Communicator will be a 'doddle' - Nokia

On the eve of the release of the first 'smart phone', the Nokia 9000 Communicator, PCDN spoke to Mark Squires, Nokia's UK manager for cellular data products.

PCDN: What's the release schedule and pricing?

The first few hundred are out on Thursday and then there'll be a few thousand very quickly afterwards. The deals and bundles are up to the resellers. I would imagine some people will sell it with air time and let buyers get on with it and make their own decisions. We set an RRP of £1,350 but nobody ever takes any notice of RRPs so there will be air time bundles for under £1,000. We expect it to be available in all Dixon's, Link, PC World, Carphone Warehouse, and then through all the main dealers.

What do you expect the take-up to be after the immense amount of hype surrounding the Communicator?

Nokia designed the first ISDN GSM data card and it didn't exactly take off like a rocket. You have to take a long-term strategy; corporates need time to evaluate and integrate with bespoke applications before they will buy. Obviously we'll get some of the customers from our phone buyers.

Will you pitch it as a phone with some extra capabilities, an Internet access device, or what?

It's a communicator and it's a doddle to use. There's no boot, load or other nonsense. You can convert SMS to e-mail, grab graphics from Internet sites and send them as attachments... anything digital, very easily. People who use a PC won't recognise it. Mobile data has been the Cinderella of communications. This is the first time people have got access to a single, compact product that is easy to use. There seems to be this fundamental problem whereby vendors think everybody understands the Internet, where in fact, nobody understands it. If you had to be a fighter aircraft pilot to drive, nobody would buy cars. With this, even my father could send and receive e-mail inside 20 seconds. There's absolutely no jargon.

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