RANT: 5 Reasons MSNBC tech writer is clueless about Nokia. Refutation to 5 Reasons Nokia's N8 Won't Beat the iPhone 4

| September 26, 2010 | 149 Replies

IMAGE i think by tnkgrl

I was in the middle of my PBL Case research of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia when I saw this post on MSNBC

5 Reasons Nokia’s N8 Won’t Beat the iPhone 4

It’s not meant to. The Nokia N8 is just a starting foot in the door. Look at the darn price, dammit! And beating in what way exactly? The N8 is a mid-High range phone at a really great price point. When Nokia produce a high end, you’ll know about it. It’s called N8+1. or N9. And it runs MeeGo.

1. Weak processor. Nokia claims the N8 has a “lightning-fast processor” and is capable of rendering graphics and playing videos and games “smoother and faster” than previous Nokia smartphones.

Technically, Nokia is right, because its last smartphone, the N97, ran on a 434MHz processor, while the N8 runs at 680MHz. However, to call the N8’s processor “lightning-fast” is a misnomer. The iPhone 4, HTC’s Evo 4G, Motorola’s Droid 2, and Samsung’s Galaxy S all run on a more powerful 1GHz processor. Comparing the N8 processor to these models is like comparing an Oldsmobile to a Lamborghini.

How many times must we repeat it that it’s NOT just about the processor? The N8 has a class leading broadcom GPU which takes a load OFF the processor.

This is about as ignorant and STUPID as comparing MEGAPIXELS on a camera. A shitty £50 14mp camera is nothing compared to maybe your old 5MP DSLR.

I can’t deny that iPhone 4 is nippy. But the reasoning behind this point is utterly clueless.

In Benchmark tests does the N8 GPU not beat iPad? Pushing More triangles than iPad?

How come you can point out that this is faster than previous smartphones only works because previous Nokia smartphones was low but still marvel at the “New” and “Magical” features that are positively ancient to every other smartphone except the beloved iPhone?

2. Low memory. For a top-end smartphone, the N8 has a low memory capacity. The device has only 256MB of SDRAM, while its high-end rivals boast twice as much. If you run too many applications at once, the N8 will quickly succumb to the pressure.

Yes. Because they have obviously USED the N8 and seen it choke whilst doing REAL multitasking. Again with the numbers.

The N900 has 256MB RAM. To compare iPhone 4 multitasking with N900 would be utterly blasphemous. Like N900, N8 also uses virtual RAM (though to what extent I’m not sure of) But what is sure is that again, it’s not all about numbers. Symbian, like Maemo was designed with multitasking in mind. Not as an afterthought.

3. Symbian OS. Although Symbian OS is N8’s strength, it is also its biggest weakness.

According to Gartner, even though Symbian OS will have controlled 40.1% of the smartphone market in 2010, it will witness a sharp drop to 30.2% by 2014. The only OS expected to gain ground over the period is Google‘s Android platform, whose market share will surge from 17.7% in 2010 to 29.6% in 2014. But even Research In Motion, Apple, and Microsoft are expected to lose less OS share than Nokia will.

According to CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood, Nokia’s new smartphones were “critical” in the fight to grab market share, but the Symbian software, despite refinements aimed at making it easier for developers to write apps for the phones, was “not positioned to challenge the iPhone.”

“Nobody doubts Nokia’s credentials. It has the market share but has lost the mindshare,” Wood said. “Nokia, along with all the other mobile manufacturers, has been wrongfooted by Apple and Google, and it will be a tough road to recovery.”

There’s nothing to set Symbian apart from its competition, and that’s contributing to its sharp decline. Symbian devices are also unable to update beyond the core system software with which they shipped. Updates are an essential part of how smartphones work — not only to offer bug fixes, but also to introduce new features and develop brand equity and loyal users. Android, BlackBerry OS, and Apple’s iOS all offer upgrade paths beyond core system updates. For instance, users of the two-year-old 3G iPhone can upgrade their device from iOS 2.0 to iOS 4.1. Likewise, anyone who got a Motorola Droid last year can switch from Android 2.0 to Android 2.2. But Nokia has historically not supported a commercial upgrade path for older Symbian-based devices.

Since the N95, Nokia has not made a significant change to Symbian. S^1 was simply S60 3rd slapped on Touch. The previous handsets were pretty dud. Now Nokia has S^3 which is partnered with better hardware. C6-01, C7 and E7 all have the same CPU+GPU as the N8. And they’re all priced way cheaper than iPhone 4.

Nokia has managed to maintain and grow smartphone market share without releasing S^3.  What more with these new devices and a slew of S^4, S^5, S^6 not to mention MeeGo for US penetration? With Qt, the app ecosystem will grow to cover cross platform compatibility, negating fragmentation.

Symbian has offered new features in firmware upgrades – admittedly not as big as a whole OS upgrade. As for 2 year old iPhone 3G wanting iOS 4.0 Have you seen how they lock up? Have you seen the complaints of users wanting to roll back because that hardware is not meant for that hungry OS? Sure it’s nice to have the option. It would be great for Nokia to allow S^3 handsets to have S^4 and beyond. Perhaps, Nokia, give them a stark warning that they’re phone running well on S^3 will brick upon S^4 and leave it at their decision.

Plus, a lot of these “NEW” features and upgrade paths, they come as standard on Nokia Symbian phones. You know, like a whole upgrade for WALLPAPER, MULTITASKING, FOLDERS, VIDEO CALLING. I think I hear 2005 calling.

Symbian as an OS is great. The UI has not been so. But both are improving, the latter significantly, and more so with S^4 and the major change in UI and overall UX.

4. Internal battery. Like the iPhone, the N8’s battery is sealed inside the unit. Nokia has recommended that N8 users not try replacing the battery. “It can easily be replaced at a Nokia service center,” the company said in a blog post.

So, how is this a reason against the N8 for not being able to beat the iPhone when they have an identical feature of a non easily removable battery? Could they not think of a valid reason not even to back up this statement? And in bold, “INTERNAL BATTERY” as opposed to what? Every phone has an internal battery. Or is iPhone 4 actually powered by your jobsian lust for magical revolutionary overly expensive chunks of plastic and metal?

This non-removable battery has not apparently affected those iPhone 2G, 3G, 3Gs and 4 customers. But of course, now it’s in a Nokia that’s completely bad. Never mind that iPhone 4 still has non removable battery. I still don’t understand how this is supposed to be a reason for the iPhone against the N8.

5. Price. The N8 will cost $549 in the United States. Meanwhile, you can get a 32GB iPhone 4 for $299 by signing a two-year contract with AT&T. Other top-end smartphones — including the BlackBerry Torch 9800, Droid 2, Evo 4G, and Samsung Galaxy S — are available at subsidized prices between $149 and $249 when you sign with a provider.

Not surprisingly, some observers believe that Nokia’s insistence on selling its devices unsubsidized and without operator input represents an arrogance on the company’s part that has become its pitfall.

Are you shitting me? Price is a reason AGAINST the Nokia N8? This is the most value for money phone to date. Do you think Nokia WANT to sell their phones only through unlocked, unsubsidized channels? And do you also think that the N8 is going to be sold ONLY in the US where of course, perhaps in the world meant for this article is the only thing that exists in this universe. The N8 will be sold through ALL UK carriers, Vodafone alone has over 33 contract plans, with the FREE Nokia N8 for 25GBP. That’s FREE. You know, you pay nothing. Free seems to be 299 dollars cheaper.

It is rumoured that N8 maybe coming to AT&t though perhaps that is instead the C6-01.  Who knows if the other S^3 devices will be met by other NAM carriers. They are PENTABAND handsets.

The N8 is no iPhone killer. It may also have a hard time competing with other leading smartphones. But analysts suggest that the N8 represents a good start from a company that’s always struggled in the high-margin smartphone segment and could herald the start of a good fight toward smartphone leadership.

REPEAT. It was never meant to be. But we needed a provocative title, right? Tick, good job there.

A company that’s always struggled in the high-margin smartphone segment? ALWAYS? Oh, you mean since the days when smartphones began, as in when iPhone began? Discounting pretty much the smartphones before then and the stranglehold Nokia had on smartphones (and let’s not forget, they aren’t number 5, number 4, number 3 or number 2. But still number 1).

Again Nokia has stumbled. It has taken FAR, FAR, FAR too long for them to respond. But here is that foot in the door. C6-01, C7, E7 and N8 with low to mid-high range PRICES.

Conclusion – the writer is either ignorant of Nokia and tech in general or just wanted to post a provocative but baseless article.

Now Nokia, just do your bit and make sure these phones are tight. Make good with your support. And advertise THE HELL out of them. It’s pretty much all about PERCEPTION, PERCEPTION, PERCEPTION still as joe average is still clueless as to why he wants anything. He needs a bit of push, and there’s no good in being meek and humble about it. Shove your product in their faces.

-Rant over.

update: A link from GSM Arena Comment: It’s not all Gloom and Doom – the LONG term Nokia Strategy. (Hope it won’t be too long eh?)


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Category: Nokia, Nseries, Rant

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]