Nokia Stumbles in US Smartphone Race

nokia5800.jpgJust days after launch, Nokia has removed the new 5800 touchscreen phone from sale at two flagship stores in the US. Apparently the phone, launched Friday in the US and hailed as Nokia’s answer to Apple’s iPhone, cannot connect to North American 3G networks, according to a report Monday by the BBC.

At flagship stores in New York and Chicago only the European version of the Nokia 5800 remains on sale.

Sales agents at the New York store are telling customers the phone has a “little issue” and they are “not being sold at all while the problems are looked into”.

This glaring stumble raises two issues: did Nokia bother testing the phone in North America before launch? But perhaps more troubling, why does every other country in the world seem to have seamlessly deployed, interoperable cellular network connectivity and consumers in the US remain famously frustrated by lack of access to technology that is taken for granted elsewhere?

In a statement released Monday, Nokia said, “Existing customers of the 5800 XpressMusic who experience 3G signal issue with the device are advised to contact Nokia Customer Care.”