Nokia will stop selling feature phones and Symbian-based smartphones in the United States and Canada, as well as focus exclusively on sales through wireless carriers instead of its direct-to-consumer approach, the head of Nokia’s U.S. subsidiary told AllThingsD.
Nokia Inc. President Chris Weber told the publication that North America is a priority for Nokia, a statement other executives in Nokia’s North American division have made previously. But this time, it appears they mean business, in part because North America is such a key market for Microsoft and Nokia sees it as key for winning the smartphone battle globally.
“We’ll develop for North America and make the phones globally available and applicable,” Weber told Ina Fried. “In fact, evidence of that is that the first Windows Phones that will ship are being done by our group in San Diego.”
The move will be its biggest-ever marketing push, representing the most it has invested in any market worldwide, said Weber, who previously headed enterprise sales at Microsoft before assuming the Nokia post in February.
Symbian doesn’t have a big presence in North America, although T-Mobile USA started selling the Symbian-based Astound from Nokia earlier this year.
Weber told AllThingsD that the company aims to consolidate more of its operations in Sunnyvale, Calif., shifting away work now done in facilities in White Plains, N.Y., and Dallas. The changes are expected to be made by early next year.