Nokia Halts Sale Of 5800 Smartphone

The North American version of Nokia's iPhone rival reportedly has issues connecting to AT&T's 3G network, and the speakers aren't protected from moisture.

Marin Perez, Contributor

March 2, 2009

2 Min Read

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

(click for image gallery)

Nokia's first mass-market touch-screen smartphone has run into a few bumps in the road, as the company had to stop selling the 5800 XpressMusic because of technical issues.

The 5800 is seen as Nokia's answer to the Apple iPhone, and it has sold more than 1 million units around the world since its release last October. The Symbian-powered handset has all of the features one expects from a high-end smartphone, and the company tweaked a few elements of the user interface to make the 3.2-inch screen finger friendly.

The company launched the handset in the United States last week, but the smartphone appears to have problems with the earpiece speakers, which are reportedly not properly protected from moisture. Nokia said this was only impacting a "limited number of units," but it could be a big stumbling block for a handset that has a heavy emphasis on music and multimedia.

The handset also reportedly has problems connecting to AT&T's 3G network in certain markets. The cell phone manufacturer said the problems are popping up in Chicago and New York, where Nokia has flagship stores, but it doesn't appear to be occurring in other markets. This could mean the issue lies with the network itself, but AT&T and Nokia haven't confirmed this. It's unclear if the problem can be fixed over the air with a software upgrade, or if it's a hardware issue that will require the user to send it in.

While Nokia is the global market leader in mobile phones, it's thoroughly outpaced in the U.S. market by Apple, Motorola, Research In Motion, and others. The cell phone manufacturing giant hoped the 5800 would help boost market share in the United States, but these bugs may lead to some setbacks.

Smartphones like the Nokia 5800 can lead to productivity boosts in a workforce, but they can also lead to questions about policies and mobile security. InformationWeek evaluated the best smartphone practices for businesses, and the report can be found here (registration required).

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