Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Nokia’s 9300i: BlackBerry Challenger in U.S.?

RED HERRING reports Nokia will launch the Nokia 9300i in the "United States within the next few weeks, challenging Research in Motion’s BlackBerry in the world’s top wireless email market." According to the article, the Wi-Fi enabled, email device "started shipping in Europe a month ago and should be available in the United States" via Cingular.

Todd Kort at Gartner said, "Preceding models 9300 and 9500 have been available for about a year in the U.S. market, but they have not done that well here." One reason is the lack of U.S. adoption of the Symbian OS , and the "perception among businesses that Symbian is a more consumer-oriented." Kort said, "It really does not have the hooks to the backend systems that you would want in enterprises."

Kort added, "I am pretty confident that Microsoft’s Windows Mobile will become the dominant enterprise class operating system for mobile devices at least in the U.S. market. I would not say the same for Europe as Symbian has excellent chances at remaining the No. 1 there."

For the enterprise, Kort believed Research in Motion's Blackberry would remain dominant for the time being. He said, "“Microsoft, with its marketing power, will be much more competitive when it has a stronger product available."

While the 9300i size and design might detract from its success, Kort mentioned the E61 as a potential Blackberry killer. "If they could do that, they would be in a very strong position," he said.

Photo via Nokia