7/8/2009 11:47:00 AM
T-Mobile and Orange delay N97 as handset attracts strong demand
The Nokia N97 started its second week strongly in Phones 4u, Carphone Warehouse and 3 stores, but the device is yet to be stocked in Orange, T-Mobile and O2 stores.
Staff at Orange and T-Mobile are still waiting for the device, which is understood to be at testing stage for both networks.
Meanwhile, O2 will not be stocking the device, as it has committed its budgets to the Apple iPhone 3GS and upcoming Palm Pre.
Orange has delayed the arrival of the Nokia N97 in stores and online to further test the phone for faults with its own software.
Orange retail staff were informed last week that the handset would not
be in stores for another three weeks due to technical issues.
T-Mobile is also yet to release the N97. Staff have been told to expect the phone in stores in the next two weeks, although the device is expected to be available as an upgrade only.
The second week success follows an initial ‘shaky’ start with low orders from retailers, according to sources. Demand for the N97 has picked up as advertising for the device has appeared on TV, in print and on billboards since it went on sale on 1 July. Nokia’s advertising has had particular emphasis on the handset’s availability at Phones 4u.
Retail and distribution sources initially said they were anxious about holding large volumes of the £500 device.
Retail staff said the N97 was ‘flying out the door’ this week and they had seen sales from Nokia enthusiasts, many of whom had apparently been either waiting to upgrade or had temporarily been on Sim-only agreements.
The N97 has been simultaneously launched with the 6700, which is seeing large orders.
A Nokia spokeswoman said: ‘Sales are strong in all channels including our own.’