Nokia admits to disappointing N-Gage sales

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia has given the first official indication that sales of the N-Gage game deck are not living up to expectations, but says that the platform must be given until November 2005 to prove itself.

By Rob Fahey.Published Monday 23rd February 2004, 3:40pm GMT

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia has given the first official indication that sales of the N-Gage game deck are not living up to expectations, but says that the platform must be given until November 2005 to prove itself.

"The sales are in the lower quartile of the bracket we had as our goal," said Nokia chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila, speaking to the Financial Times - the first time that the company has admitted that sales of the device have been lower than expected.

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However, Ollila says that the N-Gage has to be given until November 2005 - two years after its launch in autumn 2003 - before the success or failure of the platform can be judged properly.

It's expected that at least one new version of the N-Gage hardware will be introduced before that date - possibly as early as next Autumn - although the platform will remain backwards compatible throughout.

The announcement comes after months of speculation over the actual performance of the N-Gage at retail. Nokia has refused to give sales figures for the device - only shipment figures of 600,000 units have been announced - and as most videogame market research firms target game stores only, not mobile phone retailers, accurate sales figures have been impossible to estimate.

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