Nokia N8 U.S. Debut Pushed Back 4 Weeks

InformationWeek has learned that U.S. customers won't receive the Symbian^3-based N8 smartphone from Nokia until the end of October.
Nokia sent out a press release today saying that it shipped the N8, its first Symbian^3 handset, "on time" (on time meaning before the end of the third quarter). Some customers, however, will have to wait longer than others for the smartphone to arrive.

Several weeks ago, Nokia said, "The amount of preorders has exceeded our expectations and we are working hard to deliver the Nokia N8 to the market. In some markets [including the U.S.], we had planned to start delivering the Nokia N8s to our pre-order customers by the end of September. To ensure a great user experience, we have decided to hold the shipments for a few weeks to do some final amends. We're thrilled with the response that we've had to the Nokia N8 and assure everyone who've pre-ordered it already that it'll be worth the wait! We expect consumers to get their Nokia N8s during October."

Indeed, I checked the online store. Below the pricing information used to be the words "End of September 2010." That language now reads "End of October 2010." I called the Nokia Store's phone help line for more information.

The salesperson with whom I spoke said that the N8 is not yet ready for the U.S. He said that Nokia is still making adjustments to the software, and it won't ship until the end of October. Of course, he still offered to place an order for me, but said the phone won't be ready for at least four weeks.

"With the N8, and the new Symbian software, we are bringing a familiar, faster and more intuitive user experience to the world's most popular smartphone platform. The Nokia N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history and we are thrilled to start shipments of the N8, the first of Nokia's new Symbian smartphone range," says Jo Harlow, Senior Vice President, Smartphones, Nokia, in a prepared statement.

On September 21, Nokia said that it had targeted its online pre-order customers to receive their N8s by the end of September. As it can take time from the beginning of shipment to arriving at their doorstep, Nokia informed its pre-order customers that they should expect their new Nokia N8 in October.

Nokia wrote, "Customers who have placed a pre-order for the Nokia N8 in Nokia Online Shops and Nokia retail stores will be the first to receive their Nokia N8. Market availability will vary by country and by operator, with broad availability in the coming weeks."