O2 will not be carrying Nokia’s make-or-break Sea Ray handset or any future Nokia Windows Phone Mango kits, reports suggest, amid signs of a major contretemps between the two companies.
Insiders at the network are alleged to have told Mobile News that Nokia issued a rigid list of demands determining how the handsets would be promoted and sold in the company’s retail outlets and in ads.
O2 purportedly rejected those terms, chiefly because the launch of the smartie provisionally dubbed the Sea Ray is set to overlap with the iPhone 5.
A source said: “O2 is very good at handset marketing, better than any of the other operators, which tend to stick to promoting tariffs and deals.
“They work very well with the manufacturers and channel their message very well. But they are very close to Apple and will not look to compromise that relationship.”
He added: “O2 was initially very excited by the Nokia portfolio, but in recent weeks that attitude has changed.”
When approached by the site, head of retail at O2 Richard Baylis denied knowledge of any disagreement and claimed he’d be very "surprised" if Nokia Mango phones don’t come to the carrier.
However, what appears to be concrete evidence that something is afoot surfaced earlier this month when O2 was the sole UK network absentee at a soiree hosted by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.