nokia-booklet-3g318186Today at the Nokia World conference in Stuttgart, Germany, Nokia executives revealed more details on the company’s netbook, the Nokia Booklet 3G, announced back on August 24th. During his keynote address, Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s executive vice president for markets, stated that the Nokia Booklet 3G netbook will have an unsubsidized price of $810 (€570), will run on Microsoft’s Windows 7 OS (not Linux as some expected), sport a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, offer HSPA and WiFi connectivity, along with 12 hours of battery life. That’s a steep price here in the US, but then the dollar remains weak against the Euro, so the conversion is a little inflated. Still, it may be some time before the Booklet 3G makes it to the States. Nokia is still struggling to increase its US presence and market share within US operators, although recently more feature-rich Nokia handsets have been making their way into tier-1 operator stores. The firm hopes that European operators will offer subsidies to drive down the Booklet 3G’s price point, but operators have been cutting back on giving liberal subsidies these days, and Nokia’s use of its own suite of online services, will clash with those offered by its operator partners in many country markets.

The Finnish vendor continues to play a software and “experience” chess match with operators around the world, in classic Nokia fashion. Still, Nokia phones, their UI, designs, and usability features, when not overburdened by complexity, have remained some of the most elegant and sought after mobile phones on the planet. But the rise of Apple’s iPhone, and entry into more countries around the world, followed by Google’s growing Android army of devices is changing the landscape. For Nokia, that means it needs to hold on to its base, keep growing its share in developing markets, while debuting a few home run products within mature markets.

-Randy Giusto

randygiusto@newdigitalcafe.com