There was a time many years ago when Nokia could do no wrong. Their phones were dominant and frequently first to market offering the latest functionality. With a large portfolio of devices to cater for just about everyone, it seemed that nothing would topple Nokia as the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world. True, the firmware’s were and still are flaky and the build quality of the devices made in Eastern Europe remain crap but on the whole, Nokia was top dog.
Then along came the iPhone with the BlackBerry snapping at its heels and Nokia’s market share began to erode. A quick browse of Nokia’s latest phones and it’s not hard to see why.
I was looking to buy a Nokia N97 Mini earlier this month and had a play with one in a shop. The installed languages were English, German, French and Italian but no Spanish, Arabic or Japanese. I tried a Nokia E73 smartphone instead. Same thing, any language you like as long as it’s English, German, French or Italian.
Back in the old days, I could have taken it to a Nokia service centre where a technician would cheerfully install any extra languages I want for free. Not anymore though.
In a blatant attempt to drive even more customers away from a dying platform, Nokia’s official policy now is to only install whatever languages come preinstalled on the device for the market it was intended. So in other words, if I wanted Spanish on my Nokia N97 Mini, Nokia would refuse to install this. If I fancy Japanese, I have to fly to Tokyo and buy a device there.
It’s totally ridiculous that in this day and age, Nokia is dictating which languages a customer is allowed to use on their own handset. It’s even more stupid that this should be determined by the market in which the handset was sold. After all, you’d have to look bloody hard to find many people who spoke English or Italian in places like Tower Hamlets or Bradford.
Both Android and BlackBerry have support for pretty much any language you want so why Nokia have adopted this half baked policy just goes to show that even when you’re the number one mobile manufacturer in the world, there is still room for the type of pig ignorance you’d expect to have died out with giving women the vote.
If Nokia think I’m going to be wasting my money on buying a handset that can’t support the languages I want, I have some words for them they’ll have no trouble understanding in any language; you can f**k off!