Thursday, 26 May 2005

Nokia 770: flame on!

Hello, Slashdot readers. If you're coming here to find out what I think of the 770, you'll want to read this post first. I got one or two negative comments about my mini-review. Rather than hide my thoughts in another comment, I'm going to play them out front 'n' centre...

I'm told that I've misunderstood Nokia's positioning. I disagree. I sat in the press conference next to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and we both thought the positioning was askew. IMHO, the positioning is one of the key things that's wrong with the 770 right now. If Nokia's going to market this thing as a home-based device, it's just not going to take off as a mass-market success.

I'm told I didn't check my facts. The facts aren't really in dispute here. I've seen one in the flesh. Two, actually. I doubt there something drastically crippled with the two units I exercised nine hours ago.

Us geeks may love the concept of the 770 (like I said, I wanted to like it, I really did). We may revel in its "revolutionary openness" as one anonymous commenter put it. We may even think that US$350 is a chump-change-cheap impulse buy (although I reckon that's stretching it a bit). Unfortunately, geek-lust does not a successful product make. Look at the Treo 600/650 line. A huge proportion of geeks have these, but is PalmOne a huge success?

One final thought: items of consumer electronics very, very rarely become successful despite poor marketing. Don't forget: marketing is more than just the "outbound" art of advertising, PR, and so on——it's also the "inbound" art of setting user requirements, positioning, and planning. It seems to me that Nokia has the positioning wrong.

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2 comments:

Matt Brubeck said...

One theory is that the 770 is deliberately targeted at geeks and developers, as a way to test out (and jump-start) the new Maemo platform. Early adopters will buy the 770 because of the cool factor and the price point, and become Maemo application or platform developers. If the experiment is successful, Nokia can start using the platform on their mainstream products.

Anonymous said...

The reason you thought the 770 was so sluggish, is because the devices you were viewing were running early versions of the distribution. Probably lots of debugging and un-optimized binaries.

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