You can't get the phone from Cingular's website or in their stores (that I've seen), but if you go to Nokia USA's site you're able to order a Nokia 6230 from Nokia directly for $309 (down to $149 with a plan and rebates) locked to Cingular. Nokia USA actually uses LetsTalk.com, so it's available from them as well. In case you forgot, I wrote about this phone back in August. The 6230 is that amazingly cool Series 40 phone from Nokia that has just about everything in it you could want in a mobile phone in a tiny easy-to-use package. Simple UI, camera and video, MP3 player, FM Radio, IM, latest Java, and more. It's really very nice.
I first noticed the 6230 being advertised here in the U.S. in a full-page ad in the latest Business 2.0 and was pretty surprised as I didn't know of any carrier here that had them available. Then I was watching TiVo the other night and saw not once, but twice in a 30 minute show ($40 a day) a commercial for the 6620 and 6230: Nokia is pushing the video capabilities of both devices in the commercial, sending between both phones. (Mobile video rocks!) After checking the online stores for all the U.S. carriers and not seeing the 6230, I was going to post about how the phone was "coming soon" but then looking for an image, I found you can buy the phone from Nokia's site.
The advertising campaign is the coolest part of this news. This is an incredible change of direction for Nokia. For the first time, I've seen Nokia ads here in the U.S. promoting two very powerful, yet cleanly designed phones. No more wacky keypads, no more over-segmentation of the market. Nokia has put everything and the kitchen sink into these phones and are now marketing them in lifestyle-focused way. The message is very clear: "These are phones that enhance your life," or, as their tag puts it: "Your life, with instant replay."
I love how they're promoting the phones as a pair: A smart phone for those who want expandability and power, and a smaller almost-as-powerful version for those who want a simpler model. The parallels to the iPod are obvious. Think of these phones as the iMobile and the iMobile mini. I think it's great! Apple has mastered the art of marketing a simple set of products with clear segmentation between them and Nokia is taking a page out of their book. Perfect.
Obviously Nokia has many more mobiles to sell, but I'd love to see them continue on this path of focusing on just a handful of very powerful devices as their "flagship" models. It'll make differentiating Nokia from the pack that much easier. As we read just last month, you have to have the Long Tail - Nokia needs to have a bunch of phones that meet all sorts of economic price ranges. But here in the U.S. selling a couple of really great models is the key to success - it'll build word-of-mouth and momentum for the brand as a whole. This was Nokia's key to success years ago, with the model 5110. Everyone who had that phone, loved it and made Nokia what it is today.
Anyways, I'm going to figure out if I can find the funds to snag the 6230 as I think it's going to be one of the most popular models sold this Christmas, especially if Nokia can keep up the barrage of advertising between now and then.
Update: Looks like I'm losing my touch. Jon Gales over a MobileTracker just gave me the heads up that the 6230 was launched by Cingular three weeks ago!. Doh!