Once again another way cool Nokia S60 smartphone is now available in the USA, this time it’s the N96. At first you might think that this one is a follow-up to the fabulous N95 or N95 8GB but don’t even think it – the N95 has been such a hit that it’s gonna be impossible to improve upon it let alone replace it! I wouldn’t even speak the names of these devices in the same breath as the N95 (8GB) outclasses this device hands-down (in my opinion). I guess what’s odd once again is that Nokia and their PR arms have promoted the crap out of this device for a few weeks now and yet you have to wonder, does anyone really care??
Now granted, Nokia is cranking out the devices and some pretty awesome ones at that – N95 8GB, E71, N82 etc… so I have to wonder if this device is really worth all the hype? The real issue at hand here for me is the price tag and the sales channel. Once again, the only way you’ll likely find one of these devices is to walk into a Nokia flasgship store (Chicago or New York) and slap down $895 for it… yes that’s right, $895!! Then you’ll need to walk into AT$T or T-mobile where you’ll likely be greeted by a young clerk who figures you must be from Mars or some other wild place because they have absolutely no idea what kind of device you’re holding in your hand!
I’ll contend once again that until these devices make it into the display windows of the carrier shops (AT&T and T-mobile in the USA), people will have no clue or no desire to get one. Furthermore, the price tag… are you serious??? Once again, unless I’m getting one for $199 (with contract) they simply will not wind up in the hands of consumers. Until then, the only people you’ll see toting around an N96 in the USA will be Nokia staff, mobile devlopers, PR people and bloggers who have test devices, and those techno geeks who have to always have the latest and greatest in their hands, which right now (in the USA) will be an iPhone, G1, or maybe an N95 8GB.