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Being in the United States gives us time for all of the announcements and comments to come out and be discussed before some of us wake up. That’s a good thing, right? Not really. It adds to the confusion given so many people have their questions, thoughts and opinions. Yep, I have mine too…

My first and primary question that I can’t seem to find an answer to is what happens to Symbian? Nokia CEO Stephen Elop states, “Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy…” as part of his address and open letter (view here) announcing the Nokia and Microsoft partnership. I like Symbian^3 and truly like my N8, which leads me to the next question…

How will current and recently released devices be supported? Prior the the release of Windows Phone 7 Microsoft discontinued application and firmware support for their previous Windows Phone operating system. Is Nokia going to do that to Symbian? If you have spent +/- $550 US for a N8 or C7, being left out in the cold with no more f/w updates is a pretty hard to swallow. One could wonder if this is why I haven’t gotten the PR 1.1 update for my N8 yet… I doubt it.

What about the E7? With it just being shipped this week will this hurt sales? It has to! Who wants to buy a “flagship device” whose OS was replaced even before it arrived? I was thinking about it, but not now. Would you buy an E7 now?

What happens to all those applications in Ovi Store? The US may not be affected by it as much as other countries, but a lot of time, money and effort was invested by app developers globally. Will WP7 run those apps so the developers don’t need to redevelop them?

And why do so many Nokia “fans” want to abandon the company now that they are partnering with Microsoft? It’s not like Google or Apple are any better than Microsoft as companies. All three are greedy and narcissistic, are they not?  A true fan supports their team in both the good times and the bad. Los Angeles fans are terrible….they jump on the band wagon when their teams are winning and run for the hills as soon as the losing starts. New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packer fans….those are real fans. Support your team through thick and thin and you’ll have a blast as they rise to the top!

Change isn’t bad is it? Of course not, especially when it’s needed. Nokia did need to change, we all know that. Those  “fans” that want to abandon Nokia now were also screaming the loudest that Nokia needed to change. Symbian wasn’t working so spending more money on a losing OS doesn’t make sense.  Who knows, maybe they’re running because the change wasn’t the one they wanted. I bet they haven’t even used a WP7 device either.

What do I plan to do? Accept change. Embrace change. It’s only with change we become stronger. Nokia hasn’t changed in many years and they’re going through the pain from keeping an aging quarterback named Symbian. They just scored the sleeper draft pick called Windows Phone 7. No one thought Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees would be able to win “the big game” and look at what happened when their teams made change and the fans supported them…

Nokia+Microsoft. Where are we going? To the Smartphone Superbowl!

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UPDATE Sept. 23, 2010: Today a refreshing change was seen that will hopefully be the beginning of the end of the “lack of attention” I mentioned below. Nokia and AT&T announced an Innovators contest. Great news! Now maybe subsidized N8s or E7s will be announced for 2011.



I originally wrote the “article” below as a response to Matt Miller’s ZDNet article and thought it makes a good article in itself. It’s here for you  all to see and I’m curious to hear your responses:

It’s not just subsidized pricing. Many, many people pay the higher price for unlocked phones. Nokia is not an unknown in the US market place, but unfortunately they are known for not making phones the consumer wants. When they do it is too little too late. The country wants flip phones and they insist we want candy bar phones. When they finally realize they were wrong they give us flip phones and yet now we want PDA’s (pre-smartphone term). They give us the E61, E61i and E71 but now we want touch phones….

Additional examples include:

Touch screen – Apple beat everyone here and Nokia’s answer was the N97. It was a fiasco for Nokia and the fact that no US carrier provided it did not help. The 5800 (Tube) caused a lot of stir because of Batman, Dark Knight, yet it took Nokia forever to release it, much less admit its existence. Had they gotten it to market quickly maybe things would be different today.

Ovi Store – Really? I mean, really? I had the N900, N97, 5800 and E71, with the N900 and E71 being the best of them. But I never got any apps, other than Angry Birds & Sportstracker, from Ovi Store. Why? I had to search for apps from blog sites because there were very few of the apps for the US market, or they arent ones we even want. Restaurant info in China or movie times in Finland won’t do me any good in the US. Where are the US developers? They’re making apps for Apple and Android (I recently got a Samsung & the Android market has more relevant apps to the US than I can handle, or will ever need). Where’s the Blockbuster app, or Fandango, banking with Wells Fargo or BoA? Again, they’re on the Apple Store or Android Market.

Marketing – How often do we see Nokia ads on TV? Very, very seldom. There was one for AT&T and the E71…it ran for about a week. There are Nokia Centers in LA and a couple of other cities, but do they sell phones there? Um, no. Doh

Availability of devices – Can I get a device at a major retailer? Not really (Best Buy is a hit or miss). I have to go to eBay or nokiausa.com to get a device….but I have to wait 6+ months for it after it’s been announced. Oh and then if I pre-order it will probably be delayed.

I really do like Nokia, and have for years. However, they seem to be more interested in investing in emerging markets like China and India. We can’t blame them for that as they have a business to run. Their position in the US is one they created….they have ignored the US consumer for far too long so the US consumer now ignores them. We go to concerts in their venues, but we take pictures and share social media from those venues with our Apples and Samsung devices. Lack of subsidized phones has not hurt them with the US consumer; it’s “lip service” and the lack of attention…

Since Nokia released their latest firmware (21.2.045) for the N97 I went from loving my phone to wanting to throw it against the wall. Luckily I loved it enough to spend the time trying to get it back to the phone I knew before the update. After 4 hard resets and a mass storage defrag I was still having issues.  In short, the phone was restarting itself 2 or 3 times a day and when it stayed on I would get memory full errors when trying to use the built-in web browser, Nimbuzz or Nokia Communities. I also could no longer use the FOTA feature as selecting the icon just resulted in the screen blinking and returning to the Applications menu without searching for updates.

What rekindled my love for the N97? The thanks go to Ricky Cadden at Symbian-Guru.com and his response to a comment I made on his article, “Anssi Vanjoki On The Nokia N97 Debacle“.  Ricky pointed out that since I had not formatted the mass storage drive I would run into many problems. As all my Nokia Music is on my mass storage drive I was reluctant to do the formatting. However, the problems continued and out of frustration and hope I bit the bullet and did a 5th reset and formatted the mass storage drive.

Problem solved! Well at least until I started adding some apps back on the phone. Luckily I tracked each app as I installed it and to test the phone I would use the browser and Nimbuzz, after reinstalling it, and FOTA all at the same time. Everything worked for a day until I loaded the last two applications….Nokia Sports Tracker and Handy Taskman. The phone started repeating the problems and I since I tracked the installs I did not return to a state of frustration.

I removed both apps and the phone has been perfect for the past two days and I can’t do anything to make the breaks reappear. To demonstrate this, and for the purpose of this article, I had Ovi Maps, Nimbuzz, and ScreenSnap all running at the same time with Communities and AccuWeather active on my homescreen. I was also able to use FOTA with no issues!

At this point I have no plans of installing Taskman until I contact the makers to let them know of the issues. I beleive the application has not been changed since the N97 was released in June 2009 and there may be a conflict between Taskman and v21.2.045. As for Nokia Sports Tracker, I will give it one more shot as it is one of my favorite Nokia apps of all time. I haven’t installed my music again and I’m saving that for after the reinstall of Sports Tracker and ensuring a couple of days of stability….both for the phone and me.

Thanks for your suggestions Ricky. Thanks to you I am in love with my N97 again!