Mobile Technology News & Mobile Fun

Netbooks aren’t a fad, but the U.S. still won’t embrace Nokia Booklet 3G

By Tim Conneally, Betanews

For as popular as Nokia has been worldwide, it is just not a brand that Americans particularly care about. Even though it has consistently been the most prolific shipper of mobile devices worldwide, Nokia has only an 8% market share in the United States according to IDC, and even that is slipping.

So when Nokia unveiled its first netbook — the Nokia Booklet 3G — which has mobile consumers elsewhere in the world taking note, all American consumers seem to do is laugh. Even though DisplaySearch rankings for last quarter showed that we are eating up netbooks almost twice as fast as we are consuming full-sized notebooks, to us, Nokia still doesn’t click.

But why? Here are the specs that were released today:

– Intel Atom Z530, 1.6 GHz

– Intel US15W fanless chipset (formerly “Poulsbo”)

– 1 GB DDR2 533 Mhz RAM

– 120 GB, 8 MB cache, 4200 RPM SATA HDD

– Windows 7 Starter Edition, Home Premium or Professional

– Built-in 3G/HSPA modem, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, A-GPS

– 10.1″ glass display (1280?-720)

-7 retail (€575)

Aside from the heavy pricetag, it looks like a solid mobile device which could offer some serious competition to HP’s Mini-Note and the Acer Aspire One if it was subsidized by a mobile carrier. But it’s immediately hindered because it’s a Nokia device.

For starters, it’s still meant to be a companion to a user’s Nokia mobile phone, so they’re already limiting themselves to 8% of the U.S. market. This companionship is achieved through an integration with Nokia’s Ovi suite of tools. The Booklet will include the Ovi Suite 2.0 for photo, music, calendar and contact syncing, Nokia Music for PC, and Ovi Maps.

This stuff is just not happening in the United States. Forrester Research analyst Mark Mulligan told Forbes that Nokia is having success in emerging markets, but in developed markets, it is falling way below expectations. And this is not only its handsets, but its services too. Because of this, Nokia has already put its Comes With Music unlimited download service on hold several times in North America.

As blogger Robert Scoble Tweeted this morning: “As far as I can tell Nokia still has a sucky user experience. Until they fix that [the Booklet 3G] will be off the rails.”

Whether Nokia’s insignificance in the American market is due to its refusal to play ball with wireless carriers that control the way phones are packaged and sold, or if it’s due to a fundamental incompatibility with the yen of the American buyer, the Booklet 3G has a lot of wasted potential because of its integration with Nokia’s unpopular services.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2009

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