UK: SIM-free Nokia Lumia 800 to be available on November 16 after all, but not everywhere
Here’s some good news for you Windows Phone lovers in the UK. It turns out that contrary to what we found out yesterday, the Nokia Lumia 800 will in fact become available in the UK on November 16, in SIM-free form as well as with contract. Not without a catch though.
The Inquirer got in touch with Nokia’s Mark Squires, communications director, who set the record straight on the matter. So it’s like this. The Lumia 800 will go on sale with contract on November 16 just as anticipated. Also on that day it will become available SIM-free, but only at Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U. These two independent retailers, alongside Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, and Three will be the launch partners for the Lumia 800 in the UK. That means that they will be the only outlets (officially) selling the device this year.
All the other retailers, including Amazon and Clove (which was the source for yesterday’s information on the Lumia 800’s delay) will get their first stock of Lumia 800s in the first quarter of 2012. Nokia says that its launch partners have been trained extensively in selling the product, and the company is confident that this strategy won’t undermine its projected sales levels.
That said, this variation upon the classic exclusivity deal isn’t something we’ve seen often before. In effect, the Lumia 800 will be exclusive to the aforementioned four operators and two retailers this year. Let’s see if this thinking pans out for Nokia.