Vodafone has placed orders for millions of next generation mobile phones for its new 3G services with Japanese manufacturers, in a snub to Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile manufacturer. According to a senior Vodafone executive, Nokia did not yet have handheld devices with the functions he wanted. “Nokia is developing an elaborate system,” he said. “But they are behind the Japanese.” He would not name the Japanese recipients of the orders, claiming commercial sensitivity.
Network operators like Vodafone are keen to wrest power in the mobile market away from the handset manufacturers, among which Nokia is the king. Until now, most people buying a new phone have been more interested in the name of the manufacturer than the identity of the service provider. Vodafone raised eyebrows last year when it chose Sharp of Japan, then an also-ran in the European handset stakes, as the mainstay of its Vodafone Live! service, which it sees as a forerunner to its future 3G service. Continue >>