Phoenix: The Nokia Nexus N9
"...sometimes it's good to stop thinking so much and just allow yourself to dream. And when I do, I dream of a Nokia Nexus".
There ended Verge Senior European Editor mr Vlad Savov in his article about "Nokia Nexus: The Impossible Dream" published September 11th 2011, New Zealand time. Vlad suggested that Nokia signing into an exclusive Windows Phone agreement might not have been what he would immediately want, but that it could be beneficial to the smartphone world as a whole. While a third strong challenger to Google's Android and Apple's iOS might sound good on paper, how has it worked out in the real world?
"Stop. Rewind 15 months. Play.
Stephen Elop sits in a Nokia boardroom, surrounded by a multinational group of execs sweating beads of anxiety. It's not exactly Downfall, but it's close. The freshman Canadian CEO is looking for answers, but all around him he finds sternly vacant faces and overdue roadmaps. Can we evolve Symbian quickly enough to make it appealing for the midrange? No. Can we build MeeGo and the Qt ecosystem up to take on the iPhone? Oh shit. No. Having already conducted meetings with Eric Schmidt and Steve Ballmer in the preceding months, Elop knows that his options for Nokia's future have narrowed down to the two external choices: Android or Windows Phone.
Now suspend your disbelief for a moment and imagine Eric Schmidt's otherworldly oratory had won Elop over to the Android side. Imagine that Nokia opted to leap off the burning platform and onto a ship of cutthroat competition and razor-thin profit margins. What would the landscape look like today?"
"There are too many variables at play to ever answer that question reliably"
Vlad Savov "Competition Is King: Why Nokia And Microsoft Are The Perfect Match"
"He tried to negotiate a deal with Google to run Android, but Google refused to give the world's biggest phonemaker any advantages over its smaller partners, meaning Nokia's corps of 11,600 engineers would have next to no ability to add their own innovations to Google's software. "It just didn't feel right," Elop says to the crowd. "We'd be just another company distributing Android. That's not Nokia! We need to fight!""
Businessweek "Stephen Elop's Nokia Adventure"
Instead of being at worst "just another company distributing Android", Nokia became at best "just another company" distributing Windows Phone, which in 2013 is still fighting bitterly with Blackberry just to move from fourth place to third. At best, they are still LIGHTYEARS behind the sales that are possible in the Android world. THAT is "not Nokia", certainly not the Nokia I grew up with, worlds largest phone maker, who gave me my first phone, the blue CDMA network 2280.
I was the Snake master at my highschool, some punk 5th former tried to step to me, "check out my score, like FIVE HUN-DRED!" :-)
Nokia used to be EVERYWHERE! I was 16 when I got my first cellphone. And now? 16 year olds have never touched a Nokia in their lives, they grew up with their parents using the RAZER etc, not some camera-less, black and white screen Nokia! :-)
Nokia turned its back to us, it simply walked away from the New Zealand market, I bet most people are unaware that Nokia is even still alive now, as they tap away at their iPhone 5 or Galaxy S III.
"The obvious choice would have been to jump on the Android bandwagon. Attracted by Google's free software, every other major smartphone maker except Apple and RIM had already done so, and almost every large carrier was supporting Android as the only genuine Apple alternative. But Google was riding so high that it essentially refused to negotiate, offering no concessions to Nokia despite its global presence. Elop later told the Salo employees that Google "acted like they'd already won. Apple and Android deserve some real competition."
"...complacency was rampant, and it left Nokia particularly vulnerable to Android. While Apple cleaned up the high end of the market, Google flooded the low and middle by giving away its sophisticated software to all of Nokia's handset rivals. Nokia executives seemed content trumpeting their success selling marginally profitable low-end phones in Asia, until Android's smartphone share flew from 4 percent to 23 percent in 2010. Says Elop: "It's often hard to see a challenger when you're dominant, but what happened with Android was faster than anything we've ever seen.""
"With the clock ticking on the London analyst meeting, talks with Microsoft went into high gear. On Jan. 10, Oistämö and a few colleagues spent the morning negotiating in a windowless room in the basement of a London hotel. To that point, Microsoft had forced handset makers to obey strict rules about how they could customize Windows Phone 7, and they wanted the same from Nokia. Not only did Nokia respond that it wanted the right to innovate freely, it asked Microsoft to commit to using Nokia technology as a foundation of the Windows Phone platform, particularly its detailed Navteq maps database. Believing that Microsoft could not afford to let the largest phonemaker in the world throw its weight behind Android, Oistämö also asked for a large payment.
The sides reconvened that night for Indian food, and the deal was done in principle by dessert. "We got a deal that was completely different from anything they'd ever done before, and it's because we promised to do our best work for Windows Mobile 7," says Elop. He won't spell out financial terms but says there's a net benefit in the billions. Asked if the payment amounts to a high-tech shakedown, he smiles widely. "We call them marketing funds.""
That left Microsoft. Its Windows Phone 7 software is well regarded by technorati ("It's new, it's fresh, it stands out," says Gartner Group analyst Roberta Cozza), but very few people are buying Windows 7 Phones. Elop was certain, too, that he'd be accused of being a double agent for his former company."
"Windows 7 Phones"? Even the media are confused with the current Microsoft branding. Here in New Zealand, its hard enough to find a Windows Phone to buy, we are a nation of iPhones. Yesterday while taking these photos, I saw people using 7 iPhones in a row, and only one Android owner with a Galaxy S III. When you visit stores, its rare that they will even carry Windows Phone. My local independent store told me they never sold a single Lumia 800, they had a black model that just sat there on display. And thats DECENT marketing for the devices, the popular network Telecom (our version of AT&T) doesnt even stock usable Windows Phone 8 devices!
Entering the store, you are immediately struck with usable iPhones,
and a big display with THREE fully functioning Samsung Galaxy series devices. Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III and Galaxy S III Mini.
There are TWO Windows Phone 8 devices, hidden in the back with the nosebleed Pantechs and featurephones with MASSIVE black rubber keys to make life easier for people with less than ideal eyesight.
Hanging on the wall you MIGHT find an HTC Windows Phone 8S and the Nokia Lumia 920.
The Windows Phone 8S is LESS THAN HALF the price of the Lumia 920.....and yet they look very equal devices, dont they?
"Boldly Coloured Design. High Performing Battery. Studio-Quality Sound and Entertainment. For the Photographer in you". Sound like the Lumia 920 to you? Nope, thats how they advertise the HTC device, and its LESS THAN HALF price! Combined with the CRIMINAL flaw of only having the Nokia Lumia 920 in boring ass BLACK instead of its beautiful, unique BLUE, RED, YELLOW, WHITE, GREY.....and yes, black.......people are told that the HTC phone has a "BOLDLY coloured design" because it has a bit of white at the bottom??? Cmon Nokia, show them what you've got!
The 920 is sold simply as having "PureView - Take Blur Free Photos. PureMotion HD+display. Nokia City Lens. Skydrive - All your Photos, Music and Files Completely in Sync". No features are explained, nothing about Livetiles or Xbox integration......they are bozos and they are blowing it.
Neither plastic shell device is functional, you're going in blind, purchasing without being able to try Windows Phone 8 OS at all. The staff certainly do not push customers to either device either, people will be steered right to the iPhone, or the Galaxy S III. How would you even explain a third choice OS that the customer cannot actually try? "Oh this? Yeah, it has the hot new operating system called Windows Phone 8, from Microsoft. Do you use Word, Excel? Well this thing will sync them all up to Skydrive really well, yeah. It doesnt have all the apps and games that those two up front have (iPhone, Galaxy S III), but its something different?"
I visited Harvey Norman to check out their options. They actually had a Windows Phone 8 device which was usable, success! They sell the Nokia Lumia 920 for the usual price of $999, thats $837 USD. The iPhone 5 which is HEAVILY marketed is the most expensive phone available - it starts at $1050 NZD (880 USD). Which phone do you think confused new customers will walk out with? They can get a well known Galaxy S III for the usual price of $850 NZD, the desirable iPhone 5 for $1049 NZD...........or they can pay even more and get the unknown Windows Phone 8 device which apparently runs "Windows 8" and has an RRP of $999 NZD. Its just ludicrous! If they want an iPhone like everyone else, they will get the iPhone for ~5% more than the Windows Phone device. If price is an issue, they will get the well known Galaxy S III device, which looks BETTER than the Lumia 920 on specs.
Once more, the salesteam does not promote Windows Phone 8....sorry, "Windows 8" phones. I heard a new staff member being told what to say by his manager, a 30 something year old in a polo shirt. "Which tablet do I recommend?" "The iPad, always the iPad". While I agree with the manager there, the iPads are hands down the best tablets in stock at Harvey Norman, what do you think staff promote when it comes to smartphones?
I'll give you a hint, in the form of the large, GLOWING display, complete with a dozen accessories.
There are further iOS device accessories elsewhere in the store, but just compare the materials around these three devices. The BEST official Android device, the Nexus 4 sold at a slightly LOWER price than the Galaxy S III, the Samsung device overwhelmingly outsells the Nexus, which has no promotion at all anywhere in New Zealand.
Massive promotion for iPhone instores, and every New Zealander seems to have an iPhone, go figure! No promotion for the Nexus 4, nobody has a Nexus 4 (apart from my friend Dan!). Large promotion for the Galaxy S III - its the default Non iPhone that people buy, I wonder why. And the lonely "Windows 8" running Nokia Lumia 920? A more expensive device than even the iPhone, absolutely no promotion, and staff avoid it like the plague.
I asked the new salesperson a few questions, initially playing dumb, and then giving HIM advice on what to buy! They looked up the Nexus 10 in their system, and told me "sorry sir, you mean the Nexus 7, we have that over here....." "Oh, you dont have the Nexus 10 in stock, its a really well priced tablet that actually has an even higher screen resolution than the iPad over there, how insane is that? But theres not many good tablet apps on Android, I'm still an iPad user, although I think the screen on the Nexus 10 must be pretty awesome, I'd love to see one of them eventually...."
Harvey Norman staff said that the iPhone and "Samsung S III" were great phones, but that there were other cheaper Android options too, "they have the same apps". I asked about the Lumia 920, and he didnt know anything about it, he looked at the details next to its price (where we are told it runs "Windows 8"), and explained it away as "its another option, sure", without conviction.
I was told that they found the iPhone 4S to be a pain, because people STILL wanted to buy it. Its only a 100 dollars cheaper than the current iPhone 5, but for some reason people will still prefer to stretch their budget to the limit to own an iPhone rather than "settle for less". "We dont like to sell them, its good we are out of stock, because we dont have any accessories for it, we dont want to carry cases for old phones." I get it, they want to be able to upsell customers on a case, (paraphrasing) "oh, and buy this, its only a fifty dollars extra and it keeps your precious new GORGEOUS phone really safe, its a great INVESTMENT! Oh, and this special smartphone screen cleaner, its on sale now for only $29.99 and comes with a really nice polishing cloth......."
The Lumia 920 is more expensive and without promotion, so customers are not buying it, and it has no upsell potential, so the stores are not pimping it to new buyers. Nokia is in trouble, a whole lot of Nokia 808's and autotuned Heartbreak.
"By 2012: Apple has grown to be 4x bigger than Nokia and Samsung has become (HTC Windows Phone) 8x bigger than Nokia"
"Who's making money selling mobile phones in 2012? Three companies: Apple,Samsung, and HTC; with Apple and Samsung combining to take 99 percent of industry profits, according to Horace Dediu at Asymco. What's more, Apple alone netted 73 cents out of every dollar earned by phone makers. While that may sound hard to believe, keep in mind that Motorola, Nokia, Sony (Ericsson), LG, and RIM have all been making negative money."
The Verge "Apple and Samsung scoop up 99 percent of handset profits"
"Now, I agree with our Lumia 900 Review — it's not quite there yet — but I want Nokia and Microsoft in this game. By delivering that handset, Nokia has given AT&T its first exclusive on a true flagship phone since the iPhone and Microsoft a device that people actually feel emotionally connected to. Would the Lumia 900 have been a better phone if it were running Android? Probably. But that would have come at the expense of software competition and diversity in the broader mobile market. It's precisely because we care enough to wish this handset was running Android that we know Nokia as a phone maker still matters — and that can only be a good thing for the prospects of Windows Phone."
The smartphone industry has competition, its Apple versus Samsung. All other companies are also rans, RC Cola in a Coke vs Pepsi world. Nokia was huge, Nokia was strong. On an equal operating system field with Samsung, they could absolutely be a third towering titan, able to hold their own.
Now in 2013, we can look back at what has happened with 20/20 vision, and see what could have been for Nokia's future.
"No one [Android OEM] should have all that power,
The clock's tickin', I just count the hours"
Nokia *should* have gone with Android. They really could have! Power was within their Gloved grasp, they could have smashed forward in marketshare as the king of the iron fist tournament. Combining velvet design with absolute dominance in sales, Nokia could have truly challenged Samsung for the Android crown, and stood proud against Apple's iPhone.
Elegant design, STUNNING build quality, massive brand recognition and a cutting edge MAINSTREAM operating system - a Nokia device running Android is a strong threat to any Samsung device.
I recently purchased a Nokia N9 with the intent to brainwash it into being an Android device. I used Nitdroid, and followed a combination of the functional (if a little complicated) instructions on the Nitdroid forums and the Nokia N9 ICS post at The Unlockr, which also has a video showing their technique.
The Verge have also covered Android on the Nokia N9 before, back in March 2012. "Nokia N9 gains Android 4.0.3 dual-boot thanks to 'Project Mayhem'
I've found the default OS "MeeGo Harmattan" on my Nokia N9 to be buggy as heck. The actual first party apps will lock and freeze up, requiring they be terminated individually. Once the phone actually rebooted itself. Vlad described it very well in the original Verge review:
"I say this without any qualification: the Nokia N9 is beautiful. Everything about this phone's design exudes elegance and harmony. Lines flow seamlessly into one another, fit and finish is perfect, and the feel in the hand is sublime. Aside from the intentionally squared off top and bottom, there are no straight edges on the N9. It's evocative of supercar design in the way it simply transitions from one curve to another, albeit in the pursuit of a cohesive, unified look rather than aerodynamic excellence."
"The N9 is flawed and doomed, but you have to understand, I don't care. The overriding experience of using this phone is one of delight and desire. Yes, it can get bamboozled and freeze up, and no, you won't be finding an avalanche of awesome new apps for it, but those downsides fade in comparison to the abundance of positives. The Harmattan UI is fresh, slick, and as natural as anything the smartphone world has yet introduced, while the physical design is unmatched. Not even the shiny new iPhone 4S feels as luxurious in the hand as the N9. I started off by comparing Nokia's latest handset to a supercar and the parallels run deep. Like Italy's finest mechanical produce, the N9 won't be found in many shops, has a tendency to break down, and inspires an emotional rather than pragmatical response. There's an added underdog charm in knowing it has been discarded by its maker and deemed unworthy to carry the Nokia crown. I'm unwilling to describe that decision as a mistake until I've seen Nokia's Windows Phone range that will be introduced later this month, but one thing's for sure: the N9 has delivered on Nokia's promises of 2010. It's just a shame that the Nokia of 2011 didn't believe in itself enough to see them through."
The Nokia N9 is GORGEOUS, it truly has the potential to match the iPhone in terms of design and build quality, its held back only by its operating ECOsystem. Give it the right software and it can compete fairly with any iPhone or Android device.
"I refuse to believe that Nokia, the world's leading handset maker is unable to respond to the iPhone -- two years after its introduction -- with a device that not only matches it in terms of usability but easily surpasses it given Nokia's rich history as an innovator in the mobile space."
"You know what else is free? Syphilis. And like the S60 5th operating system it comes dressed in a beautiful package that drives you mad just as soon as you turn it on."
"I demand good hardware and good software in my smartphone and will settle for nothing less."
Thomas Ricker on the N97 review back in 2009
Your current platform is struggling to get just three percent marketshare, and now the Blackberry giant is reawakening to unleash the long promised Blackberry 10 and its "superapps" on your ass!
"It's [Blackberry] B*tch"
The race for a distant third place is only going to get harder. Leave the worthless bronze to Blackberry, go for Gold by going Android!
How would Nokia compete with Apple and Android? By *being* an Android device.
But....is it too late for the King of Phones to return as #1 phone maker in the world? Is their HIStory set in stone, Volume 1 of their greatest hits to be forever re-released, without a sequel? An early death after a public decline?
I believe that Nokia has wasted a lot of time, they are still years behind companies like Samsung and Apple. BUT. They still have a shot, they could still ship an Android device that would be competitive. If my 2011 Nokia N9 can run Android, what would an official Android 2013 "Nokia N10" be like????
Nokia have the design skills to compete with the Apple iPhone. Other device makers are simply not even close. Nokia has engineering talent and the status of being a beloved mainstream brand for over a decade. My first cellphone was a Nokia. As was my mothers. My father had an early Motorola, but his second phone? A Nokia. Everyone at my highschool? Nokias, or they WANTED a Nokia. A few kids were stuck with some crappy "Pantech" or "Kyocera", but they really would have liked a Nokia, like everyone else had. As my friend Wiriya put it, "Nokia's have the beautiful menus", the firmware on Nokia featurephones had a beautiful font all of their own. You knew you were using a GREAT product.
Nokia was the biggest phone maker in the world, and just like a rock star, they grew fat, lazy and drugged up from past success, perhaps leading to a premature death?
"I'm a legend I'm irreverent I'll be reverend
I'll be so faaaaa-ar-arr-arrrrr up
We dont give a fuuuh-uh-OH.
Welcome to the danger zone
Step into the fantasy
You are not invited to the other side of sanity
They callin me an alien, a big headed astronaut
Maybe its because yo boy [Nokia] get ass a lot
"Make your jeans vibrate like a Nokiaaaaaaaaa"
Here is my primary device, an Apple iPhone 4 compared to my Nokia N9 running Android Jellybean. Both companies brought their best engineering skills to deliver two A grade devices in terms of hardware.
Android Jellybean is a GREAT operating system. iOS6 is a GREAT operating system. They can easily be recommended to anyone. A+ for effort, performance and polish. Give Android the physical hardware to match Apple, and you're in for a treat.
Yes, I know, you're screaming at what an "Apple Fanboy!!!!" I am, right? ;-) Perhaps you started off yelling about what an OBVIOUS "Android Fanboy" I was due to the premise of this forumpost, how quickly those convictions can change! :-)
I've been lucky enough to meet one of my heroes, Steve Wozniak. I framed one of his famous American $2 bills that he gave me, some of them still stuck together :-)
"I dont know if its the right president, the serial numbers are very suspicious, you can still still smell the ink so dont touch it, its wet, but they meet the specs of the US Government. So by law, these are legal tender. I have been spending them, you CAN get arrested for them, you cant get convicted because you are in the right..."
"I just want everyone to understand what Steve is telling us, he's printing his own $2 bills, and spending them."
Woz on The Engadget Show about his $2 notes.
I was hugely disappointed when I ordered a Galaxy Nexus. It arrived, and the screen quality, camera performance and especially build quality were all HUGELY lacking. I wrote a post comparing a Galaxy Nexus to my cheap Samsung televisions remote control. If we let them put out crap, if we consumers never demand better, THIS is exactly what we'll end up with. Poorly made plastic phones with freaking seams along the side. I was more disappointed with my Galaxy Nexus than "Big Poppa Joe" would have been! "Ladies Love The Wiz"!
My Nokia N9 could never be accused of looking and feeling like a cheap remote control.
Although....sometimes it DOES look a little like my iPhone! :-)
The wrong operating system inside a beautiful body, time to end the brainwashing, for Nokia to fight back against Samsungs marketshare.
"Get your mind right baby,
or get your shit together,
you gon be hot a little while,
I'mma be rich forever"
And so begun my journey into following somewhat step by step instructions, finding weird glitches, errors and annoyances. My Meego/Android Nokia was heading to join my iMac, which can boot either into OSX or Windows XP through the official Bootcamp feature. Windows did all it could to get in the way, from being unhelpfully alien despite my Windows upbringing (DOS, 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP), the NERVE of making my usually black cursor appear some strange "white" colour, and how my Command key wouldnt work for cut/copy/paste, I had to use some "ca-ta-rull" thing instead. All very confusing late at night/early in the morning when you are moving files around from device to device! :-) And as for the lack of Expose, I used Command (the fake Windows key) and D to flick all the other windows out of the way to show the desktop.
The basic premise is that you are making a bootloader on the Nokia, and then flashing the tricked version of Android onto the phone. Once installed, you get a quick prompt to hit the Volume Up button to boot into the second OS, Android, otherwise the Nokia goes into its default Meego OS.
Sound simple? Well it wasnt for me! :-) You can follow the instructions here on the official forums for the Nitdroid hack and also this post by The Unlockr, which includes a video of the steps.
I booted into Windows XP on my Mac, because the flashing program specified requires Windows. I keep a Windows partition on my hard drive for old games like Red Alert 2 Yuris Revenge and Rollercoaster Tycoon :-)
From the very beginning, the bootloader kernel program gave me nonsense. It wanted me to download a new update, and then the official Nokia flasher site was unavailable, so I had to find a mirror site with a copy.
The program is coded using .NET? And "my version was out of date" or something, whatever comes with faithful Windows XP, so I had to download ANOTHER, which wouldnt even install until I had something else, which demanded something else....... (PHOTO) , and then THAT wouldnt install until I had some "32-bit Windows Imaging Component (WIC)" (PHOTO) and sometimes even the official Microsoft Windows Support site would seem unavailable! (PHOTO)
And to make Windows the authentic Windows experience that I desperately fled back in 2006, having saved up enough for a secondhand 12 inch PowerBook G4.....the freaking "animated support character" popped up, I have no idea how! (PHOTO) Its as though the dog was feeling sorry for me Ralph Wiggum style when I couldnt figure out how to solve the puzzling errors - "but you're sufferingggggggg!"
Running CMD.exe gave me grief sometimes, with cryptic error messages which worried me that I'd gotten the wrong kernel file for the wrong serial number or a corrupted archive or a virus, or malware...... (PHOTO)
Using the Developer Mode tool "Terminal" in Meego Harmarttan while plugged in to Windows XP over USB. I was meddling in multiple operating systems which I did not understand! :-) I found out it was easier to rename the large files to have smaller names though. Typing out exactly "DFL61_HARMATTAN_40.2012.21-3_PR_LEGACY_001-OEM1-958_ARM.bin" will teach you that quickly, you can get away with renaming that mouthful to "flashme.bin" and it will work just fine, easier to type :-)
And......here my Nokia goes, copying over all the files required to actually run Android! This took a couple minutes. Here we can see its copying over "Gmail.apk", the actual app to use Gmail on an Android device :-)
After giving me basically no sign that the magic had been performed.....I rebooted the phone, to be granted with the screen I was expecting, "YOUR WARRANTY IS AS DEAD AS MEEGO OS!!!!!!". Exciting to see this, it was after midnight. I could have disabled the "scary warning", but decided it makes me feel like a rebel each time I boot my N9. Like Gabbo, I'm a Bad Widdle Boy :-)
After a couple seconds of The Big Bad Warning, I got a quick prompt on the upper right side to press the Volume Up button to boot into my second OS. Doing so in time will give you three little @ symbol kind of things.
THEN, you'll see an Android boot logo :-D
Isnt that a sight for tired eyes? :-)
As is this! Signing in to Android Jellybean on my Nokia N9 using my Google account. I was thrilled at being granted with such an easy setup process compared to the hell that Windows/broken websites/command lines had just given me!
And just like that.....around 1AM at night, having worked on flashing my phone since 11am.....I had a Nokia running Android sitting on my desk!
But this pimp is, at the top of Mount Olympus,
Ready for the World's game, this is MY olympics"
Beautiful, retro, futuristic, stunning, understated. Android Jellybean on a Nokia N9 is FANTASTIC!
No more instructions as confusing as the manual for a Japanese market Power Glove!
I cant wait to walk around wearing Project Glass and a "Power Glove 2.0", blasting augmented reality projectile vomit at televisions like the depicted kid. The older teen supervising is called the "Glovemaster" in the manual, I kid you not! :-)
So the glass is Gorilla proof, but can it stand up to a One Ring supercharged Sauron???
Daft Punk's new phone.
My Nokia N9 running Android Jellybean isnt afraid of any Nexus. It doesnt matter if the other phones have dual core or even QUAD core chipsets, higher fake resolution "pentile" AMOLED rubbish or true 720 HD on a washed out LCD with twice the RAM. Unlike the companys current management who ran away from competing in the Android world, this N9 is confident that IT is a true flagship representative of Android 4.1 Jellybean, right down to the smooth blue curved sides!
Nokia N9, my Galaxy Nexus, Dan's Nexus 4. All running Android Jellybean :-)
Iconic, timeless design.
My Nokia N9 compared to another unfortunate in the Smartphone wars, my Palm Pre GSM. One had fantastic build quality with a Dead On Arrival operating system,the other had the basis of Android 4.0 back in 2009, and CRAP build quality.
"Let's just be honest, guys -- you've had some manufacturing and design issues with the Pre. We've seen countless reports, read too many blog posts to recall, and heard all sorts of horror stories about broken sliders, power buttons that stop functioning, the "Oreo cookie" effect, and more. Hell, even our first review unit broke!"
Joshua Topolsky "Palm, This Is Your Survival Guide"
My Palm Pre GSM, ordered once the company had died at firesale prices. It displayed the "oreo effect" wiggling of the keyboard and screen halves BEFORE I could even get this "unlocked" device to register on a network. It required a SPECIFIC network here in New Zealand, as though it checked some central database on a server, "yup, I can activate on this network, I know about it, its an official Pre carrier". The actual activation process was run by Palm acquirer HP, not the phones original maker.
WebOS was a bold new operating system with potential, stuck on absolutely abysmal hardware. Check out the USB ports of my Palm Pre and Nokia N9 for just one comparison, a port you will rely on each and every day. One has a sturdy, functionally beautiful door in the same colour as the unibody machined plastic......the other has a rubbery "cork" which has to be gouged out with a fingernail, before it roughly juts out at a clumsy angle. Many Pre owners soon found their USB flap broke off and vanished. This is NOT good design.
"Let me switch to first person here and tell you a story. When the Pre came out, I emphatically recommended the phone to a good friend of mine who was a Sprint subscriber -- I sold it to him so well I should have gotten a commission. I was truly excited about webOS and all its possibilities (I still am to a large extent). My friend went ahead and bought the phone, only to be wracked with build quality and battery life issues. He regularly complained that his slider mechanism had begun to slip, his power button required a "special" hard push to function, his MicroUSB door snapped off (big surprise)... and that was to say nothing of his battery life problems. In addition, the software issues which started around the first or second update (the sluggish behavior and random "too many cards" messages) drove him to not just be unhappy with the phone -- but to really hate it. By allowing these hardware and software issues to go unchecked or unacknowledged, Palm isn't just creating issues for its customers... it's making enemies."
Joshua Topolsky "Palm, This Is Your Survival Guide"
They went with a new, unproven operating system from Microsoft while trying to avoid the elephant in the room.
"They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range.
And then, there is Android. In about two years, Android created a platform that attracts application developers, service providers and hardware manufacturers. Android came in at the high-end, they are now winning the mid-range, and quickly they are going downstream to phones under €100. Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry's innovation to its core.
Let's not forget about the low-end price range. In 2008, MediaTek supplied complete reference designs for phone chipsets, which enabled manufacturers in the Shenzhen region of China to produce phones at an unbelievable pace. By some accounts, this ecosystem now produces more than one third of the phones sold globally - taking share from us in emerging markets."
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's "Burning Platform" memo
"I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
[Android's] Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)"
BUT you say, Microsoft pays Nokia to be their friend, why would they turn down that easy money? Because they are trapped by the fishbowl of Windows Phone marketshare. I've only ever seen one Windows Phone device in New Zealand. A quick glimpse in a Pak n Save supermarket, and for all I know it could have actually been a Nokia N9! It was sold officially here, as you'll see in this videoscreen capture I took of one of their ads. I thought it was pretty lame to sell a phone which would NEVER get any support, to get people stuck on a two year contract with a dead end. But the hardware is still beautiful!
"You're my Devil, You're my Angel
You're my Heaven, You're my Hell
You're my Now, You're my Forever
You're my Freedom, You're my Jail
You're my Lies, You're my Truth
You're my War, You're my Truce
You're my Questions, You're my Proof
You're my Stress and you're my Masseuse
Mama-say mama-say ma-ma-[NO-KI-A]
Lost in this Plastic life,
Let's Break out of this fake ass Party
Turn this in to a Classic Night
If we die in each others arms we still get laid in our Afterlife
If we die in each others arms we still get laid"
K.West "Lost in the World"
I got in trouble on my "Whining about "Skeumorphic" design, "authentically digital" design" Verge Forums post for mentioning that I was Vegan. I liked my phone, but I didnt like EVERYTHING about it, including the fact parts of its operating system are "skinned" to look like they are made of animal skin.
This is the point in this article where I go on an Animal Rights tirade :-)
I look after Rescued Hens, saved from an "egg farm". They come here with hardly any feathers, unable to walk. They were in pain, miserable, unhappy. And then they see the sunlight, and live among flowers. I love my Hen Friends very much, as much as Amelia Hen likes my new "Nokia Nexus"! :-)
One Hen in particular stands out, Home Hen. When she first came here, I nicknamed her "Hurt Hen", because she was in a tragic state, she was hurt all over. She lacked even feathers on her neck, her wings look like they'd been broken, and she looked like a motheaten zombie.
You can see the difference a year has made, from 2012 back to 2011.
I believe in redemption, that mistakes can be fixed, that wounds can heal.
Like my friend Home Hen, the Nokia N9 was pushed out into an uncaring world, despite all the potential inside. They were both held back from all that they COULD be. Home Hen needed an actual life, not just an existence inside a cage, and the Nokia N9 needed a real operating ECOsystem.
Birds are powerful animals, they are so fantastically capable,
they have wonderful emotions attributed to them, "to fly free as a bird".
The wrong operating system for the Nokia N9 served as "an Albatross around his neck", a burden holding you back. But birds can also symbolise birth, a new life, the fixing of the broken.
Hurt Hen grew strong, like the mythical phoenix, she was reborn, and now is covered in strong glowing feathers. I love her very much, and she trusts me. Here she is sitting on my leg while I took photos of my Android reborn Nokia. She went right to sleep peacefully with the blue phone on her back, allowing me to take this photo! :-)
Nokia had to leap off its "burning platform" and pick a new operating ECOsystem for its future. It avoided Android, perhaps scared off by the strength of the Samsung-alisk from Harry Potter 2. At first glance at Samsung's marketshare and power, you froze up and decided not to even dip your toe into the second floor girl's bathroom, let alone jump head first into the Chamber of Secrets! But in the end, the fictional day was saved by a burning bird, a phoenix who taught us to believe in ourselves. Awwwww, a moral at the end of a children's story, who would have thought! :-)
Nokia, you SHOULD be on a burning platform, an operating system which is scorching through the deadwood of the mobile industry. A company like Nokia is about innovation and design, in being out front, not hiding out back. You burn like a fire upon the deep! Sure, Finland may be cold, but you're a progressive nation with a very high standard of living! You shouldnt be isolated to marketshare SIBERIA for crying out loud!
Embrace the change, jump off your current platform, leave Microsoft behind, grab ahold of Android and go with the industry flow thats currently crushing you! Fly free, and soar to your potential, blinding us all with your innovative light!
"Now look at me I'm sparkling
A firework, a dancing flame
You won't ever put me out again
I'm glowin', oh whoa
So you can keep the [250 million per quarter] diamond ring
It don't mean nothing anyway
In fact you can keep everything yeah, yeah
Except for me
This is the part of me
That you're never gonna ever take away from me, no
This is the part of me
That you're never gonna ever take away from me, no
Throw your sticks and your stones, throw your bombs and your blows
But you're not gonna break my soul
This is the part of me
That you're never gonna ever take away from me, no"
"Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination"
Android on a Nokia device, its fantastic! It opens a whole new world for Nokia, it could literally save the company from its perils of the past half decade. We live in a Samsung vs Apple world, Nokia could pickup its former brand recognition, strength, innovation, design and engineering to become a THIRD choice. We all remember you from recent popular culture, we all want to see you do well. Nokia could be reborn from the Asha's like a Phoenix.
"Chandra: I would like to open a new file. Here is the name for it.
[types the word "Phoenix"]
Chandra: Do you know what that means?
SAL-9000: There are twenty-five references in the current Encyclopedia.
Chandra: Which one do you think is relevant?
SAL-9000: The tutor of Achilles?
Chandra: [chuckling to himself] That's interesting, I didn't know that one.
Chandra: Try again.
SAL-9000: A fabulous bird, reborn from the ashes of its former life
Chandra: [approvingly] That is correct. And do you know why I chose that?
SAL-9000: Because you have hopes that HAL can be reactivated.
Chandra: Yes, with your help. Are you ready?"
2010: Odyssey 2 (sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, where HAL 9000 is revived, reborn...)
Go on Nokia, make our dreams of an Android powered Nokia official. Do it the HTC way if you have to, you could manufacture Windows Phone *AND* Android devices, and let consumers choose which of your products we would like to buy.
If you ask me though, Nokia designed a phone with the curves and colouring which suggests a taste for candy, its phenomenal design and engineering just ice-screams for a matching operating system.
Have you installed Android on your Nokia N9? What do you think? I'd love to hear how your experiences have been! :-)
*** UPDATE *** Glad people have enjoyed reading the post :-) You can click the photos to see them fullsize.
To answer some questions, my N9 cannot take photos, use GPS or make voice calls.
Joshua asked me if it has a data connection.....I popped the Micro SIM out of my iPhone and into the N9....yup! 3G data works absolutely fine while booted into Android! :-)