How I wish that Nokia, and maybe a few other manufacturers, would ease up a bit on producing hardware and start concentrating on the software (i.e. stability, ease of ease) of their phones instead. For the past few months (years?), most of Nokia’s “new” releases were simply “newer” hardware for practically the same old software. Heck, many of their other releases were just varying combinations of the same hardware packed with the same software. And why is that? I don’t want to think that the majority of consumers are so simple-minded that they’ll buy a product (that they already have) just because it seems new.

In terms of software support, I will admit that the other platforms seem a bit better than Symbian. The Apple iPhone, for instance, has already gotten 6 firmware updates in just 6 months! And rather than just giving optimizations and fixes, these upgrades have actually added to the overall usefulness of the device. Compare that with my E61i which has only gotten 1, practically insignificant, firmware update after being out for almost a year already. Another thing that ticks me off is the fact that even though S60 3rd edition with Feature Pack 1 was already in use during the time of the E61i, Nokia opted to just give it a more stable version of the software that was already used on the older E61. Windows Mobile users have it somewhat better too in that they can upgrade from, let’s say, WM5 to WM6. Why can’t we Symbian users make the jump from the vanilla S60 3rd Edition to Feature Packs 1, 2, and beyond?

Is Nokia becoming complacent because of their overwhelming market share? I certainly hope not. Maybe they’re afraid that sales will suffer if they start concentrating on software more than hardware. What they should be more afraid of is pissing off loyal customers like me.

Well I certainly ended up typing much more than what I originally intended. I actually just wanted to echo the sentiments of Ricky Cadden in a relatively old post of his at Symbian-Guru, and I ended up borrowing many of his points while adding a few of my own.

With Nokia’s newly reorganized corporate structure, and the merger of their 3 phone-making departments that I keep reading about (sorry can’t find a link), I hope to see some good things from them soon (like new firmware for my E61i -_-). I doubt it though.

UPDATE: As a solution to this problem, Kirollos at The N95 Blog proposed that Nokia should offer newer feature packs to older devices at a price. That way, poor folks that can’t afford newer hardware will still be able to enjoy the benefits of newer software for much less. I like it.

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