The Nokia community was shocked this week with the announcement that Symbian-Guru is shutting shop and The Nokia Guide is no longer covering Symbian devices. Symbian Guru’s been one of the sites I started following first when I started off with Symbian phones, and it’s bad news when the biggest Symbian evangelist blog shuts down due their frustration with Nokia and Symbian.
Agreed, Symbian in it’s current form has been used way past it’s expiry date, but we’d wait and watch to see if Symbian as a platform improves in it’s next versions. Nokia really has to play a lead role and improve the OS drastically to power it’s next lot of smartphones or ditch it completely. Of what we’ve seen in the pre-release versions of Symbian^3, it looks like there’s a long way to go to get Symbian in any shape to compete with iOS and Android. We just hope that phones that are shipping with Symbian^4 are not hardware cripples like the flagship N97 was. Everyone still remembers the limited RAM fiasco with that device.
The other area where Nokia has trouble with is the roll out of firmware upgrades. Most regular users don’t really bother about stuff like this, but mobile enthusiasts can’t wait to get their hands on the latest firmware. These enthusiasts are the ones going out and spreading the good word about the devices. Nokia has been painfully frustrating with the seemingly random way in which they roll out these upgrades. I personally had to wait for 3-4 months to get upgrades on my N97 and the on the E72 (which I still haven’t been able to find the latest firmware for). When asked about these delays in geographical regions, the Nokia folks mention that this has to do with operators branding the phones. I would agree with that statement, but for the fact that I don’t buy operator branded phones, especially here in India.
The only device in which I didn’t have to wait for months for the latest firmware as the N900, where Nokia limited the amount of “operator customizations”. Nokia, this should be the way to go on your future devices. Don’t test the patience of the mobile enthusiast crowd, who actually promote your devices.
In damage control mode, Anssi Vanjoki, the Head of Mobile Solutions put out a post on Nokia Conversation. According to their post, they plan to stick with Symbian for a while more, but also adopt MeeGo to power the smart phones of the future.
“I am committed, perhaps even obsessed, with getting Nokia back to being number one in high-end devices. Achieving this will require performance and efforts over and above the norm.”, says Anssi in the post.
Yes, it’s going to be a real uphill climb for Anssi and his team to reclaim to the top of the Smartphone market, which has been eaten away by the iPhone, Android and others. We wish them the best in this effort and do hope that they do succeed. Let’s hope that in their attempt to rebrand themselves into a solutions company, they don’t forget that they need to sell their devices first for people to use solutions like Ovi.