Nokia knows what is its most important market. Aside from its “connecting the next billion” plan which seems more or less India-centric, it just can’t ignore China. Basically China was a Nokia country. Just a year ago when I count “fun boxes” people wield in Beijing’s subway system trying to figure out which kind of device is the most popular, I’ve got a consistent record which goes like this:
Nokia S60 devices >= iPhone + iPod + Android + Windows Mobile + Windows CE + e-ink readers + PSP + NDS
It sounds a bit scary, but it’s more or less a fact. S60 devices WERE this popular. These days things have changed dramatically, not in the good direction though, you know. But Nokia just can’t igore a huge market where it still has the upper hand, if only by slight advantage now.
With the debut of Lumia WP7 phones, Nokia had hinted that the series will come to China some time in “early 2012″. But now we’ve got a more specific time from the company. During an interview with Global Entrepreneur magazine, an anonymous executive from Nokia China spilled that Nokia’s WP7 phones ”will come to China in the first half of 2012, most likely around April.”
Well that’s good to know. For those who are wondering why it takes Nokia so long to launch even the Nokia 800, which is becoming widely available across the planet now, the reason is as the following:
- China has blocked sites like Youtube, Twitter and Facebook via a national firewall matrix. It’s no point launching phones with crippled People Hub. Need to make localizations.
- China requires a whole lot of paperworks before a device is granted legal status. This usually take OEMs a lot of time on bartering & lobbying, even Apple is under the spell.
It’s generally believed that the upcoming Tango update will have a lot to do with Nokia’s China-localization of the WP7 OS, including taking out censored modules and replacing with locally available counterparts. I’d say Nokia is moving pretty darn fast if the Lumia family could come to China through means other than smuggling by April 2012.