I’m unsure how long I’ve been a fan of Nokia. Maybe it was since the 3310 that I used to play Snake on, more than making actual calls.
In any fashion, I’ve come to realize I have a high level of respect for Nokia, as a company, and not just as a “cheap mobile phone” as most people think when they hear the word Nokia. The actual inspiration for this article is what I saw, today -> NokiaNav challenge. A Maserati Quattroporte and a Porsche 911 (so far), given to users as a Nokia Navigation event. Thinking back, Nokia has had numerous challenges, contests and events for consumers - and I have never seen such ones with any other large mobile device manufacturer. Perhaps it’s because I’m not in their fold, maybe I’m not important to them - or perhaps it’s because no such things exist. I’ll let you find the answer.
From the S60 Ambassadors, through SWSX giveaway, invite-only launch events, application/platform development contests, almost weekly WOMWorld/Nokia challenges (including Ovi Store challenges, N97, E72, N97 Mini, N900 challenges) and now an event featuring multiple cars worth over $100,000 each (can you imagine the cost of the entire event?) for a week and who knows what other fun stuff is in store - Nokia has never failed to deliver a great consumer experience on that front.
Then I think about the WOMWorld/Nokia hosted Mobile Geek of Toronto meetup, where the Head of Operations for Maemo in Mountain View, California was flown to Toronto, along with many Nokia constituents who put on a presentation, took a field of questions and basically hung out and talked tech with us for hours on end. They actually get excited by tech too. Cool. A question came up about Nokia Messaging and how the service was not 100% for one of the attendees - he joked about meeting up with them to fix problems, and well, fortunately that’s not far from what’s possible. When BlackBerry/RIM have outages across North America and even globally, how can you contact them? When you want to suggest a change, addition or modification to the service or client - can you send an e-mail to a project manager and hash it out with him? Can you get in touch with a live person to make changes to a service that over a million people use? I can. I can pick up my phone and get in contact with somebody who can make actual factual changes and talk to people who ACTUALLY know what is going on, not only because it’s their job, not because they use the product/service as well but because they too live, sleep and breathe for it.
Nokia has a specific BetaLabs department that provide users with new applications, in the making. They take feedback from users actually implement it. They take ideas from the community and actually make them happen. A search for “official Nokia blog” on Google yields a Nokia blog page that’s updated multiple times a day, they have regular podcast episodes and are very involved in the community. Try sifting through and finding an official HTC, Samsung or Motorola blog. I’ll save you the time - they don’t have anything that compares.
These are just a small fraction of the things that Nokia does with the public, there are countless ones that happen across the world that many of us don’t hear about. So when somebody scoffs at me or calls me a Nokia fanboy...you know what? Go ahead. I’ll shrug it off and while your preferred company is thinking of ways to make money off of you - my preferred company is getting feedback from me, they’re making sure I am enjoying their services and products and they are making it a brilliant experience. I have never blindly followed a company or brand, but I can safely say Nokia is making it extremely hard not to just absolutely love them.
Nokia has always been a leader, while the rest sit in the backseat, clueless.