Consumers or Manufacturers – Who is the King?

So you are happy that so and so company pushes frequent updates to their so called flagship model. Many updates are minor and some major. Now you’d ask why am I talking about something as common as this. It’s logical to ask so. Actually, looking at how people have been waiting for some fearures to be activated has made me ponder over whether this system of updates for niche products is worth it? Lets dig this together.

Nokia N8 is perhaps one of the better devices Nokia has ever launched. And it’s C-series counterpart, C7-00, is perhaps the sexiest Nokia. Admitted. Now, there’s this growing frustration about Nokia not releasing PR 1.1 update for the N8, that probably will fix many major bugs. That is what made me wonder in the first place. There’s problem with haptic feedback, QT and Ovi services related issues and what not. That the N8 is an unofficial flagship is known to many. What’s irritating is the fact that it wasn’t released bug-free, or with few bugs.

Another device in the line of fire is the C7-00 (referred to as C7 hereon). For one, C7 is sexy. But then, it’s even more buggier than N8. Consider this – N8, and C7 share the same specs. Just the camera in C7 is the traditional 8 MP one. How much of a difference would that make is another thing, but given the above fact, both the devices should be equally buggy, or should perform on the same standards. Add to this the fact that it has a NFC chip built-in, which at the moment isn’t activated. Now, why in the world should it not come pre-activated is beyond me. Nokia definitely lost out on mileage to Google, with the Nexus S coming with NFC activated. Where are your strategists, Nokia?

Of Android, Symbian and Fragmentation.

Symbian is no doubt a powerful OS. And so is Android. But I guess both the OSes lose out to iOS in one area – they’re fragmented. Look at the update history of Android – many devices still languish at the bottom of the table at v1.5 and 1.6. And Android devices running Froyo or above only can have their apps installed on Memory Cards. Why I’m talking about this is that internal memory is often pretty low. Considering the fact that apps make smartphones smart, this is pretty idiotic. This is just an example. What I fail to understand Is that why do manufacturers even release a new device with an outdated version of Android. Maybe they have certain strategies, but then why should the consumer be at the receiving end?

Symbian is fragmented as well. There was S60 v2 (I remember only from this version folks), then there’s S60 v3 having 3 versions – MR, FP1, FP2. There’s S^1 or S60 v5 and now the latest is S^3. Symbian is worse when we talk about upgrades. For example, Dell Streak was (and it could have been) updated to Froyo, whereas a Symbian smartphone will remain on the version it was launched. S60 v3 FP1 device won’t be bumped to FP2, nor will S^1 device to S^3. Nokia lost a lot here.

Apple’s strategy is perhaps what Nokia and other manufacturers should have followed (or considered, if you don’t like that). A second generation iPhone can still be upgraded to iOS 4. Now before you start, I admit that Apple has only one phone to take care of. But two smartphones running on the same basic OS won’t be differing hugely in terms of specs, will they? They will have the same basic specs like their newer counterparts have. Android has evolved faster, actually very fast, so, those manufacturers having Androids and who do not update their device to latest version are forgiven. But all this is at the consumer’s cost. The least they should do is update the device to as latest version possible.

In future, if Nokia does what Apple has done in terms of OS upgrades, they’ll do a world of good to themselves. QT is a revolution that aims at solving this problem, but my tryst with it so far hasn’t really been much to write home about.

We should not just hope that these manufacturers do what they’re supposed to, but we should demand. Afterall, consumer is the King, isn’t he?

Posted by Wordmobi