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December 8, 2008

Nokia lost some friends when we changed our VoIP offering (but there might be good news)

ESPOO, Finland – Nokia recently removed the Nokia SIP client (for VoIP) from a few of our devices. Many folk have had a lot to say (and are still saying it). And now there might be a solution.

Read on for more details in this story.

Feature show
Nokia puts out many products every year. Each device has its target market and target features and, in most cases, the feature sets differ between devices. That’s how all products in any industry are made – product managers weigh their decision across multiple parameters and release the best products they can.

Of course, potential users expect certain things from certain categories of products, but there will always be someone who is not satisfied that a certain feature was removed or something was designed a certain way. None of us can escape that truism “You can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

Just the facts
The Nokia N96 drew fire earlier this year for not having the Nokia SIP client anymore. We didn’t deny it or try to cover it up. We worked with VoIP vendors to provide clients that have been available from the device Download! folder. So, it’s not like the N96 is not able to do VoIP, we did not kill VoIP on our handset.

More than meets the eye
The folks affected by this missing Nokia SIP client are technically competent (also very vocal – check out all the comments in our previous post), know what they want, it’s clear that they are not going to be satisfied by the vendors we are worked with.

Is this a small segment of users? Is this a niche feature?

It really doesn’t matter, from the comments it’s clear that when the client was removed, it wasn’t easy for folks to do the settings themselves (which I am sure they all would be able to do, if they hadn’t been doing it already).

We know that this has been disappointing for our users.

Folks were upset. We just reiterated the facts when we should have at least given an indication that something was (or wasn’t) coming, or that there would be a firmware update that would put this matter to rest. We were responding as honestly as we could. There is genuine sadness for the ill-will that was caused by this and we hope as a company we can avoid such situations by listening and learning in future.

An offering
While it seems that the folks most upset by this change in VoIP client do not find the clients from other vendors that we offer (such as Fring and Gizmo) able to fill their needs, we may have a small ray of hope. Recently, the company released an app that makes it easier to create SIP settings yourself.

I don’t use SIP, so I have not been able to test out this app (not that I would know how).

So, all of you still looking for a way to use your N96 with the SIP system you wanted to use it with, let me know if this is a decent enough patch, a tool to help you acheive your goals with SIP.

If it does, then good, we’ve made progress (and I hope we’ve learned something). If it doesn’t, then let us know and we will pass the feedback along.