Customizing for the Carriers

In Europe, you can make one handset and sell it across many carriers, sometimes even in international, independent retail chains like Carphone Warehouse. But U.S. carriers demand custom builds for every carrier, which a manufacturer focused on economies of scale may balk at.

THE STORES ARE APPROACHING NICHE MARKETS

This is one of the reasons why Nokia and Sony-Ericsson aren't doing very well in USA.
Nokia and Sony Ericsson are fighting back, to some extent, by selling phones directly through their own stores. But that's a niche market, and doesn't counter the flood of Motorola, LG and Samsung phones offered through carriers.
  1. The U.S.' estimated 230 million wireless consumers talk the most minutes per person in the world
  2. The global number-one manufacturer was only fourth in the US during the third quarter of 2006
  3. Nokia's sales dropped from 9.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2005 to a pathetic 5.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2006
US MOBILE INNOVATIONS ON THE MOVE

US market doesn't always lose out on innovation. We may not have the latest Nokia N-series phones, but we'll be the first to get Apple's iPhone. And North America is a leader in mobile broadband, with Sprint's EV-DO Rev A network offering faster speeds than most of the rest of the world.
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