Nokia HQ, Espoo, Finland, EU
I've Tweeted and blogged about my unsatisfactory relationship with my Nokia E90. Sure, it's already couple years old which makes it ancient in the mobile world. But the age of the device as not much to do with my reasons for complaining - I would still have much of the same situation even if I bought one of the latest Nokia phones.
There's been a lot of talk about how the Symbian operating system is light years behind iOS and Android. The Ovi store stucks, phones crash, they are difficult to use. This is probably true, but all of this is something I could probably live with. The operating system is not getting on the way too much.
One of the main problems for me is that I am a Mac user. I don't have a PC with Windows. Nokia - for some reason - completely ignores the existence of Mac, and so I am unable to backup the phone or install any updates.
I tried to install the new Ovi Maps - Nokia's response to Google Maps, which offers free voice navigation to everyone. When I try to download Ovi Maps from my mobile phone, it tells me to first download and install Nokia PC Suite on my PC. And, as I don't have a PC, I am basically stuck there.
I asked the Nokia service if they could install the Ovi Maps for me. Sure, they can. It will cost me 40 euros, will take several days, and they *may* wipe out everything from my phone. All the apps, messages, settings and contacts. I asked if they could back up the device first, but I was told this is my responsibility.
I asked how to take a back-up on Mac, and I was told it is not possible through the Mac OSX, so I probably should install Windows on my Mac.
I got the same answer when I asked about updating the phone software. Except, that when they update the phone software, they *will* definitely wipe out everything. E90 has a lot of bugs (for example, it needs to be rebooted every couple days or it will not be able to make phone calls), so I very much would like to update to the latest version in the hopes that it will work better.
For whatever reason, Nokia phones (at least the one I have) cannot be updated without wiping out everything from the phone. Given that Nokia has an app store where they sell applications, this seems incredibly stupid. I simply don't want to lose the apps I have bought.
I don't understand why the device cannot be updated or backed up using a Mac. That isn't difficult to develop. It would cost Nokia almost nothing to develop a simple Mac tool for managing the device. Assign couple skilled developers with a UI designer (this is important!) on it for a few months, and it's done. In fact, PC Suite is so bloated piece of junk that Nokia really should start from scratch so creating an entirely new manager program for Mac would be a good exercise.
If Nokia lacks the R&D budget for such a development, they could scrap one of the dozens of new phones they introduce every year and use that money to build a better manager application.
Ultimately, of course, it would be best to go the Android route and be free of computers. There's no reason why a device could not be updated, or new software installed, directly on the device. And the data should be automatically backed up to a cloud. But I do realize this may be harder to implement in the legacy phones, so the Mac manager would be a good intermediate step.
It *may* be that the folks at Nokia think Mac has only 8% of the PC market, so it's too small to be supported. But I think they're missing out on one hugely important fact - nearly all of the thought-leaders and gadget enthusiasts use a Mac these days.
Whenever I attend a business meeting these days, it's 95% Macbook Pro or Macbook Air. Once in a while someone uses a PC, but that's a rare exception. These are people who run the business. Company executives, senior consultants, investors, journalists and so on.
From Nokia's point of view, none of these people should be using Nokia phones. Since they are not using Windows computers, they cannot get much out of their Nokia phones. The message from Nokia is pretty clear - if you use a Mac, use an iPhone or an Android phone.