the real question remains was Nokia ready for the N9 to be this successful?
I don’t think they were. I truly think they believed that they would release the N9 to fulfill the contract terms that they signed with Intel, perhaps break even for all the time and money they invested MeeGo/Harmattan and that would be that.
Than they showed off the N9, and writers/blogs got their hands on it and loved the OS and it’s smooth sexy shape. Even blogs here in the US who normally don’t even admit Nokia is still alive were swooning over the N9 and comparing the MeeGo OS to when the iPhone OS when it first launched. That started a ground swell in the tech community for Nokia products again, which is exactly what Nokia wanted. They wanted you to think Nokia and cutting edge again, they wanted to get the spotlight back on Nokia for a few months so when they launched Windows Phone in October everyone was watching.
But what happened next took them by surprise. There was a huge demand for the product from all corners of the globe. Than all of a sudden in the countries that the N9 was just supposed to gin up interest for Windows Phone launch, it started to take over instead. So now the N9 was not shining a spotlight on Windows Phone but instead it started to over shadow it. Nokia got the buzz and interest they where so hoping for with the Windows Phone launch with the N9 launch.
The real question here is where does Nokia go from here? They are now locked hand in hand with Microsoft for the next five years on their “high end smartphones”, so Nokia CAN’T make any more MeeGo phones anytime soon. However if Nokia was smart (and lets face it they are) they would take the lessons learned from the N9, and incorporate it into their Windows Phone. I believe they will, anytime Nokia is asked about MeeGo they claim it will be held onto for “future disruptions” and Nokia can since Harmattan is not a true MeeGo it is really Maemo 6 re-branded as MeeGo. (so Nokia still owns it) My guess is that Nokia will use their leeway that they have with the Window Phone OS and incorporate it into their Windows Phone OS to make it different and better than the rest.
Bottom line here is a think Nokia was truly taken aback by how well the N9 was received ( rumor is they only are making 92,425 of them) but I don’t think that the responds it got by the cell phone diehards (lets face it if you are reading this that’s you) would be carry over to average consumer. If Nokia would have gone Maemo with the N900 launch and never looked back it would be a different story. But the way it stands now you NEED to with an existing “ecosystem” and make your mark somehow there. I believe that lessons learned from the very limited release of the N9 will do just that.
Thoughts? Leave me a comment below.