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Is Nokia trying to sell 808 PureView at all?

This weekend my family visit turned out in an unexpected reality check. Meeting up with my brothers-in-law who actually are quite tech savvy, it appeared they had actually never heard of the Nokia 808 PureView. Not even vaguely.

We always talk about the newest smartphones, and I joked my newest device was still on Symbian. They were surprised, knowing that Nokia changed to the Windows Phone platform. Did I get an old one, for sentimental reasons? Eh, no, I got the Nokia 808 PureView, the one with the brilliant camera.

They laughed: “sure, one with 21 Megapixels, haha“!
No”, I replied, not sure whether they were making fun of me: “actually it’s 34 or even 38 MP in full resolution”.
One looked at me, suddenly unsure if I was making fun of him: “38? Marc… you’re kidding me, right?
The other one shook his head, sure I couldn’t be serious.

Than I showed them the Nokia 808 PureView, demonstrated it, gave a short lecture about the difference between full resolution and PureView technology, showed what pixel oversampling can do, made some amazing macro shots and a macro video (below, zooming in at very close range in 360p), and also showed them some of what I collected on Flickr and Youtube.

It completely blew them away.

One of them tested the device himself, and after he found it quite easy to use he dropped the big question: “why on earth didn’t I know about this? Is Nokia even trying to sell this thing?

That was my reality check: here in the PureViewClub and in the Forum, we´re surrounded by people who know very well what PureView is all about.

Some of us have strong opinions to the kind of PureView the Lumia 920 will offer – and although I think people will love better lighting and OIS, I guess we all feel that the Nokia 808 PureView will be the best device for serious photography until Nokia comes with the next version combining both kinds. We can share those thoughts with each other and think it’s common knowledge.

But out there, in the real world, this amazing piece of hardware appears to be as good as unknown. There are no commercials bragging about its amazing capacities. Many bloggers had the chance to work with it and write a raving review, yet, I see no banners of any kind on any site, telling visitors to get their hands on the Nokia 808 PureView themselves.

Even in dedicated stores, I don’t see any poster about it, no store is actually promoting it in any way. I see several lonely Nokia 808′s waiting in their boxes for the customer that knows exactly what he or she wants. There’s not a shop assistent even trying to sell it to anyone.

True, there have been some video’s on Nokia’s YouTube channel about the Nokia 808 PureView. The last one is “Tip part 4: how to capture HD video with Nokia Rich Recording” and it was published july 6 (!). The last video you could consider as a commercial (“See the full picture with the Nokia 808 PureView“) dates from june 26. That’s almost 3 months ago… Why?

Recently Nokia has used the Nokia 808 PureView to shoot a video about a new accessory with it, the one about the Nokia X Burton insulator case:

But there is NO campaign whatsoever to actually inform the general consumer about the truly amazing innovation Nokia has made such a big impression with during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (february), and that has won so many important awards since. None at all, not as far as I can see. And it doesn’t look like we can expect any campaign anytime soon, not with the Nokia Lumia 920 heading our way. The Nokia 808 Pureview is becoming the ugly duckling of smartphones whereas in reality it is a beautiful, impressive swan.

Sure, I completely understand that Nokia wants to get full attention for the Lumia 920. But why not take the opportunity at the same time to prove you really have this incredible innovative power? Just because it runs on the platform that once made you world leader? The abandoned platform that is getting better every update? Some people still love Nokia Belle, others will prefer the camera over the platform.

Or has someone proven that you can’t expect a return on investment of a campaign promoting the Nokia 808? Could the demand be that low indeed? Than why produce it at all? I guess I just don’t get it. When you have some intelligent thoughts on the subject – other than simply blaming Stephen Elop for it once more – don’t hesitate to share them below.

 
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57 Responses

  1. Mark

    It’s the EP121 of phones; I’ve ordered mine today on amazon to accompany/complete my EP121 (don’t need a scanner anymore, can do everything paperless and mobile). Ultimate designer kit: 808 PureView, EP121, a DSLR and a good printer for proofs that’s it.

    The 808 is Elop’s graveyard if people really jump on it – and they will…
    MS tried it with HTC until they went Android and screwed them, now they try it with Nokia until we screw them… people go Belle.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like MS (especially for OneNote and InkSeine – it’s a charm on EP121), only the last time I played with building blocks was in pre-school and I will keep it that way. let’s go Belle.

  2. josh

    Ive been contemplating this phone… because im just wowed by its amazing camera and video capabilities…

    I really think nokia should keep on working on belle… belle fp2 is really good,
    one rep… told me that they are going to enhance belle even futher… dont know how true this is, all belle needs is HD screens dual core and a great browser, that is all it needs….

  3. Ericsson

    Nokia made the 808 to do a “Shake Down”, don´t you see that?

    Government in USA & Sweden did not want the phone… ask your selves why these “democracys” does not want Nokia 808.

    Waky waky people!

    • Ericsson

      In 2011 Nokia was close to bankrupsy… all other make 8MP phones.. why?

      Now you need to turn on your brains and think.

  4. AndyT

    It will be very interesting to compare Blackberry’s performance over the next year to Nokia’s, one struggling company using their own next-gen OS vs another stuggling com who have license/partnered a third party (struggling) OS

    Belle FP2 is very competitive OS compared to other rivals, its a real shame how Nokia are killing it off, surely it just needed a usability overhaul to iron out some of the quirks and maybe utilise the GPU to improve UI speed and smoothness

    It might be prudent if Nokia keeps Symbian on life support, If WP8 flops or doesn’t achieve the expected sales, Nokia will need other options assuming they are not bankrupt/bought out. They could go multi OS, Android being the obvious candidate for inclusion, and surely another option to consider would be continue with Symbian (large installed user base, library of app, re-hire some of the staff from Accenture etc).

    I for one would love to see a 2Ghz Nokia 909 Pureview running Belle FP3 with 62mp Camera with OIS, its a long shot but you never know!

  5. I’ve been trying to get Nokia 808 in Singapore since April period.. It’s only sold at Nokia store and not selling at the major Mobile provider stores.. like Starhub or M1. What is Nokia thinking? Are they just designed a great phone with great camera and leave it shelved in their store?
    They already have a great phone available now and yet promoting another phone Lumia 920 that release date still unknown. What is Nokia thinking??

    • RR

      It is Stephen Elop the Microsoft trojan horse (may he burn in hell), doing his evil darndest to promote Microsoft Lumia, by laying waste Nokia’s finest engineering and stupendous human efforts — efforts that went into conceiving and bringing the world’s best cameraphone, the 808 PureView to market.

  6. eEe

    Same sentiments, Marc.

  7. Hachiko

    Nokia’s situation makes me sad and worried. Right from the start Mr. Elop has done everything in his power to destroy Nokia, at least that’s how it looks. How can we fight back and challenge others when the biggest snake is in our own nest?

    I wonder how long the stock holders will stand this man, this intrudor?

  8. Mimi

    It’s a shame for this wonderful phone and I’m glad I paid attention !!!

  9. [...] to buy one you can’t. Tough luck.I read so in an interesting reaction on my blog about if Nokia is trying to sell the Nokia 808. Michael from New Zealand writes that if he would buy it via import channels (for an [...]

  10. Phil E. Phenau

    On the plus side, at least not even the newest phones will beat my 808 in terms of massive feature advantage… ha ha. I will still be winner in terms bragging. Well, the only thing missing are Siri, and the HD games…

  11. It’s obvious that all Elop cares about is Windows Phone. I say Elop because he’s the CEO, and leave it to Nokia they would still be selling Symbian and MeeMo devices. The PureView would have easily outsold Lumias if the price was lower and it was widely available. But its prices at almost 700us and can’t be found in key markets, same with the N9. Although Symbian has been losing market share to Android and iOS, it was still popular in emerging markets, where they tried to sell the 610 and Asha line, but when he called it a burning platform and killed support, it went down even quicker. Symbian is more feature rich than Windows Phone and now its even more fun with the latest update. Nokia never should have killed Symbian and MeeGo so brutally. They should have let the market decide how long they would survive.

    • SU27

      Yupp, I don’t know why everyone evades mentioning elop when we all know what’s his plan, devalue Nokia as much as possible so ms could buy them cheaper. And we all know that the “famous” memo was not “leaked” but spread with fanfare allaround. I only wonder who in the company takes all the bribe for being silent…

  12. Sawan Bruins

    I think they had to produce it due to obligations with suppliers. This is also a showcase phone about what is capable in terms of photo/video with a phone. See it as a productional proto type.
    They don’t want to market this phone due to the PureView brand. PureView = high end and thus only restricted to Windows Phone.

    A few years ago Samsungs flagship devices were given the name “Omnia”. These flagship devices were powered by Windows.
    They wanted to create the first phone in the world that could capture 720p, the Omnia HD. The only ecosystem capable of this was Symbian. When they announced it people were confused and they changed the name in many countries to i8910HD, they only kept the name Omnia HD to selected countries with a small Samsung footprint.

    From a marketing perspective I understand Nokia. Connect a brand name to one ecosystem. I agree this phone deserves better, but on the other side people that want the best camera phone know how to find this master piece while the majority just wants an uber social sleek phone!

  13. Franklin

    They want to, but they can’t. When consumers get their hands onto these phones, they’ll be impressed. They would never believe Belle was revamped from the old Symbian. Then here’s where the problem will start, people will start wondering and questioning why would Nokia kill such a functional and fluid OS, and this will backfire onto Nokia’s Windows only strategy. Same reason why they can’t promote the N9. Who in the right mind would want WP after experiencing meego’s buttonless swipe interface?

    • Dave

      You’re right – although the improved interface is sadly too late in the day for Symbian.

      With the N9 and the 808 Nokia have demonstrated that they can get the interface done to perfection, and that the imaging in a mobile can better the best of the compact dedicated cameras.

      But hey, it could be worse. I’ve recently bought a BB Playbook – the interface on that has similarities to the N9 (buttonless swipe based) and is clearly superior to the Android and iOS tablets. Yet they singularly failed to price it right and promote it.

  14. hackdrag

    I had similar ,

    Ya I also think Nokia don’t want sell 41 Pureview to WP
    but not so sure

    Recently met one of my friend they he asked “Y not android”

    I showed him photo I taken with lot of Bokeh.

    He was stunned zoomed in and out may times.

    And asked “are you sure this picture is transferred from your D5100 with 50mm F1.8″

  15. Saurabh Shrestha

    i agree with you. I think Nokia don’t want to talk about any symbian device which is better than WP.

  16. Frans

    You probably right. The promotion videos were “low budget” and made with N808. If you visit http://www.Nokia.no you only see Lumia. You have to search specific for N808.

    The two biggest telephone/mobile companys are not selling it from the websites. However you can buy it from electronic/computer stores. It cost less than 800 USD/600 Euros in Norway.

  17. civichief

    You can blame Nokia for bad promotion of PureView. But, they had this wonderful visit to their partner Carl-Zeiss. And they give out a lot of material to the public and they had their cover shoot with FHM Germany.

    But do not forget to blame the public media, too. Whenever one iPhone farts, you have it on every channel. Last week every hour more pseudo-news were published about this new Apple phone. They even published the date, when you could pre-order the phone. Everything else in the world was forgotten last week: Euro currency crisis? Syria? Afghanistan? Thank god to the islamists, that they could not be ignored.

    The public doesn’t want technology which is superior. They want magig by Apple.

  18. Uptowngal

    The Nokia 808 has limited availability in Singapore – if I’m not wrong, only Nokia stores & Singtel’s Hello! Shop sell the phone. I’ve had a few people asked me if I’m using an Android when they see my phone and most usually give this look of aghast when I tell them it’s Nokia, and on Symbian.

    Sadly, I’ve not seen ANYONE carry this phone in Singapore so far.. if not for a few others on Twitter who said they’ve bought the 808 too, I would’ve thought that I’m the only owner of an 808 in Singapore!

    On 1 hand I can understand that Nokia may be trying to be “consistent” in its marketing campaigns & thus they keep advertising the Lumia range, but then why launch the phone if you’re not going to market it right? What’s the point of going through the whole manufacturing process? Nokia’s marketing logic beats me.

    • Franklin

      Yup exact sentiments. 808 came out around June and only Singtelshop had them, and in fact for less than 3 months. It’s as if 808 is some illegitimate child that Nokia doesn’t want to let anyone know about. Thank god I bought it immediately instead of waiting for the prices to drop, otherwise I’ll live with regret my entire life.

  19. Janne Haapakoski

    In Finland I ordered my 808 before it was published and I had to wait 2weeks after it was in markets. It sells pretty damn well without marketing and with this amazing Symbian (cant wait next version) I doubt that this is the last Symbian product for Nokia. I have 808, Lumia800, N8 and Iphone, 808 is the best for sure!

  20. Ivan

    Why use 5 years to develop it but not even 1 month to market it properly… sad…

  21. LenardG

    I have similar experience. When I show the phone to friends/family, people just don’t seem to know what it is, what is can do, they never heard about it. And they do not believe how good the camera is, until I show it to them. At that point, they usually just stare at the pictures, and “don’t believe” I shot them with a phone. :-)

    Before I bought my 808, I went to the flagship Nokia store in Helsinki in the summer, to try it out. There were two 808 phones sitting in a corner. They were practically HIDDEN from customers. All over the store Lumia banners, Lumia colours and tens of Lumia test devices.

    I had/have the same feeling: the 808 is not being advertised, despite how good it is.

    And they call the Lumia 920 Pureview. Yeah, sure …

  22. NobleScarlet

    No Marc, Nokia isn’t even trying to sell this phone. In my opinion, it beats the Lumian 920 hands down! Even the Nokia center here in my city (Zamboanga, Philippines) is focusing efforts on the Lumia series. When I inquired previously about the 808, they always tell me that Lumia is the “big” thing and that is what I should focus on.

    • ayeshaDCA

      oh well so many Nokia Centers in our country really pushes the Lumia line up! But majority of the filipinos really don’t care about Lumia. Either they admit it or not,the best sellers here are S40 Nokia phones and Nokia with flashlights!

      • Ivan

        Same in my country (Malaysia), the Nokia store even don’t have any 808 demo set, but full set of Lumia 7.

  23. Lourenco

    Here in Brazil Nokia sells the SIM free 808 for US$1.000, but you must dig deep into nokia.com.br to find it.

    No carriers are selling it.

    I bought mine from Amazon and my sister brought it to me.

  24. Long

    Nokia just need to sell everything to survive but they just skip 808.

  25. Michael

    I live in New Zealand. Nokia decided not to sell 808 Pureview to Australia and New Zealand since these markets better suites for Lumia customers (According to their statement). However the guys who imports the phones and sells it in these market are making huge profits since they are selling it for exorbitant price. People still buys through them coz they don’t have any other choice. Some of the concerns are warranty and service, Nokia’s warranty is country specific and the service technicians can’t repair different regional products. If I buy a Nokia 808 through the parallel import shops the Nokia Care centre in Auckland will not be able to repair my phone. Same thing happened to me with my Nokia N8.

    In New Zealand not many people have heard about 808 since there was no ad in TV, not even in the Nokia Website. The following link is an article recently published by The New Zealand Herald (Leading Newspaper) http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10831928

    One of the strongest market of Nokia is India for ages, Don’t know how it ranks now. I have made an attempt to check about this phone in Mumbai through my brother. First he didn’t hear about this phone, there was no promotion or media hype, most of the shops didn’t have this phone in their store. Customers need to specifically ask for this phone and order it and will take a week or more to get it.

    Cheers

    • Chani

      I live in Mumbai. The people at the shop where I bought my 808 from, said that it’s selling well. I was pleasantly surprised. The person at a Nokia Priority said few are buying, but those who are buying it want accessories, which aren’t available. The problem is that someone ready to spend on phones but not informed, is easily dissuaded with talk like ‘why don’t you go for lumia or sgs 3′ or ‘oh, it shoots only 5mp pics’ (yes, true story).

  26. Tantan

    I want 808 with combine of 920

  27. Vinicius

    I actually think Nokia is trying very hard to NOT sell this phone, as it did the N9.

    It hides the phone, sellers won’t try to sell it to you. It has limited availability and it is the most expensive phone you can buy, anywhere.

    Most people, even tech savvy people don’t know what it is when I show it to then.

    Only for gravity to suck jaws to the ground moments latter.

    And a comment from a friend of mine this past weekend:

    “Why doesn’t Nokia sell this thing? The Camera is perfect, and it is faster than my Nexus S. Actually, it is just as fast as my wife’s iPhone 4S.”

  28. Rossa

    I can only repeat what others have said, with no carriers in the UK offering this phone and no adverts to push SIM free purchases only dedictaed followers of mobile phones will know about the 808.

    When I showed off the 808 (Nokia kindly let me trial) at my work not one person had ever heard of it.

    Pretty shocking really!

  29. tobbe

    in Finland the operator Sonera has the 808 phone with a 2 year contract. They charge you 22€ per month for it.

  30. Graham

    I spoke to Orange customer services in the UK to order a replacement micro sim. When they asked which phone is it for, the rep said that he had never heard of the Nokia 808 purview and it didn’t appear in the Orange database. When the carriers have never heard of a phone available to buy sim free, what hope is there for the general phone buyer!

    • Dave

      It wasn’t much better 2 years back when I was asking about the N8 prior to its release. Called into our local Orange shop asking about its release …. “No, we won’t be selling it, the Nokias aren’t compatible with our software”.

      I eventually had 2 Orange branded N8s …. they’re still awaiting the Belle refresh :(

  31. From a marketing and advertising perspective, exactly why *would* Nokia put spend behind a device that has, as you rightly point out, ZERO carrier availability/support, especially as they’ve clearly committed to Lumia as their lead range?

    Again, as you point out, it is an *abandoned platform* – when the future of the company’s success rides on the Microsoft partnership, then why waste money on anything else?

    It doesn’t make good business sense.

    YES the Nokia 808 is a GREAT camera phone (it’s my my primary device as I type), but it is nowhere near the big N’s leading/number one smartphone.

    Like the N9 before it, the 808 has been branded a ‘future disruption’ and therefore not the main priority.

    • Vedhas Patkar

      Plus, the profits on Lumias are greater I suppose. This, along with the N9 is just to show what Nokia can do with its R&D team. Also, since R&D was already done for these niche devices, porting them to the Lumias will not take much money. Nokia wants to sell the Lumias and not these devices, so that Lumia establishes itself as brand and help it get a shot in its comeback. Symbian was doomed before the 808 came out and people have already equated Lumia with Nokia. Nobody except the geeks will buy Symbian anymore.

  32. leon

    same here in south africa.i upgraded my contract and took the 808pv 2weeks ago.there was no posters what so ever in that cellphone retailer just lumia,android and apple posters and phones on display.nokia south africa has even aired 1 television,radio or any type of media campaign to promote this phone.lumia getting all the attention.it will only be people that know of this device that will ask for it.i’m just glad i have this amazing device.

    • Alen

      Hi Leon, I am getting mine in 2 weeks. Do you know if SA has white or red 808′s. What colour did you get? I cant wait to get my hand on. Is it worth the wait?

  33. Dave

    I’ve had similar responses – a few colleagues knew about it in some detail, but for the most part I’ve had almost exactly the same responses as Marc.

    “Is that the 21mp camera thing?” …. Nope, close to double that. Cue “WTF???” comments.

    At our local PC World (buying a BB Playbook of all things), the guy dealing with my sale asked “Is that one of those Nokia Windows Phones?”.

    But as Al Reynolds said – the camera really does sell itself, everyone who’s seen my pictures has been blown away by its performance.

  34. Navvarr

    Nokia has done this before- they marketed the N97 big time and hardly marketed the N86- which arguably was a better phone, but not a touch screen.
    They marketed the N8 but not the N9 -which again was arguably the better phone /OS.
    Now they are marketing the Lumia opposed to anything with Symbian on it.
    To be honest, I do see their point- Symbian won’t sell to the general public- it’ll sell to people who know Symbian.
    Nokia needs Lumia to survive- they need it to work- that is where they will pour their resources. Makes sense to me.

    • Dave

      At least the N86 was marketed – in the UK they had an exhibition of shots taken by David Bailey (iirc it had a london at night theme).

      But the 808 – with zero carrier availability throughout the world – hasn’t had anything like that support.

      My guess is that its been intended purely as a technology demonstration, what Nokia are capable of producing, and in many ways its a fitting end for Symbian.

      • ClixT

        You’re right. I vaguely remember that Juha and Eero mentioned that 808 PureView Pro is a demonstration of what Nokia could bring into the cameraphone division, and “[they] don’t really care” about how many units they sell.. I predict that the next Lumia will use graphene sensors..

  35. rgasp001

    Nokia’s marketing department should’ve worked their asses off for this material. This 808 phone saved m from bringing a camera and a psp. I guess its just not enough to say that it’s a camera phone. I’ve been using it for ms excel, downloads etc. and never had an issue. Not to mention good battery life.

    • Dave

      Whilst I’d love to agree, I can’t. Why market a product that is only available via SIM-unlocked routes? No carrier adoption, so they’d be marketing it purely to those who happily buy unlocked/out of contract tariffs. Which sadly, at least in many places, is the minority of users.

      ps. Battery life is no better than any other “competing” smartphone, at least not in my usage :(

  36. chandima

    It is the same story here in Srilanka. Although Myself and quite a few others have bought this wonderful smartcam, There was not a single AD run by the official nokia dealer. Only those who knew about the 808 and asked about it know it is available officially.

  37. Massis

    A colleague of mine saw my 808 at work, and asked “is it that monster thing from Nokia?” I was surprised : he knew the PV (v1) concept, and I demonstrated the jaw-dropping zoom taking a shot from my window (full res, and zoom and zoom and recognize that colleague you couldn’t with your own eyes).

    I showed also my phone to two colleagues, one asked “it’s better than an iphone, right?” It was difficult to answer “no” ;)

    But yes, I agree:
    1. 808 was intended to brand “pureview”. Symbian was necessary, no other OS could have handled that monster in 2012. It served the second Nokia cause: read all reviews, you’ll see the only negative point (if any) is Symbian
    2. Lumia is more and more branded as modern, design, etc.

    The combination of PV+WP8 was obvious, without having to demonstrate Nokia’s excellence: everybody know that PV is such a success.

    From that perspective, you don’t need to sell/market the 808.

    But if I’m right, it should also mean that, as long as the 808 won’t be equaled (come on, the 920 won’t win TIPA/EISA/DP/etc. awards), they should improve its photography sw.

    I hope we get 3/2 aspect ratio for instance, or more manual modes (shutter time).

    We can’t blame Nokia to focus on their strategy : Asha = functionnal and cheap, Lumia = design + cutting edge.

  38. Had a similar conversation with a couple of friends at the pub about a week ago, one asked if it was the new WP they’d seen on the news ? Really love my phone but people want the ‘it just works’ factor in smartphones today and that includes the camera function, they want to simply point and shoot and get a perfect result every time. Pretty sure that Nokia have actually sold more 808′s than expected and despite the fantastic camera, normob users would soon start moaning about the general OS and lack of apps. I’m a long term and experienced user of Symbian phones and have zero issues with my 808, but WP is the future for Nokia and every spare cent needs using to push and promote the Lumia Range, besides, I kinda like being part of an exclusive and elite club ? :-)

  39. Ben

    the way they imported the stock to only one distribution channel instead of all the shops in Malaysia, without even letting the customers getting the free gift as promised, they’re sure not keen to sell at all.

  40. Let us have another reality check, the 808 Pureview was in essence a technical exercise to show what can be done. The fact it was on Symbian was because it took so long to develop. It was in a way a start of a new brand name “Pureview” and Nokia probably do want to sell some, but let us be real, they probably have a limited marketing budget these days. So where is the best place to spend it? On Lumia of course as that is where the future lies. No point in spending thousands on something that has little future other than a few software updates and some support

    • MoritzJT

      You make it sound like they would spend more on awareness marketing than they’d get in return and that is what I doubt. It can’t be that hard.

      Cheers

  41. Al Reynolds

    I showed a tech-savvy friend of mine the zooming facilities and his first comment was “But that’s just like CSI, except for real!”. The camera sells itself.