Goodbye Nokia

As of last week I go from a staunch Nokian to an Aikon! Here’s a rant of what happened and a recap to – the birth of ‘my love’ for gadgets!

Alas there is nothing but the fall after the zenith! I found bitterness even with such a good phone in hand, thanks to the lethargic and disdainful attitude shown by Nokia towards it’s most gifted child! The device was excluded from most of Nokia’s new moves. Take for example the introduction of free OVI voice navigation on OVI Maps 3.0. Every single Nokian was cheering while those with the great Maemo were left grumbling with the “less than basic” maps built into the phone!

The development of apps in reality, was purely community driven and sooner than later I realized I was not really a target audience for this great piece of hardware. Being a novice in linux I was a non-participant in the development of apps – the FUN part of this phone. I felt like an uninvited guest at my best friend’s party! Besides the open statements made by Nokia that this device will not see the light of Flash 10.1 and the fact that MeeGo is never coming to it either only added to my woes!

I waited for something fresh from Nokia, but nothing materialized. All I could hear was the distant drumbeats and footsteps of the failing symbian army, supposedly cheered with tags like 4.0, 5.0 etc. I even got my mom and wife the very popular 5800 xPress Music. But I was never fully satisfied with the touch part of it, though they never seemed to have an issue!

I realized that the very thing that was once Nokia’s finesse (read Symbian) was now brutally doing a double murder – succumbing to pressure from other touch devices as well as bringing down Nokia. The N8 and MeeGo are in sight, but I feel distanced already. I am pretty sure MeeGo will do better than Maemo, but in general I already feel it’s a bit too late for Nokia to come to party.

All this coupled with my lust for trying out apps, which Nokia’s distant cousins at apple & android are doing with open conceit, drove me away from the world of Nokia into the hands of Android – an affordable choice than the iPhone (I’d say) 🙁

The multiple communities and  manufacturers does enhance the credibility of the OS which already has Google’s backup. I am sure  (and hope this time I am correct) that this chemistry will last long. Also no squabbles wrt to phone upgrades etc (for the time being) as each competitor is trying to outdo each other – this being the early stages of the android wars!

I don’t believe I’ll go back to Nokia – unless they take up Android seriously or give at least 2-3 successful and stable flagships. I’ve just been with Android for a week now & realize what I’ve been missing so long. Let us forget their market for a moment (dare I say that’s hard), their devices are so top-notch, suave & so very capable! I have a LOT to learn about the bold new world of apps and soon hope to catch up with the F’s (Froyo) and G’s (Gingerbread) of android 🙂

In terms of local popularity, Nokia is still the name to beat. People would inspect and scrutinize every other mobile and argue about its future but they would buy even a second-hand Nokia without hesitation! It would, hence, be impertinent to say it is the end of the road for Nokia or even suggest that Nokia is lost in the wild. It’s true especially here in India where they would continue to have a solid market for the next couple of years. But it is, how Nokia plays the game in the next few years that will determine it’s future.

With big competitions would come definite losses and with losses there would translate into service degradation in the least or in worst case mass layoffs. A vicious cycle which Nokia has to beat on it’s own, for their world has so far been self supported (and driven purely by innovation) and is unlike the android world that is driven by multiple parties and unlike iphone that is driven by fanboys! Despite all my rants I do hope that Nokia does well – I am not saying it for Nokia’s sake, but for the good of thousands of its workers & millions of its end users! Let us hope they manage to stay connected long enough!

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Author: Rajesh Narayanan

A small speck of dust in the ever expanding ether

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