Nokia just cleaned house and did a deal with the Devil to make Windows Phone 7 hardware. T-Mobile just got bought by AT&T. So what makes more sense than the two companies getting together to throw a dinner party to launch a new low-end Symbian OS phone? Nothing makes more sense, apparently.
T-Mobile tonight announced the Nokia Astound, a rebranded C7 that will launch April 6th for $79.99 on contract after rebate. A Symbian^3 smartphone with WiFi calling, Astound features a 3.5″ AMOLED display, 8MP camera with 720p HD video capture, and front-facing camera with Qik video calling pre-installed. Popular, um, produce slashing game Fruit Ninja will also come pre-installed on Astound, as will streaming music app Slacker Radio.
Thing is, does it even matter at this point? Well, yeah, it does, though maybe not to the likes of whoever you are out there reading TechnoBuffalo. Low and mid-tier phones sell. Not everyone has a smartphone. At least two or three people will hear “Fruit Ninja comes pre-installed” and take notice. And not everyone knows, or cares, about the AT&T-Mobile deal just yet. Nokia makes good hardware, and the cameras in their cameraphones tend to kick serious booty. So while I, personally, am not about to line up at the local Radio Shack to pick up an Astound, T-Mo’s likely to move enough of these value-priced smartphones to help Nokia sell those 150 million Symbian devices they said last month are still to come.
So who’s up for an Astound? Come on, I know you’re out there!