Hello again my dear reader,
this post is only tangentially about Bermuda. Before we came here, I had some business to take care of in Greece. Since we still lived in the Czech Republic but I needed to have both a Greek number and a Czech number available at all times during this work and since my business partner is also a long-term Nokia user (and since I’m too lazy to change platform) I chose to buy a Nokia C6 as my phone. I thought that it’s 3G so it should still work in Bermuda and therefore wouldn’t be a waste of money whether the Greek business worked or not.
I’m now starting to regret this. The phone works, sure. But, in Bermuda, you can’t take advantage of 3G unless you have a contract. All pay-as-you-go plans (at least with my carrier, M3) are locked to 2G, the older and slower network. But, if you want to apply for a contract, you need to have your visa sorted so you can sign a contract for, say, a year or two. Only then can you choose among the devices in the high-end spectrum. Annoyingly, in Bermuda, there are two types of mobile phones (cellphones for you Americans) you can have: either truly rubbish phones or fancy shmancy smartphones and BlackBerry. You can either spend less than $100 and get a piece of dated cr*p or spend just under $1,000 and get the latest and greatest, there is nothing in the mid-range category, like the C6, the sort of affordable smartphone.
But, with the recent announcement by Nokia that they’re going to partner with Microsoft and move to Windows Phone 7, an already dated loss-making platform, I’m now at a loss. I can’t stay with Nokia unless I want to use a Windows brick for a phone. And, if I change phone, I have to go to a high-end phone to get a decent upgrade in user experience. Damn it Nokia…
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not the only person annoyed at Nokia for going to bed with Microsoft. It looks like these guys tried to elevate themselves into the Nokia board to reverse the decision to partner with Microsoft. But, they very swiftly failed. Shame really. The Microsoft deal is pretty clear to me. Nokia could either kill Symbian and the Nokia family of mobile phone operating systems (MeeGo, Symbian^3) and partner with one of Apple (Apple OS) or Google (Android) thus firing thousands of Nokia employees that they would no longer need. This is because both the Apple and Android world are brimming with apps so Nokia would no longer need any application developers. Or, they could partner with Microsoft and join a platform that has virtually no apps, fire only a few people and keep the company afloat for another year or two. Nokia is cash-rich anyway from their other non-smartphone sales which are still pretty strong. The way forward now? It’s clear, if the smartphone is the way forward, Nokia will be no more. If people still buy a large chunk of dumb phones (phones, not mini computers) then Nokia will whether the storm and live to fight another day.
You never know, maybe Microsoft will keep them afloat just for Nokia’s distribution channels worldwide. Just about any town in the world has a Nokia shop, that must be worth a lot.
Anyway, this whole mess means that Nokia have lost me as a customer. It also means that when my work permit comes through, I’ll probably get myself a contract and an Android device, eventually. Damn these things are expensive here… And, I’ll have to copy my numbers and other details from one phone to the other, probably use an online service for this. I’m sure the clever clogs behind Android will be rubbing their hands in excitement and will probably implement a free Nokia to Android conversion tool, wouldn’t surprise me one little bit.