7.45 We’re currently outside the Nokia Store on Regent’s Street in the centre of London and along with us there is a healthy queue of around 100 people eager to get inside as soon as the doors open. We’ve been speaking to the people at the front of the queue and the feling seems to be that along with the draw of the Nokia 5800, the tickets for the Benicassim music festival in Spain is worth braving the British winter. There are plenty of journalists inside and we’re just awaiting the doors now…
8.00 We’re in! We’ll be back with quotes and photos as soon as the action calms down. For now, the Nokia 5800 is OFFICIALLY launched in the UK!
The panic buy has calmed down a little here now and given us a chance to look back at what happened. We’ve been speaking to people in the crowd, some of whom have been standing in line since midnight, waiting to get their hands on the Nokai 5800.
Here is a selection of the type of people you’ll find at a Nokia event: Guy Browne, who works in Finance and is from Waterloo, was first in the queue and first to buy a 5800 in the UK. He wasn’t the first there though, as he told us ‘Friends got here about midnight. I’ve been here since about 5.” And why was he here? ‘I like my electronics. It’s good value for money, it’s 100 pounds cheaper than the iPhone’ Good man, we’re so glad he got the first one with comments like those!
A bit back in the queue but still managing to be top ten was Jamie Fuller from Milton Keynes. Yep, he came all the way from MK to get to central London for 5am. He told us, ‘I’ve been here since around 5. I just love the big screen, the Wi-Fi, the GPS. It’s got a lovely look and feel to it.” And the distance from Milton Keynes to the modern world didn’t seem to phase him at all, ‘I would come twice as far for one of these.’
Josh Smith, a student from North London, also in the first 20 or so. “I’ve been queueing since 4.30 but I lost my place in queue because I had to go and do my maths homework.”
Why does he want the 5800? “The touchscreen is great, the battery life is great, plus it’s got bass on the music.”
Paul from Surrey, had indeed come all the way from Surrey and been queueing about two hours. ‘I drove up to Hatton Cross and got the first tube in. “I’ve had a mobile phone for the last 20 years, and I’ve always had a Nokia.’ When we asked him why the Nokia 5800 in particular, he just liked the idea of it, saying, he liked ‘just everything about it. The touchscreen, the ability to do my emails.’ You can’t ask more from a man who is willing to come in all the way from Surrey to buy a new Nok.
So, was it all a success? We think so, we’re a bit tired now. We managed to talk to some excited NokHeads about their new purchase – no doubt they’ll be spending the entire weekend showing it off to friends and making excuses why they were late for work! – but that’s life when you want to have the first Nokia 5800 in the country!
10.00: Phew, it’s been a busy morning and it’s still only 10am. We thought we’d sign off with a few thoughts about the whole launch. It was a lot better than we were expecting, this being one of the wettest, coldest winters in the capital for years! People seriously wanted this phone and were willing to catch flu to do so!
Even though this is Nokia’s first touchscreen, we were expecting quite the queue we had out there – there were between 100 and 150 people at least, with the queue going around the corner. It’s also surprising as Nokia doesn’t really have the physical store presence that say Apple does, so you wouldn’t necessarily expect people to know to go there. Incidentally, the massive Apple store opposite was empty, take that iPhone!
The queue was almost exclusively male and while there were quite a few people there admittedly for the festival tickets, there was a definite buzz about the phone, with plenty of people coming a long way.
The first group of people had been there since midnight, and had sleeping bags and everything. Also a surprising amount of press – journos, photographers and TV crews. All in all, looks like a media success, even if they didn’t quite get the 200 customers they were hoping for within the first hour, it bodes well for the rest of the day. Anyway fancy getting to Heathrow for the launch there?
Check out the gallery of images from the event: