N95, it's what computers have become

I just had a revelation on what’s wrong with Nokia’s smartphones right now. It’s not the phones as such, the technology is very cool – it’s the way Nokia thinks about the phones which then reflects to the customer experience.

My N95 broke during the Austin GDC (screen went blank for no obvious reason) so I had to take the phone to service. I couldn’t backup the phone without the screen so the service order had “Do not delete data” written in VERY LARGE type. So, obviously when I got the phone back a month later, the software had been upgraded and all data was wiped, including all contacts, photos, messages, installed apps, the lot. For some reason the new software only includes butt-ugly hard to use visual themes, too, so I hate my phone now.

You’re probably nodding and thinking “Yeah, that tends to happen when your phone is serviced” and that’s exactly what’s wrong with the phone industry! Nokia is selling N95 with the slogan “It’s what computers have become” so I expect them to treat my phone like it’s a computer. If I take my laptop to the service, I wouldn’t imagine the service people would format the hard drive and tell me I should be happy that they upgraded the OS version. That just doesn’t happen.

So, challenge to Nokia. Try to change the mind set of everyone dealing with your customers to treating the phones like they’re computers. This means quick service and absolute no loss of your customer’s data.

Update: I found a positive side effect of the software update – the GPS now suddenly works. It used to take up to 30 minutes for the phone to get a lock under an open sky, now the locks seem to happen in under 30 seconds.

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