Nokia: Another Device Pulled In The U.S., This Time With T-Mobile?

Less than a week after we heard that Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and AT&T (NYSE: T) cancelled the joint launch of Nokia’s new X7 handset, news of another device u-turn. T-Mobile USA has reportedly cancelled its launch of the Nuron 2, which Nokia sells in other markets as the C5-03 (pictured).

It’s unclear why T-Mobile has pulled the Nuron 2. The original Nuron had been a rebranded “Comes With Music” device (the Nokia 5235), and according to PocketNow, which first reported the T-Mobile cancellation, the earlier model had sold well.

Nokia does not normally comment on its device strategy, but we are asking them for confirmation regarding this newest report anyway. For the record, this is what Nokia told mocoNews when asked about the X7 last week:

“We are working hard to regain leadership in the U.S. market and we are in active discussions with our operator partners on that strategy. We look forward to bringing meaningful solutions to market together with our operator partners and when we have something to announce, we will do so.”

However, if these cancellation reports are accurate, they represent a setback in its U.S. turnaround strategy.

They imply that Nokia will not have operator partners in place to distribute these two handsets in the U.S. And that means significantly less marketing for the products, and no handset subsidies. The latter, of course, are a very common part of the mobile landscape in the U.S. market, where operators like to discount devices and bundle them with longer-term calling and data plans.

But while these reports are not terribly encouraging, they are frankly not all that surprising. Given that Nokia currently does not sell any devices through Verizon or Sprint (NYSE: S) (because their networks are CDMA-based and Nokia only makes GSM devices), it may only be in the longer run, when we start seeing more ubiquitous LTE services (and LTE devices from Nokia) that the company may hope to improve its position in this crucial market in any significant sense.