Yesterday, long-suffering Nokia
But there was another interesting tidbit released yesterday regarding the N-Gage, Nokia's handheld device that can't decide whether it's a phone, an MP3 player, or a gaming machine. Nokia pushed back by a month the U.S. launch of the updated model, the N-Gage QD, which corrects some of the worst problems with the original, such as the previous requirement to remove the battery before swapping games. But some shortcomings, like the small screen, can't be remedied.
More ominous is the huge 50% cut in the estimate of the number of games coming to market. By the holidays, Nokia execs now expect to see 40 games, down from an original goal of 100. There are already some formidable titles in the library, including Electronic Arts's
Nokia insists that we shouldn't judge the N-Gage's success until 2005, but shareholders should already wonder if this gadget is worth the fuss. Nokia had originally looked for shipments of more than 6 million units by the end of this year. Instead, the number is now reported to stand near 600,000. The firm is notoriously tight-lipped about those sales, which is another good indication that they're far below expectations. And I'm betting things get worse.
Here's another unsolicited suggestion: Kill the N-Gage now. Put it out of its misery.
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