Lumia 800 available exclusively through Vodacom for the first month or two? UPDATED (Again)   6 comments

Let me start off by admitting that I’ve just watched two episodes of Columbo, so it might just be my inner detective taking over:) That said, I might have a point.

I first noticed something fishy on the press invite to the Nokia Lumia launch party on the 25th of February. Below is exhibit one:

As can be seen above, the launch party will take place at the Vodacom Dome. At first I didn’t think to much of it. I then had a chat to some of the sales staff at a Vodashop. One of the staff informed me that Nokia’s sales reps were already busy with giving training on the Lumia 800 device. That too didn’t ring any alarm bells. Then one of all about Nokia SA’s readers named Edrich, placed the following comment on the last post:,

I just got an email back from MTN after posting a query (1) on their Customer Information Portal last year about Lumia 800 availability and got this (2):
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
(1) Hi, I didn’t see an option for querying handset availability. I would like to check with you when the Nokia Lumia 800 will become available on contract seeing as I am due for an upgrade in the new year and would like to know whether I should hold on for the Lumia’s, or choose another handset
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
(2) Good Day,
Thank you for your posting. We should be getting the handset during the second or third quarter. Please check on our website during the second quarter of this year.

Kind Regards,
The CIP Team
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

This is disappointing to me, and unbelievable that we’d have to wait until 2nd or 3rd quarter if thew “launch date” is in February

Edrich / January 19, 2012 at 15:04″

Then, like they say, everything fell in place. The launch party is at the Vodacom dome, Sales training at Vodacom stores confirmed, and only 2nd or 3rd quarter launch dates for MTN. Why would Nokia launch the device at Vodacom’s headquarters? Would a move like that not heighten tensions between Nokia and the other service providers? It hasn’t happened in the past, that I’m aware of, that one carrier got exclusive rights to a Nokia device.

Let’s, for now, assume I’m right. Let’s say Vodacom does get exclusive access to the Lumia 800. What would the benefit be to Nokia? Well we know Nokia has gone HUGE internationally with marketing. I am convinced that in our local market a campaign targeting consumers directly only won’t work. They will have to work via the service providers too. Yes all the Vodacom/MTN (haven’t checked CellC) brochures and shops all show the N9. MTN has even had Nokia N9 advertisements on TV. But I’m sure Nokia wants more and the only way to get that would be for Nokia to promise exclusivity to Vodacom, who remains by the way the largest local service provider. They also did something similar with AT&T in the US with the Lumia 900.

Exclusivity of a much-anticipated device like the Lumia 800 would be something service providers would give a lot for. Maybe even a larger than life marketing campaign…..

UPDATE:

The plot thickens… Once again Edrich makes a good point by focussing my attention the fact that MTN featured at Nokia World back in October 2011:

Why would Karel Pienaar, Managing Director and CEO, MTN South Africa have been a key figure at Nokia World end October? See below link http://events.nokia.com/nokiaworld/agenda.html and check Day 2 at 13:00. I doubt Nokia would shun MTN for Vodacom completely, just for Feb and March exclusivity. – Edrich

So one wouldn’t expect Nokia to shun MTN. So to try and get more clarity I did a bit more digging. In the comments section on mybroadband.co.za someone named bladzok (joined their forums in 2005 so seems to be a tech follower) states the following:

So initially (the Lumia 800) will only be available on Vodacom and only through Vodacom Direct. That’s from Nokia. – Bladzok”

I know it’s only the comments section, and anyone could write what they want, but still…it’s quite interesting.

Also on another related article on mybroadband.co.za, titled Nokia Windows Phone coming to most operators,author Jan Vermeulen revealed that The Lumia 800 will be available through most service providers, but also couldn’t clearly define launch dates:

Vodacom and 8ta have revealed that they plan to sell the Nokia Lumia 800, while MTN said that “planning for the supply of the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 is at an advanced stage.” 8ta added that subject to device certification, they plan to offer the Nokia Lumia 800 on its Enterprise deals in Q1 2012. Vodacom and MTN didn’t have specific launch dates or pricing information to share, and Cell C and Virgin Mobile did not respond to our queries by the time of publication.

This is getting more & more intriguing, at least we only have to wait two more days to find out 🙂

UPDATED AGAIN:

One of the readers of All About Nokia SA (Edrich – again), has spoken to the sales people at a MTN store who confirmed that the Lumia 800 will launch at the beginning of February. Looks like I’ll have a lot to learn from my Hero 🙂

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6 responses to “Lumia 800 available exclusively through Vodacom for the first month or two? UPDATED (Again)

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  1. Right on Columbo! Seems quite clear to me too ;0) Now stop smoking those stinking cigars, its bad for you…

  2. I’d say, certainly plausible…but why would Karel Pienaar, Managing Director and CEO, MTN South Africa have been a key figure at Nokia World end October? See below link http://events.nokia.com/nokiaworld/agenda.html and check Day 2 at 13:00. I doubt Nokia would shun MTN for Vodacom completely, just for Feb and March exclusivity. Especially after having its CEO there. Or rather, I’m hoping so more than anything else, being a long time MTN user and looking to get my hands on a Lumia 800 as soon as possible.

  3. J, I went to MTN directly and spoke to one of the sales managers there, he confirmed that the Lumia 800 got presented to them last week Thursday, and that it would be available – on contract with MTN, beginning of February.

  4. Pingback: Lumia 800 Launches in South Africa (Vodacom exclusive) | allaboutnokiasa

  5. I’va called MTN serveal times.
    No Luck the Lumia is still not on their stock sheet!
    Im getting really annoyed. Been waiting for 2 months for the Lumai and I dont want to go back to Vodacom, ever!

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