One of the major memes of the Blogosphere of the moment is the backlash against Apple for making the iPhone and closed platform tied to specific network operators, and for then breaking the hacks with a firmware update that had allowed a very small group of users to add new applications to their now “simfree” iPhones.
Nokia it appears have jumped at the opportunity with the adverts above appearing around New York, making the point that their N-Series phones represent an open platform.
Now don’t get be wrong I think Apple have made a huge mistake with the iPhone, in that they had the opportunity to break the current operator dominated market, to be frank I’m not that bothered about the ability to add new applications, I think I have added one or two to my N95 but don’t really use them very much.
For me the real villains remain the network operator who lock down the ability of all makers phones on their networks, remember the fuss about vodafone dropping the VOIP application from the N95 ? In the US the situation is even worse with the level of control demanded on CDMA phones by the operators reaching extreme levels.
This is not just about adding applications, to upgrade my “open” Nokia N95 to the point that the GPS actually worked, I had to first replace the firmware with a Generic English one as Nokia would not update a vodafone branded phone, in doing so I have not doubt voided its warranty.
So maybe the target for Nokia’s poster campaign is wider than the iPhone, perhaps the operators are also in the firing line. You get the sense that Nokia has run out of patience with operators messing about with their phones and increasingly see their own Nokia branded online services delivered independently of the network operators as the way forward.
Get your music, games, and Location Based Services from Nokia for your Nokia mobile device, Vodafone, t-mobile, o2 and orange just move the bits around the network and add no other value themselves. (Those 3G licenses are a real bind no !!)
I think this is quite a smart strategy although I’m not sure symbian the preferred OS for nokia mobiles is the right way forward, however, the demands for a truly “open” mobile internet increase every day – although remember the calls are coming from a very small geek community ( that’s you dear reader) most people don’t even change their phones wallpaper !
Written and submitted from the BA Lounge, Milan Linate Airprt, Italy, using the BTOpenzone 802.11 network.