Jun 172011

I remember when the N900 was released in late 2009. The blog sphere was abuzz and everyone was genuinely excited about this brand-new platform. The videos and published images were so cool. It had beautiful graphics and the multitasking was amazing, both as far as performance was concerned (i.e. the number of apps that you could run simultaneously) and the UI. Everyone wanted one even if it was being pitched primarily as a developer device. In fact, it seemed as if Nokia was taken by surprise by the interest that people were showing in their new device and platform, and as a result they repeatedly tried to downplay its relevance as a smartphone for the masses. I even recall one article saying so explicitly, that when they asked the Nokia sales rep about the N900 that it was quite odd and frustrating to see how the Nokia rep was trying to “cool down” the excitement of the article writer.

It was thus very clear that the N900 was not aimed at the masses, and as such that Nokia wasn’t prepared to completely back the phone up. It was as if they knew that the platform was not quite feature complete yet and as such would not be suited for everyone. Maybe it was because Nokia simply did not have the team in place that could fill the gaps in the platform and therefore did not want it to take off in a big way. I don’t know. But the fact is I have yet to read a single post by people who have owned the N900 that have not said that the N900 was a great device and that it is a shame and big mystery why Nokia did not put more effort in trying to evolve the platform. Many of them still use it and I have read numerous times that the N900’s browser was the best mobile browser ever made so far. The opinions on the N900 make me regret that I didn’t pick one up when it was launched, even though I knew that certain features were missing.

I think everyone agrees that it could have been the next major mobile platform, that disruptive technology that Elop keeps referring to. So, given the rumors that Nokia will launch a MeeGo device on Tuesday the 21st, what can and should Nokia learn from the N900? It is very simple, really: if you see that people are genuinely excited about the it, if it receives a lot of press, if you see that it creates an group of devoted fans just like the N900 did, then back your phone and your device 110%! Don’t hold back, put any and all resources you have into the platform. Run with it as far as you can. And if it means that you have to steer away some resources from the Windows Phone 7 development, then do so, because at this point WP7 is just a plan, a wishful thinking, while the N9 is real and is here and is creating the buzz and the attention that you desperately need! Don’t downplay MeeGo only because you have bet all your chips on WP7 at this point. OK?

But to be honest, at this point my real and only wish is that, come Tuesday, that N9/MeeGo rumor turns out to be more than just a rumor!

  9 Responses to “What Nokia should learn from the N900”

  1. It has been about 10 months since I heard about the N9…and I’m still waiting for it…and using my old s60v5 device…

    • I agree, the wait is frustrating. You would think that Nokia would take note of the amount of interest MeeGo/Maemo receiving and do everything they can to deliver it, and in the meantime at least talk about it in some way. Instead they seem very detached from the platform, as if it is the ugly step child of I-don’t-know-who and they do not want to have anything to do with it; i.e. I am afraid that it will get the same treatment as the N900 did and will quickly be forgotten by Nokia. I really hope I am wrong though as well as the rumors that Elop do not want MeeGo to take off. I really do.

      Either way, you are a dedicated man indeed if you still use an s60 device :)

  2. Now we know Meego device is not a rumour. Lets hope N9 becomes a huge success and brings back some people back to their senses

  3. i’m using n900 for over a year now… it was difficult for me to understand why such a great gadget gets so little developers attention. i mean yes its big, its heavy and some even say ugly- but its the greatest pocket device (still is). with not much apps or official upgrades i started visiting blogs and playing in x-term with this phone you can do anything you want (or find on a blog). closest to desktop experience, best browser, born to be online, sync contacts perfect (phone/skype/fb/…), overclocking/tweaking/hacking, dual booting , it even has ir-which comes very handy with proper software…
    this phone’ll always have a special place in my heart… i hope to see the meego system growing and showing what it can do and others cannot. as a big fun of nokia i also hope they’ll keep it in development – but even if they dont there’ll be other players that can recognize potential. i’m buying N9 to show my vote for this community. cheers and keep on rocking

  4. Nokia Waporware again. eFlop Sucks

  5. There is a larger difference between the N900, Nokia and Microsoft/Apple that you just dent.
    There are a simple way to arrange systems and difficult ones – just as Marx describe and Aynd Rand in extreme liberalism.
    The Marx’ way is common today, where there is a central entity – “Domain Controller” that monitors everything, rules and decide. There rules and regulations can be imposed, everyone can be monitored as in all Orwelian nightmares. The other model is where everyone are “autonomous” and self contained. Sorry, Kristen Nygaard and Ole Johan Dahl, your notion of object orientation assumes such an organization of “objects”. But those that bought your books found them too complicated and never bothered to study, just read what the other’s said.

    Now the iPhone is based on the model that Apple wants to control what you do, and buy.
    The Windows is based on Microsoft wanting to pay their engineers and make you buy more software from them – like the WP7.
    The Android is based on Google wanting to know what you do so they can use this to tell you what you should have done and are best off buying. Mrketing, the leech/parasites to those who know.

    Nokia has no power ambitions, they intend to satisfy the GSM market. This technology is defined by engineers for the consumers to use. The handset is an “autonomous object”, but can be made into an implement of power. The N900 is a full desktop, just like a MacBook or an Windows laptop. A competent engineer can add methods and make the N900 fit into any infrastructure – as an iPhone, and Android (“NITdroid”) and as a peripheral to a Windows Laptop. But, it can also be used as a WINS “domain controller” – just write the code.

    This inherent capability makes the N9 different as a MeeGo device as the N900 with Maemo – based on Linux. Standards are not “owned” by corporations, can be abused by companies and corporations. Nokia even tried to “give away” Symbian, since they have no ambitions to rule the world, except sell more handsets.

    Elop does not understand this, nor does Steve Balmer – they believe money is “clean”. Moeny and power goes together and is our curse.