Thursday, July 06, 2006

N80 Update

I really don't want this blog to get a rep for Symbian bashing as in general I think Symbian is a great mobile platform, I have friends at Symbian, etc. However I've just got off the phone with Orange UK and the upgrades guy said the N80 was almost certainly going to be discontinued by Orange because the software just doesn't work, and they also wouldn't be picking up the N91 at all for the same reason. He was non-technical and vague in his description but it soundeed like a radio stack issue. If that is the case, the question has to be - running radio and OS on one chip may save on the BOM, but how much BOM do you have to save to balance the cost of major operators not carrying your product and unhappy users switching brands?

I think to my mind this is not so much a Symbian issue as a QA issue at Nokia, involving the S60 team and Symbian. Almost every major Nokia S60 launch has been dogged with serious bugs (7650, 6600, 6630, N80...) even if their launch was delayed (NM850iG, N91, ...). They have to get this right - if they can't then they will lose ground at the high-end to other platforms, such as Windows (still offering the full Windows desktop experience, ie. repeated crashes and OS reinstallations/updates every few months, but improving with every revision) and potentially the new Linux-based initiative when it finally brings a stable platform to market. While they're at it they could still usefully improve the UI as well, but that's another story.

In good news for Symbian though, the father of S60 is really rather happy that the N73 is just as great as he assumed, featuring adequate speed and an aluminium grille. No news yet on whether Orange et al agree.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably says more about Orange since other operators dont seem to be having issues. Or it could just be a non techy talking complete rubbish. A lot of the complaints with Orange seem to arise from what Orange do when customising the phone. Not being an apologist, and you may have a point, but it seems that almost all the high end device seem to have issues - e.g. see call quality and dropped calls on Windows Mobile.

1:37 pm

Blogger raddedas said...

I'd certainly agree Windows has a lot of issues, it just is buggy...

I've been quite a fan of the UI improvements Orange make - eg I found the D500 Orange UI much nicer than the default - but I can see they might also cause problems. As most of what manufacturers end up doing is operator customisation they obviously need to work this in to their QA process better as well. I'd love to know what is at fault, I suspect Orange and Nokia would tell you different stories - possibly I'm being too quick to assume it's completely a Nokia issue with the underlying phone because of the 7650, 6600 etc.

2:15 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vodafone are also discontinuing the N80 for upgrades and new contracts. Too many faults and returns.

4:14 am

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