Nokia ends Symbian smartphone effort in U.S. to focus on Windows Phone

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Nokia (NYSE: NOK) will stop selling feature phones and Symbian-based smartphones in the United States and Canada.

In an interview with AllThingsD, Chris Weber, the head of Nokia's U.S. subsidiary, said the vendor will put all of its effort behind the Windows Phone 7 platform and will focus exclusively on sales through mobile operators. Nokia in the past has not found carriers willing to subsidize its devices significantly and as such has offered its devices at full price.

"When we launch Windows Phones we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc.," Weber said. "It will be Windows Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn't matter what we do (elsewhere)."

That is a significant change for Nokia, which has primarily focused on Europe and been criticized for its lack of effort in the United States. But with its partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), North America is a priority since it is a key market for Microsoft and because the region is key for Nokia winning smartphone market share.

"We'll develop for North America and make the phones globally available and applicable," Weber said. "In fact, evidence of that is that the first Windows Phones that will ship are being done by our group in San Diego."

Weber also said Nokia is planning an enormous marketing campaign aimed at propelling its presence in the U.S. market. "Without getting into numbers, it is significantly larger than anything we have done in the past and the most we will invest in any market worldwide," Weber said. "They are putting their money where their mouth is."

For more:
- see this AllThingsD article

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