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nokia in the nytimes today

I haven’t spoken much about my decision to purchase a Nokia smartphone a year ago… Mostly because it has been an unmitigated disaster.

That may be a bit strong. I do like the phone I purchased, an N85. (said through clenched teeth) It has a really good camera for a phone (5 megapixel). It multitasks for real (all those iPhone ads asking “can your phone do that?”, yes, my phone can do that). There is a wealth of free and open-source software for the phone.

However, it has failed miserably in other areas:

I’ve returned it to Nokia FOUR TIMES for a stupid crack below the directional button. Same exact spot, four times in one year. They finally replaced it for a new N85 (even though I pleaded in a letter to have them swap it for some other comparable model).

Nokia’s whole operating system ecosystem is a mess. They offer literally 3 different ways to check your email on the phone. All of them slightly different, (and from what I’ve found, slightly different on different models of phones).

Their Microsoft Exchange support is ridiculous: You can only have one calendar. It is 2009. I have more than one calendar.

Their newest features only show up on random models of phones. Facebook app? Only on two models. Instant messaging? Some other batch of phones. Etc.

I could go on, but despite all of this, I’m rooting for them to succeed. Competition in the mobile phone market is essential, otherwise we’ll be ruled by the networks, and who wants that?

If I were in charge:

  • Wayyyyyyy less models. Try 8. I think they currently offer 8000.
  • One OS. Maemo looks great, this new Symbian version sounds good, but you also have S60 (3rd and 5th Edition, (what happened to 4th edition? No idea)), S40, and probably others.
  • Give away your services, such as Maps. Have you heard of Google? They offer these things for free.
  • Get a visionary to lead the company. Sounds like your current guy is a bit of a bore. (See “Can Nokia Recapture Its Glory Days“) You do not need boring. You need vision, excitement and focus.

So, if you’re out looking for a smartphone, considering a Nokia… proceed at your own risk… but I wouldn’t bet against them finding their groove again.

My next phone? Undecided.

Categories: Technology.

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