CEO confessionals are all the rage now, but Nokia's No.2 executive has apologised for Finland's 2006 winning entry in the Eurovision Song Contest ("Hard Rock Hallelujah" by Lordi), the lack of jokes in Aki Kaurismäki's dramas, and the Nokia N97 phone. Actually, no - we made the first two up. But Anssi Vanjoki said the £500 …
well at least they acknowledge it
It's been very obvious to the rest of us, me in particular since my N95.
I was slightly worried HTC were going in the same direction when their original Hero build was really slow... ofcourse, once the reviews were written they did an update and it ended up being a half decent phone! :)
"promised it won't happen again"
One has to wonder how they might improve SW quality like that all of a sudden. The only explanation I can think of is that someone in Bangalore or some such place has promised to do this for them (and what is more, they have believed it ;-)
It is refreshing to see someone to own up to fail instead of the usual spin, though.
I was looking to replace a lost (and much missed) N95. Considered the N97 but ended up going with the HTC Hero in the end. The Hero has its issues, but it is light-years ahead of the latest Nokia offerings.
Nice to see
They need to sack the morons that design these things. They need to stop rushing things out and actually think what end users want. If you provide a keyboard, make it usable, the N900 headphone jack is on the side, you can't hold it and type while listening to music.
Both keyboards are too small but at least the N900 had full stop and comme, the N97 didn't even have them. Think I am joking?
People want to communicate in SMS and that is lacking thought processes, like notification on the desktop, didn't hear it, check your messages by going into two menus first. Support for basic phone functions is left missing from the internet tablet, because they go for headline grabbing facebook support. But then don't hink that it drinks battery because the internet is on, always on and will not go off unless you tell it. I can't stand facebook but the internet left on over night means you wake up to a dead phone.
They need to hire people with real life experience, typing and calling in real time situations. using the phone in traffic is impossible as the phone is such a low volume all the time. Maybe because they all live in a low population snowy place it is just really quiet, but pick London or anywhere that has cars and people and you can forget making calls.
The N95 was good but the two year old HTC tytn2 was better than the N900 and that is leaps ahead of the N97. So what is next?
They have lost direction and are floundering, not only is Maemo under supported, they now look like getting rid of it in favour otheir IBM merged thing.
Their No1 should be apologising as well.
@Nice to see
Erm, as bad as the N97 was it definitely does have a key for full stop and comma, where on earth did you get that idea from? Have you actually seen one or are you just repeating a comment from some clueless idiot?
"Both keyboards are too small but at least the N900 had full stop and comme, the N97 didn't even have them. Think I am joking?"
Yes, I do. My N97 has a full stop and a comma on the key between the "L" and the return.
I can see how you would miss it, though, because it looks like a miss-printed semi-colon.
I agree with you that after the N95 it's a major disappointment for a phone that's around two years newer, it feels more like something from the same generation.
bought my last nokia, probably
..after having bought them for years, as they had a faintly consistent interface. The terrible service, buggy PC software, horrid phones, and killing two platforms in as many months have shaken me. Think I will be taking the Jobsian pill next time.
The Jobsian Pill is not a pill. It's a suppository.
Why apologise ... ?
.. I actually found Lordi one of the most entertaining Eurovision winners of the last decade, along with Ruslana ... !
What about the N95 8GB?
An apology for the crap quality of the N95 8GB would ne nice too. My first one was replaced at three months after three separate attempts to fix a lockup issue.
The second one was returned after less than a year (thank heavens for 2-year warranties) to fix the increasingly common problem where a failed secondary battery makes it forget the time when powered off. When I got it back the "9" key either doesn't work, or bounces and the power connector is loose. I also discovered that "PC Sync" backup only saves some of the data, I lost all my access points info and all data configurations.
It's going back next week, again. If it comes back as bad it's going to one of those third-world recycle programs. They can use it as a paperweight or something.
It was the first, and is probably the last, Nokia I owned.
N97 data loss
Mine's lost my emails and SMS twice now. "Why didn't you have a backup?", I hear you cry. Because the first time it happened it was the backup procedure that caused the problem.
And no, this isn't the "messaging settings reset to default" problem. This is a different, "can't find my fucking data anywhere even using 3rd party tools" problem.
Thew backup via PC suit on my 6700c bombs out at the very end every time too (one different machines, OS installs, whatever else I try).
No response from Nokia other than ignorebots promising a response within 48 hours (which obviously never comes). Shoddy pile of crap product/company.
Is paying more than a fiver for a phone in the first place. I get mine off eBay, complete with pay as you go SIMs registered to someone else, for a fiver or less. They make and receive phone calls just fine, and don't have any of that other junk you are all complaining about.
Mind you, I did break down and buy a one month contract phone once, but only because the 60 quid cashback was twice the 30 quid cost for the month (the phone was free). It has a useless camera but no useless qwerty keyboard or useless wifi internet, so not too much to complain about. It's a phone, right? For when you are in the car or something. If I want to use the internet or take pictures I have purpose built tech for that.
If you don't know about cashback (not just on phones) try this completely free site:
I have already got back more than 300 quid on stuff I have to buy anyway, like car insurance.
In the UK the N97 was available of many tariffs for £0 from day one.
Er.... You didn't understand that It was a one month contract that cost total 30 quid, and that I got double that back (as well as the free phone)? I am of course aware that many contracts come with a free phone, but those contracts are for 12 to 24 months, and you end up paying them, not them paying you.
From a mobile test engineer of old...
I worked at a place which attempted to create a Series 60 clamshell phone (not at nokia BTW) and this was my first exposure to the platform. This was way way back. I was tasked with testing java support a bit, and also looking at how to automate some performance tests.
I was taken aback by how clunky and awful the series 60 user interface was, even then: I was using a P910i at the time, I think, and UIQ seemed light years ahead (although it was still shit compared to modern UIs).
I've used a couple of series 60 phones since, and the basic usability problems still seemed to be there. Factor in the management pressure to "get something out there", and it was inevitable that eventually the whole platform would come crashing down around their ears. Colleagues I used to work with who did work at Nokia on Series 60 told me what kind of awful mess the code was.
It is a pity though: their hardware, although occasionally utterly clueless in keyboard design, is usually of extremely high quality. It's just the OS chugging away vainly which lets the whole shebang down.
The admission can only mean that Nokia realised they'd only hack people off even more if they (a) carried on as usual and (b) kept using the platform.
Am I the only one who thinks it's not a coincidence that Nokia only recently FINALLY kept their promise about open-sourcing the whole lot, only 2 years late? Was it embarassment about their spaghettti code hell? Hence the apology now?
Hmmm. Bad noys, Nokia. Hope you can pull out of what looks like a death spiral.
Good plan on the Jobsian cult joining BTW. The thing seems to at least hold together, and the closed platform just might keep it out of the reach of malware. For a bit.
Still life in S60
3rd edition E series are still good phones if you're not after a touch/fart-apps and mainly want something that is a robust and stylish phone / organiser / emailer first and an Internet device second (and at a reasonable price).
Otherwise for Touch it's Apple, Android or Maemo for the time being until Symbian^4 is rolled out. Being no Apple fan, I'm not taken by the Android and S60 touch experiences and the N900 is an expensive pocket computer and I've already got a netbook so don't really see why I'd need one (though it is a geek gadget).
Qt is the key for Nokia I feel and you don't have to wait as Qt works nicely even on a 3rd edition FP1/FP2 phone. Just there needs to be a good way to deliver Qt apps, and an easy way for kids to make fart apps in their thousands ;)
Love or loath Apple, they've got a good system for churning out apps. So long as you obey the Apple Commandments that is. Then again, targeting essentially 5 devices that have little variation is a lot easier than a wide variety of hundreds of devices ;)
my last nokia too.
apologising is all well and good but it doesn't change the fact that i have to live with this POS for 18 months.
Software updates may help but:
1) Like most people in the world i can't get the latest software because i have a branded phone and nokia's policy on branding firmware is out the arc.
2) software updates aren't going to fix the hardware faults like the fact the camera shutter scratches the lens, the flash washes out the picture, there's not enough memory, the gps doesn't work. etc.
The only way i'm buying another one - ever - is if they make reparations for this one. the market isn't exactly short on smart phones at the moment.
How do you numpties feel who were crapping on about this AMAZING "iPhone-killer"?
Never was the iPhone killer
Everyone knew it wasn't the iPhone killer from the start and Nokia never claimed it to be.
N900 on the other hand... ;)
Apple is the new Nokia
Nokia is the new N.E.C.
I just wonder
if that number 2, should perhaps consider, if perhaps, he has anything else to deliver than this "sorry".
I sometimes think the Nokia organisation innovation "pipe" that should flow equally well from top to bottom like from bottom to the top is not broken much like within, for instance, Microsoft.
So is this number two an obstacle for the innovation traffic, perhaps, or not.
Joke's on you
How dare you comment negatively about the great Aki Kaurismäki! Just because you don't understand the jokes doesn't mean there aren't any.
Try living in Finland for a few years and you'll be rolling on the floor laughing when you see a 10 minute comic scene done without a single spoken word except the occasional grunt.
(IT angle? because my comment has nothing to do with IT. I gave up on Nokia years ago. All of the engineers complained about quality, so the managers implemented a Quality Improvement Process. After a 'successful' project, the managers claimed massive improvements and got their big bonuses, but all the engineers knew that the quality was just as bad as before. You never get results where you want, only where you measure.)
I think virtually all smartphones are pants..
They seem buggy and full of usability issues..neither any good as PDAs or phones in most cases.
However, having broken my HP Ipaq614c recently (it too was rubbish) I bought an end-of-line Palm Treo Pro running WinMo 6.1...and to my great surprise it's been brilliant. No crashes, totally reliable, fast and usable (unlike the Ipaq which was just crap in all respects).
Palm's implementation of WinMo 6.1 is a good user experience IMO.
I hate WinMo of course, but I have no choice but to use it for reasons of compatibility.
Nokia is going to hell
My first Nokia - I had Siemens phones before that, and they were just lovely - was a 6280, with S40. Which was nice, because it was fast.
So, I bought my second Nokia, which was a forgettable S60 handset. Rubbish, absolutely rubbish. Sure, I could install anything on it, but that didn't make it any less rubbish for making calls and texting. And then, because I'm a gadget obsessed moron, I bought the N78, because it had GPS and was cheap. Oh dear lord. They managed to make it even worse. Sure, it was a bloody multimedia computer, but I just wanted a phone with GPS. Which it wasn't. Vodafone customization wasn't helping any, either.
I then bought an iPhone. While I miss a physical keyboard for blind texting, it does everything else superbly. My (recently ex) GF has a Sony Ericsson slider, and if I needed a second phone, I'd buy one of those, their UI seems to be pretty good. But all in all, nothing beats my iPhone for user experience.
Nokia gained their market share with great products. They are losing it with stupid management who believed the Web 2.0 hype.
Only an apology?
Crying publicly is the fashion nowadays.
@AC: "sack the designers"? sack you lot, more like (and the suits)
if Nokia's departments, and projects, were run by people who are "UX-savvy" - who understand user experience, who understand that the sole output is the "user experience", like Apple understand that - then Nokia would be just as good.
Sadly, despite the fact that almost any one of the "user experience designers" who work at Nokia could design and deliver you a brilliant phone, "UX" is just "a bag on the side", while senior techies, senior marketing people and senior project managers decide what actually happens on the project, and thus what finally comes out.
> They need to sack the morons that design these things.
which is a typical techie response, and just shows your cluenessness as to the reasons why large organisations fail to deliver. Do you really think they have truckloads of clueless designers saying "er, put the jack on the side, er, don't have a full stop on the keyboard, er, leave internet on overnight and the battery's dead"? Duh-huh?! Nonsense:
- the jack ends up on the side because some engineering students squeezed it in there. And no-one above them thought it was a dealbreaker (cos no-one above is UX-savvy).
- the full stop isn't where it should be because some project manager said "we haven't got time for another review of the proposed layout (ps my bonus depends on the date)". And no-one above them thought it was a dealbreaker (cos no-one above is UX-savvy).
- the whole "overnight internet means dead battery" happens because some bearded friendless software muppet thinks "well there's a setting you can set if you want to change the behaviour". And no-one above them thought it was a dealbreaker (cos no-one above is UX-savvy).
Until such time as you put the UX-savvy people in charge (like they are at Apple, from the board down), you will get crap products like this.
Just don't blame the "designers". You techies could design a half-decent device, for crying out loud, and us designers, well, we can design these things in our sleep. but we're a bag on the side: we do our stuff, and then you techies, and managers, and marketers, and project managers, you take over, and your destroy the project with your UX-ignorant control, and your deadlines, and your bonuses.
UX-savvy people need to be in charge, and you'll get fabulous user experiences. You want us as a bag on the side, you reap what you sow.
Well I've had my n97 for nearly six months now, and never had any problems with it, neither has the missus.
@AC: And of course it has a comma and fullstop. Look next to the return key!
How about he apologises to those that bought them?
Actually, it's not really that bad since the firmware updates (which for some reason us in the UK seem to have to wait over a month extra for), however it could have been so much better. It has the hardware underneath, I just get the impression all their good developers ran off to work on the N900 instead.
However it is funny to see how everyone now says how good the N95 was... I have one of them too, and I remember all the bitching and moaning about everything from battery life to user interface on that when it came it. It was slated... A few firmware revisions later and listen to you all!
I always liked my '95 :-)
N96, when will they apologise?
What about the piece of ... N96, which resets when you're using the GPS (in the worst possible situations), which has been through at least 3 major software revisions (1.xx.yy, 2.xx.yy, 3.xx.yy) and is still buggy and slow? Which isn't supported for most Nokia software?
It would be my last nokia if it weren't for the nice reviews of the N300, and the fact that Nokias usually have the best cameras in smartphones. But it is very close to being thrown in the trash.
Sorry? I miss my 600 euros!
"Oh, sorry, our 600 euros flagship is a flagSHIT". Nice, and now? I may be stupid, but I bought a shitty N97 (with hardware problems, software problems, and all the pre-loaded crapware that cannot be removed and eats up all the memory) and after that, instead of asking for a full refund, I bought an N900. I could not resist, I wanted to have a Linux phone.
Well, the N900 is basically a far better tablet (software is decent, it does not crash unless you try to connect the charger while the phone is booting, and I like to have a proper Linux on it) but has its share of shortcomings in the phone part (no MMS, no voice dial, the phone interface is not exactly ergonomic, when the phone rings and I fish it off the pocket 50% of the times I hit an on screen button and refuse the incoming call, at least in the N97 you had to "slide" to answer or refuse the call).
Also, the Italian localization has a terrible keybaord layout (up and down arrow are made of "function" + left and right arrow, and the "&" character is COMPLETELY missing from the hardware keyboard and from the "symbols" on-screen selection (blue arrow + control), where I can find the extremely useful "o/oo" (that I don't even know how is called in English, is like "percent" but for a thousand instead of one hunderd) and the upside-down question mark (Hei, Nokia, this is ITALY, not SPAIN)
And now what? People who bought the N97 have a 600-euros worth piece of shit, basically. Maybe the N97 mini is better, I don't know.
And people who bought the N900 will end up with another dead-end, abandoned half-baked phone, when Nokia will ship the new (and better working) Linux-based model?
I need a smartphone with linux, a keyboard, and NO Big-brotherish Apple lockdown. What do I buy?
It aint so bad
I have a Nokia N97 32GB after a long line of Sony/Ericsson, HTC and other phones and is my first Nokia for quite some time, so i was a bit dissapointed when it didn't work as expected.
Many people complained about the widgets not working, the favorite being AccuWeather, however it did work for me from the beginning, it just needed some extra tweaking for the Vodafone network.
On firmware 11 the N97 was buggy, mine is now on firmware 20 and although still not perfect it is a lot more stable and everything works now, it even pairs it the bluetooth in my car which on ver 11 it refused to do.
Yes it's not perfect, but what phone is?
The network cause half the problem...
For some reason in the UK there is no such thing as a generic, network free N97, the best you get is the UK CV (country variant). When Nokia release firmware for the world+dog's generic N97 we can't use it (or see it as available).
Eventually someone does something after a month or two and the N97 CV phones can get it. The Vodafone/Orange etc phones still can't.
I got so fed up of waiting for bugs to be fixed, which I could see were resolved in a firmware version I was not permitted to access, I changed the model code of the phone to generic Euro.
I did the same with the old N95, IIRC if that was still set as an Orange phone I would be still using V11 firmware. As it is I have V35, came out last month.
Now I get updates when Nokia releases them, not when some faceless and nameless entity decides UK users can use them. Oh but we need to approve them say Vodafone/Orange et al... Yeah right, I see plane loads of foreign Nokia users getting off flights from Euroland and finding their phones suddenly not working on your network don't I. I think Nokia knows a thing or two about making a mobile phone. They own the patents for enough of the specs your network depends on!
Sometimes it's about control. Orange didn't want the N95 to be able to route VOIP via wifi when it came out... So it was knobbled. Change the model number to generic, install the latest firmware, install fring/nimbuzz/skype, take your pick, and enjoy free wifi VOIP.
Annoyingly talk of changing the model code is forbidden on the Nokia discussion forums, yet the delays in some countries getting the firmware means many are enduring bugs which have been fixed months ago! The result is a shed load of bad press.
They really should kick whoever delays the firmware releases up the behind with steel toecapped boots.
Don't you dis Lordi!
They blew the other Eurovision acts out of the stadium!
A well deserved win.
Ok, it's official, "screw Nokia"
Having been SMS spammed by Nokia this morning, it took me about an hour to get into "my Nokia" (after googling to find out that this was where you stopped the spam). It was mostly the web server spitting out blank pages or error messages- and then later just horrible braindead navigation.
Once there, I had to put in bollocks details to stop the spam, as it wouldn't let me untick all methods by which they could "stay in touch"..
Way to go Nokia, I only registered to try and get support with my buggy phone- and never got a reply from support, instead the only communications that I get from you are spam. Your products are becoming crappy, your support is non-existent, and you're a bunch of spamtards.
If you're working on your "relationship" with customers, it's a pretty dysfunctional one.
Although I've had a couple of other normal series 40 and series 60 smartphone Nokias in my time, the N95 8GB topped the lot easily. I'm still fond of using a Nokia 6100 as they are tiny and dirty cheap these days, and my K800i finally fell apart after being dropped numerous times.
Nokia seem to disappoint when it comes to smartphones, but if you have a look at some mobile recycling websites sending your N95 8GB in pays MORE than the N96, N85, and the newer smartphones. I found mine to be very robust, and did everything I could personally wish a smartphone to do, but at the end of the day as someone in IT I spend a lot of time on a laptop or computer anyway, so feel it's better to avoid another excuse to check emails by having a 'dumb' phone, although most dumb phones now have built in email support, which is to be applauded. Ok, it has a typical T9 keyboard, but if you're writing the odd short email, T9 is pretty quick to use I would say compared to a full qwerty hard-key such as that on the E71, which gave me sore wrists very quickly.
So, my advise is: if you're into a bit of podcasting, music listening, bit of web browsing, iplayer, and want reasonable battery life, the N95 8GB is the one to go for. They still fetch £120-£140 or so on ebay, and have done so since over a year and a half ago, which suggests the demand is still high.
Get the latest 35.0.001 on it and it's as stable as it realistically could be, and definitely better than the previous N95 it replaced. No build quality issues in my experience, whereas the N85 clearly has massive build quality issues.
Cheaper/better to get the N95-1, original silver one, it has a MicroSD slot, so chuck your storage in there. I've tried mine with an 8gig card and it works fine, which basically makes turns it into the later model but with removable storage.
The camera lens also has a proper cover on the original, not all exposed and dust/scratch attracting like it is on the later 8gig. The same firmware is available, V35 as for the 8gig model.
As an N97 owner...
..I have had an 'interesting' experience so far, I had to hard reset it a few times in the first couple of weeks and I had real problems downloading maps which was cured by persistance and not trying to download all of france in one go.
The charging through the USB port is also foible ridden. Sometimes the charger is recognised and sometimes it isn't.
So the apology is nice but I'd have preferred a phone that just works...
The N97's little brother, the 5800 Xpressmusic is just as bad, if not worse.
N95 - conventional?
"the N95, a solid conventional slider phone"
The N95 was a smartphone with an odd two-way slider, a huge screen, an accelerometer and a 5MP camera (from the pre-iPhone era, before such thing were common). I'm not saying it was the greatest phone ever (I never owned one anyway), but it's a bit puzzling to hear it called a "conventional slider phone".
What Nokia OReally need is a Doctor !
Strange no one mentioned,that every company makes 1000 s of Pre release handsets and give them to their employees.....who are bound by the company laws and $hit .... so if this kind of $hit is constantly used by 1000 s of Finns and Indians...
why are they paying them bonuses and $hit......
Finland ( No FuN LaNd )
Where can I get a phone? Not a multimedia computer, a camera or any other damn thing just a phone that works and keeps on working and doesn't mind a bit of cutting oil, steel chips, oily rags. You know the normal sorts of things that live in pockets with phones. All these modern phones get scratched to bits in a couple of days, bloodly useless.
Trying to find firmware updates for my buggy-as-hell Nokia, I googled for "Nokia Software Updater", as I remember hearing that there was a new version out fairly recently. Fair enough, google found me:
Of course, I can't download it from there without registering (and am sick of Nokia spam), so I follow the links, since this app has "graduated" out of beta labs....
Lovely. Tried clicking the "update firmware" link, too:
Wow, fsck Nokia, right in the ear. Did I miss the meeting where they became unable to do anything right?
Nokia should fire their worst programmers. Their worst programmers by far are Nokia Beta Labs.
Came up top hit in Google for me. Go here and follow the instructions:
Or you can download either PC Suite or the newer Ovi Suite. Both contain support for updating phone firmware. You shouldn't be going anywhere near the beta labs for NSU where any bugs could brick your phone. It's been long available fully released on Windows, except for Win7 but that version is now released.
You can also sometimes update on the phone, and you can also now on some models update individual applications via the Software Update feature on phone or via Ovi Suite.
However there may not be any firmware updates available for your specific model variant (and there are hundreds of variants potentially for each model. All depends where you got it, what version, what operator if any, etc).
And if you haven't got Windows... well you likely have an iPhone and pray to the Church of Jobs anyway ;)
ok, so it gets worse
No links on the Nokia site work (been like that a lot of the day(, and the front page is totally blank.
There's a bit of me that just hopes they have vanished up their own fundament, but they probably just made a lousy job of launching an even more piss-poor website.
Am I the only relatively happy N97 owner
I bought my N97 when v11 firmware was out and soon afterwards v12 came out. Whilst it was pretty flaky under v11 by the time v12 came out it was reasonably usable and a lot more stable now with v20 (and v21 out for non-branded phones) its pretty good and stable. The widgets are a lot better (Accuweather actually works). The camera doesn't crash the phone randomly (the main selling point for me a smartphone with a decent built in camera, lens and flash) and its nice to have all the features certain more popular phones lack.
|I have never had any problems charging, my GPS works (plus free maps) and my lens hasn't scratched basically it now does what I bought it for. The reduced feature set of the mini would have resulted in me buying something else if I was looking for a phone when it was released.
The main issue with the N97 was originally shipping it with pre-release quality firmware v20 should have been v10 but they have now missed the boat.
the good ol' N95
You're kidding right?
What a steaming POS that phone was, I had two, but gave up in the end, settling for a SE k800i instead, was a dull phone but at least in worked.
The N95 was a Jack of all trades Master of none... and I do mean none. Every single function on it was under-par, to give but one example, it had a 5mp camera on it, but compressed the pictures down to about 200kb, leaving you with a jaggy colour saturated mess (my replaces k800i was much a much better shooter).
After that debacle I'll never be buying another Nokia.
Settings? Early firmware maybe??
I've just looked through through my old pics taken with my N95, most around 1.5mb, and colour saturation not looking bad at all. Maybe you were working with the buggy early firmwares, which is pretty much what everybody else is complaining about with Nokia's.
I've just compared my mates k800i pics and my N95 images from a bike ride, and there's nothing between them - they arn't the same as having a real camera, but for phones, they still beat the crap out of alot of phones out now a few years on.
I'm still using UIQ
And waiting for a decent OPEN phone to show up.
Open as in apps, etc. I'm not holding my breath.
Meantime my Motorola A1000 is 6 years old, onto its 4th battery, looking well beaten and world-worn BUT IT STILL GOES!