Nokia Sets Up Shop In Manhattan

Taking a page from the Apple playbook, Finnish mobile handset maker Nokia last week opened a store on iconic shopping corner 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York. The store--which is its second in the U.S. and fifth worldwide--was designed by eight inc., the same firm chosen by Apple.

Nokia plans to open 13 more stores worldwide over the next two years. The retail locations are a way to immerse prospective consumers in the capabilities of the Nokia brand, which is second to Motorola in the U.S., but enjoyed a ranking as the sixth-best global brand in the recent Interbrand/BusinessWeek survey.

Nokia's handsets don't have the marketing flash or name recognition of Motorola's, whose popular RAZR models propelled it to the lead in North America.

Nokia did attach a name and a number to its newest product launch: the Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition. But the company denies that this has anything to do with how Motorola brands its models.

"You'll see some more designators in our products, but it's not going to be a huge change. Numbering will still remain a large part of it," says Nokia spokesman Keith Nowack.

Nokia is also expanding its mobile-content capabilities. Through a new supplier relationship with publisher Electronic Arts, games will be distributed via its Nokia Content Discoverer. In the first half of 2007, Nokia says it will launch a next-generation mobile gaming platform that includes an e-commerce and sharing component.



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