3 surprise the planet and announce the Nokia N97

The other night I was sat next to the cream of Nokia’s development and marketing team at the Meffys awards (more on that in another post). Most of the Nokia chaps were sporting Nokia E71s — although one of them bucked that trend and showed off his very nice Nokia N85. Gorgeous screen.

I commented that I was due an upgrade on 3. (I’ve actually been due an upgrade for, I dunno, maybe 9 months — but I haven’t found any handset worth bothering with. Yes I like the idea of the INQ1. But I’ll just *buy* that. What is it, 60? 70 pounds?)

One of the Nokia America chaps, waving the E71 at me, asked, ‘Can’t you get one of these on 3?’

He was right, ‘Yes you can, but… you know, it’s old now. 3 launched it when the E71 cycle was nearing the end. It’ll be YEARS before the bring out the E72.’

The chap sighed.

I sighed.

Then this very afternoon, not seconds before 11am, I got a Skype message from Anthony over at 3’s Business PR team to tell me that the Nokia N97 — Nokia’s current pride and joy — is coming to 3. Today.

Goodness me. That’s a departure from the network that usually gets the cool Nokia handsets about a year after everyone else citing all sorts of reasons.


It’s launching with a bit of pizazz though. It comes with Skype. That’s the biggie with 3. You get free Skype-to-Skype calls, period. (Available on almost all of their handsets). It’s really causing a lot of attention on the High Streets here in the UK because it’s genuine. Get a PAYG handset for, say, £80 from Skype — get another for your friend, you talk for free. If you’ve got another friend in the States, as long as he or she is on Skype somehow (computer/Skypephone, whatever) you talk for free.


If you’d like to take 3 up on their Nokia N97 offer — complete with free Skype calls — you’ll need to part with a paltry £35 per month (18-month contract) and you’ll need to add on an extra £5 per month if you’d like unlimited data. That price plan gets you 300 minutes/texts.

Genius. A pretty good deal considering it’s a premium handset.

Or stump up £47 per month for 1,100 minutes or texts (combination) and unlimited landline calls.

Or you can stump up a wholly reasonable £319.99 and buy the handset on on PAYG. Which will get you 90 days of free voicemail, a free bundle of text and 150mb of internet data.

The black Nokia N97 is available on 3’s site for pre-order here. Or get it in store on the 26th June.

3 is back!

And I’m pleased I held my contract upgrade back until now as I think I’ll get one of these.

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