Nokia's Software Philosophy – FAIL!!!

| March 4, 2010 | 17 Replies

I’d like to just start by saying this is just a bit of a rant from myself, llaadd, about Nokia’s entire approach to software deployment. I’m not talking about the actual UI, how well it does or in some cases does not work, but actually the way Nokia allows networks to bully them into making specific versions of the phone software for every device they make.

This is probably one of the very places in which I think that Nokia should actually take a page out of the book of Apple where they have not allowed the Networks to touch the software which means that when a new software comes out, everyone, all around the world gets the update at the same time, which means that customers are always satisfied that their phone is running with the latest version and don’t get frustrated with waiting for one to be approved by particular networks, etc.

If we were able to see how much it costs Nokia to create custom firmware for each network in each country and for each of the hundreds of phones that they make, it’s probably in the millions of pounds which Nokia could put into so many other things such reducing the bugs in the early releases of software, and more uniform phones, for example if you buy a Nokia handset on T-Mobile or Orange in the UK, firstly you might be unlucky to get the Network logo plastered on the physical phone, and secondly also means sometimes you get phones which have wasted shortcut keys, such as a dedicated button (non-changeable) for using the internet on a S40 phone, which is annoying because most people with these types of lower end phones will never use the internet on the phone and those that do, already have a shortcut for it, which is holding for the 0 (Zero) key.

The other problem with allowing networks to change the software is when they do horrible things to phones such as disable important functions, like when Orange UK decided to disable VOIP on the N95’s a few years ago, which resulting in people who were eager to use features such as this to change the product code and therefore void any warranty they had.

One of the big reason’s I have decided to have this rant now if because I have been sitting here on my N900 which I bought from Nokia direct, just like I did my N97, my X6 and my N96 (well technically I won that hehe),  and now over 2 weeks after a new software was announced, I still have not received the update on my device, which is bugging the hell out of me (to put it politely!!), but 2 weeks is not my real issue, it’s the fact that some updates seem to take Nokia several months to release.

I have actually spoken to many novice users, pro users and probably everything in between because I have worked in a phone shop for the past year and a half and just talking to people about their experience with Nokia devices and other manufacturers has helped me to understand what they get annoyed about and one of the most common thing is that people hear about updates which will fix the bug they have on their phone but do not understand why they can’t have it for months because a bunch of people have not approved it at the network, by which time another update is probably available. This just makes the consumers suffer, have a bad experience and get driven away from Nokia and even though they will have the same problem with another network they will move which is not good for the networks either, so who really wins!

OK, rant over now, I hope I have not put you to sleep, but I had this on my mind and just wanted to share, if you have any opinions of your own please comment below, would love to hear your thoughts.


Category: Nokia

About the Author ()

Blogger, and Moderator for "" by Jay Montano. When I can, I also write help guides and review on my own site: I work full time but in my spare time I also repair phones, and other electronics. Find me on Twitter: @llaadd or Youtube: llaadd