11/7/2008 5:16:00 PM
O2 concedes to pressure and says yes to the Nokia N96
O2 will now stock the Nokia N96 despite saying no to the handset when it launched.
The move marks a turnaround in policy from O2, which was the only network not to carry the N96 when it launched.
O2 was believed to have spent a large allocation of its subsidy budget on the iPhone making it unwilling to subsidise the expensive Nokia N96.
It is thought a high customer demand for the product added to O2's decision to stock the N96.
But O2 has not buckled on price and will not heavily subsidise the handset. Instead it will join Orange in charging for the phone on lower tariffs. Both operators offer the device for approximately £230 on £30-35 contracts.
In O2 stores the N96 flagship handset will only be available for free on the £75 per month tariff. It will cost £229 on a £35 per month contract.
Meanwhile, O2 continue to concentrate on the iPhone with a preferential deal on the handset. The iPhone is free on £45 per month tariffs and costs £100 on the £35 per month tariff.
An O2 spokeswoman said: ‘The N96 has been available through our indirect channels since launch and now we are stocking it through our direct channels following a regular review of our product range.’
Mobile understands that some O2 stores will be asked to return the Nokia N95s, which are now not as easy to sell with the addition of the N96. O2 have said they will still range the N95 8GB.
The Nokia N96 is currently the cheapest on 3, which is marketing the phone free on a £30 per month tariff.