Nokia’s second attempt to build its music service has started poorly, after the 5800 Comes With Music went on sale last weekend (30 May).
Orange and Phones 4u were the exclusive retailers chosen to sell the device.
The touch-screen 5800 was expected to lure more consumers to Nokia’s unlimited download service than the original 5310, but the majority of stores had failed to register a single sale as Mobile went to press (Tuesday 2 June).
Phones 4u said it was soft-launching the service to test different aspects of the offer, the marketing and staff knowledge. It also expects to further modify its sales strategy until the full launch of the handset on 11 June.
Phones 4u sold eight 5800 Comes With Music devices across the entire 450 store estate at a late stage on the Saturday it went on sale, Mobile has learned.
The retailer said this figure wasn’t a fair reflection, as the handset wasn’t properly launched until three days later, and was only at a testing stage at the weekend.
Store managers were informed of the poor sales by a senior director late on Saturday, and given news of an extra £5 commission per Comes With Music sale.
Managers were also told stores would earn an extra £50 gross profit per sale.
Orange stores fared similarly, with just two sales reported across the
20 stores in the west London region on Monday (1 June).
Nokia’s intentions for its music service are applauded by most in the retail sector. ‘It is good that Nokia is doing this,’ said one manager, and added: ‘It is genuine innovation and is good for the industry, but they need to get the proposition right.’
Store managers were briefed by Nokia reps on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week.
Staff: ‘The text allowance is stingy and putting customers off’
Retail staff at Orange and Phones 4u have pointed the finger squarely at Orange’s Comes With Music tariffs for poor sales of the Nokia 5800 Comes With Music.
Staff have baulked at the failure to include an unlimited text bundle in any of the five tariffs, ranging from £25 per month to £45 per month.
One staffer said: ‘It’s ridiculous to ask the type of customers who want this music service to have a limit of 300 or 500 texts per month. The text allowance is just stingy and it puts customers off.’
According to staff, only the £45 per month tariff offered an inclusive data bundle that allowed customers to download music directly to the phone, rather than via a PC.
One Phones 4u staffer said: ‘Customers will only be able to download 125
songs before they start to get charged for exceeding the limited data allowance, so I’m worried about saying Comes With Music has free downloads.’
Staff at both companies are expecting improvements to the ‘point of sale’ live handsets, laptops and Nokia bays, which showcase the service and have had teething problems so far.