Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Has Nokia Been 'Fired' From The Apprentice?


Business Studies is one of my favourite subjects. It makes sense then that, despite the fact that it's not very representative of business in real life, The Apprentice is one of my favourite shows on television. The latest series has brought about a few differences in how the show works, for example there's no longer a job with Lord Sugar but instead an opportunity to enter a 50/50 joint venture with him. But there's one other subtle change that some of you might have noticed: the sudden absence of Nokia smartphones in candidates' hands.

I can't say that I remember which phones were used in the first series of The Apprentice, but I can definitely tell you that in recent series, candidates have relied on the E61, E66, N95 and N97 to stay in touch with their team members. This all changed in series seven, where candidates are now using Android devices, in this case the Motorola Milestone XT720.

But why the change? Product placement isn't allowed on television unless the 'P' logo is displayed at the beginning and end of a show, and since there's no such logo displayed during The Apprentice, financial gain doesn't seem to be the reason behind the switch to Motorola and Android.

The pun writer in me wants to say that, following the admittance of Nokia's CEO that they were standing on a 'burning platform', Lord Sugar chose to 'fire' them from his show. Unfortunately, this can't be the case, as Series 7 was filmed in Autumn 2010 -- long before Elop's memo was leaked.

Maybe it's because the producers of the show are looking to provide a more realistic representation of the modern, young businessperson in London? Let's face it, Nokia has lost its hold on the UK smartphone market. Perhaps it's just not 'cool' anymore to be seen using a Nokia phone?

I've emailed the BBC to see whether they'll comment on the matter, so if anything comes through I'll be sure to post it here.

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