Friday, April 09, 2004

Nokia sales slump caused by inadequate product range.

Only mentioning this because I ended up getting a new phone last week - upgrading my old Nokia 8-series to a new 6-series (the 6610, indeed). Why? I guess the main reason was just out of curiosity - I'm not a phone freak (as opposed to a phreak), and really don't want the latest hot-diggety woosh swoosh features, like a camera, or torch, or mp3 playing. A radio is good, bluetooth would have been nice, but so long as I have infrared, I'm happy. It also had to be free, based on my current "status", as it were. I was also keen to find something that I could maybe develop some Java apps on - get back to the good old days of small-time, fun coding. So I'm looking into that.

But the first thing that struck me when I was choosing, was how quickly I managed to narrow the choice down. OK, the criteria are quite numerous, and while I'm keen on Nokia phones, I didn't want to disregard any others. So the 6610 fitted and off I went with it. But it was the "best of the choice", rather than one that really leapt out at me.

Now I've been using it for a few days, it kind of feels more and more like a bit of a step backwards from my old one. With the introduction of a "pretty", graphically-filled interface, the UI response time has dropped noticeably. I'm going to see if turning the backgrounnd image off has any effect, but I don't believe it should. I constantly find myself waiting for the menu display to catch up as I scroll through even the list of names.

There are some nice little shortcuts, thanks to the extra keys now available, and there may even be some that I haven't found yet. Being able to get to my SMS inbox in less than 6 keypresses would be nice, for instance. But it's almost-worrying to see that what is surely a technically-superior product is now hampered by the push to run a media-rich interface, as if the ability to store images and ringtones is now more important than feedback time. Is this the result of an industry that has a now-saturated market, and so must continue to invent new features to maintain sales progress, thus maintaing shareholder value? I'm still skeptical about 3G over here. (Who wants to be able to see who they're talking to whilst walking down the street?)

The 7-series phone seemed a bit faster when I tried someone else's, so maybe I can take this one back and get an update. If it's not too late. But then, it's quite hard to get them these days, as people didn't like the keys... :-/

No comments: