That there is a Nokia E71x Ã¢â‚¬â€ the AT&T version of the uber popular QWERTY Nokia handset.
Yup Ã¢â‚¬â€ the E71 is coming to America.
It’s being offered at a hugely attractive $99 (Ã¢â‚¬Âafter mail-in $50 rebateÃ¢â‚¬Â) on a 2-year contract.
I remember last year standing at a Nokia PR event in San Francisco whilst the Nokia America CEO got up on stage and told everyone he was immensely proud of what they’d achieved that year.
I think you could probably hear my guffaws from behind the camera Ã¢â‚¬â€ as I was filming it Ã¢â‚¬â€ I couldn’t believe I was hearing such rubbish. Convincing a few operators to buy some 2600 series handsets is not, in any way, an Ã¢â‚¬Ëœachievement’.
Getting AT&T to market the E71 is.
I wonder how America’s Great Unwashed will react. It’s a solid, brilliantly conceived handset Ã¢â‚¬â€ the E71x is a nice shade of sleek black goodness. And if you’ve been after an Ã¢â‚¬Ëœofficial’ S60 experience from the US operators, AT&T is ready to deliver.
They’ve filled it full of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthe AT&T shit’ (as one chap close to both Nokia and AT&T described it), but it’s still a regular piece of joy to use.
Now here’s the crux. Are we going to see a whole host of Nokia E and N series devices appearing on AT&T in the next few months? If so, Nokia’s got a future in the States. Indeed it might well be worth Nokia taking a bath on some of their top rated handsets to get them in the door and get a look-in here in the States.
You can’t escape the Silicon-Valleyness here. Everyone and their dog is focused on the iPhone. Because almost everyone in the Valley either owns an iPhone, a G1 or (almost) a Palm Pre.
Nokia is very much regarded as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthat European company’ and written off before anyone can say Ã¢â‚¬Ëœbut they’re shipping 10 million phones a day?’
The Silicon Valley behemoth is not at home to Nokia at the moment. That might change when the Ovi store is live and available on 50m handsets by December Ã¢â‚¬â€ AND knocking back 100m app downloads a week. (We can only hope).
The introduction of the E71x is a coup for Nokia. I hope it’s the next-step in a vast upward trend for them. Let’s wait and see.
Meantime I am willing to bet Jeb Brilliant (who was at the Nokia dinner last night) will be heading out to an AT&T store to buy an E71x asap.
Despite being offered a test unit from the team there, Jeb was quite clear, saying:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, no Ã¢â‚¬â€ I am going to buy one. I am going to show my support in the best way possible. I’m going to show AT&T that they’ve made a good decision.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Good on you Jeb.
And should I base myself in the Valley over the next few months (discussions are on-going) I may well do the same.