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August 26, 2009

Taking a hard look at Nokia products and solutions (BONUS: a headset chord trick)

OliBac-lupesnailBOSTON, USA – One would think that very little is going on this week, what with Nokia making three device announcements in three business days. And all that a week before Nokia World 09. But we’ve managed to find a string of interesting things going on that are not directly related to the Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, the Nokia 5230, or the Nokia Booklet 3G.

Below we have links to a few articles that are mostly a hard look at Nokia products and solutions. But if you read all the way to the end, we’ve also linked to a few good tips.

We interrupt this program…
OK, so we couldn’t just skip over the attention the Nokia Booklet 3G has received. Our inbox is full of links of all the articles written. And to imagine the product folks thought they’d just mention it and let folks wait until Nokia World 09. At least people don’t seem upset with the wait, there is enough for them to chew on already.

We’d like to thank Mashable, Engadget, and everyone else for all the link love. News of the Booklet 3G was all over Digg and Techmeme, there’s already a wiki page for the product, [update: and among top trending topics on Twitter, top 10 on Yahoo! search, and among most popular on YouTube (toot! toot!)] and Monday was one of Nokia Conversations’ top spikes in traffic (along with the N97 and E72 launches). [update: yesterday was the biggest day ever on Conversations!]


Social challenges
On to more serious fare. Ricky Cadden has been writing a series of articles on the Nokia Surge, the AT&T version of the Nokia 6760 Slide. I had mentioned it earlier, noting how sometimes a product ends up in users’ hands quite different than the product manager envisioned it.

Ricky points out in his most recent entry in the series that the Surge is being billed as a “social” phone, based on a package designed by AT&T with some basic Nokia social apps removed (such as Share) and some other social apps added (such as JuiceCaster). That was not good enough for Ricky, who, expecting the usual Nokia S60 apps, was confronted with a very different (and difficult) package from AT&T.

Who then is responsible for the final user experience: AT&T or Nokia? Who will Ricky turn to for help?

More advice
Ricky always has advice to give Nokia. As does Ewan Spence, who goes into a very long list of things to be tweaked, fixed, or added to Ovi Store (and Ricky is there in the comments, chiming in). And Colin Gibbs joins the pile-on with a dense list of All that is Wrong with Nokia.

Sigh. Some days you need to take the knocks, even when things are looking up.

Thanks for the advice folks, we’ll be sure to pass it on.

And to cheer us up
On a lighter note, we read on Core77 that Nokia is in the running to be World Design Capital 2012. In a country where even the highways are designed to be attractive, it would be nice to be recognized for decades of leadership in design thinking. It’s no coincidence that Nokia focuses so much on industrial design. It’s genetic, almost, for Finns.

But there are a few things that might not be designed with people in mind, and that includes all the numeric codes one can type into Nokia phones to make it tell you or do all sorts of things. If you find yourself constantly searching for this info on the Web, just bookmark this one page from Nokia Tips.

BONUS! Parting shot…
As promised, here’s a wee video of that headset untangling tip I mentioned above. Enjoy!

Image by OliBac