Ring ring…

Nokia released the new communicator, Nokia E7, last month in few selected Western European markets. Operators in Finland have stated that the sales have been good, especially among the business users (ranking on 13th place in February among the most sold phones of Elisa).

I found the patriot in me, and decided to support the Finnish pride in trouble – even if the consumer research in Finland has found that a consumer using a Nokia branded phone is viewed as old-fashioned. Nevertheless I courageously bought the Nokia device, and I was in fact quite happy with the device for the first weeks. I find the design very sleek and elegant. But no matter how well designed the hardware is, it does not compensate for the software issues I have come across with this latest Symbian. The occasional software freezing is something one could be willing to forgive and forget, and is not too uncommon with any given new phone (even iPhones…). But there are software issues and then there are software issues… Last week I was just about to board a flight when I got a call. Except that this call differed from any other call by the fact that there was no option on the screen to answer or decline. In addition none of the physical keys worked – including the start –button. The flipside of the beauty of having a phone with an integrated battery hit me. First time, ever, that I would have needed a manual to turn off my phone, or a way to remove the battery. The amusement soon turned into frustration when I realized that I will have to board the plane with a ringing phone in my pocket. My phone rang for the entire flight. And the taxi ride that followed. And the two-hour meeting that followed. Resulting in a fair amount of comments, looks and amusement from bystanders throughout the episode. Finally the battery dried out and a blissful silence fell. Any initial frustrations with synching seemed so distant, insignificant and a mere minor inconvenience compared to the insurmountable undertaking of simply turning the device off.

I feel slightly sorry for the first service person who had to listen to this story and tried very hard to help me without laughing, but neither the second line service person nor the Nokia store customer representatives felt the need even to apologize for my inconvenience. But of course, although it did not occur to me (…) that to hard reset this device the solution was simply to hold the start button down for 8 seconds (why not 3, or 5?),  this was not clear to all Nokia support people either… Remains to be seen what happens when my device returns from the service. The guarantee only covers the hardware…

This all just made me think again on usability. It is crucial for users to have easy and simple user interfaces – Good usability is the key to success to all device and software vendors going forward.

P.s. Dear fellow E7 users out there, this might come in handy: Nokia E7-00 support

Next read

Revenues and ARPU – never SIMple!

During the last couple of years we have frequently been told that the upward trend in mobile data consumption cannot compensate for the drop in mobile voice revenues. Unfortunately, analysts and journalists continue to disappoint by mixing terms and emphasising dramatic conclusions. Just as an example, last week, Wireless Intelligence reports that ”European operators have [...]
Read more