Nokia N900 is now a consumer phone

It’s always good to take a walk through the tube even if you can’t stand the delays, grime and the folks playing music. It’s good to get a view on what the mobile market is pitching to end consumers. The Nokia N900 Maemo device was arguably never intended for the average 24 year old female on a 35/month contract. Indeed when I originally talked to Nokia back at the start of Q4 2009, they were — broadly speaking — unsure if any operators would ‘range’ the device. And that issue didn’t really bother them either. The N900 is almost a reference device for Maemo, for the future of the company’s super-high-tech gadget series of devices.

If you hunted around in early January, you could pick up an N900 on a contract from some of the equipment re-sellers online. But it’s only recently that Vodafone in the UK has officially offered the device. Super news for interested geeks. I’m not sure that advertising the device in the tube is the best thing to do. Nokia doesn’t necessarily need normobs or mobile civilians walking into Carphone Warehouse and evaluating the N900 against (for example) the iPhone. The N900 isn’t for the faint of heart — it’s a hugely powerful device that the super-geeks will *love* but that your average consumer will have issues with.

I’m pleased Vodafone has taken it on to give the geeks a choice. I don’t reckon they or Carphone need to advertise that much though. If you were interested you probably were already on the operator site regularly searching for it, right?

Posted via email from MIR Live

11 replies on “Nokia N900 is now a consumer phone”

your absolutely right Ewan, by farming out what should be the halo Nokia product to the operators it potentially pushes it further down the consumer funnel towards mass market and has a huge effect on its brand value. who wants to see teenagers on the high street struggling to get to grips with the device when they could be tucking into the X6? whilst we all know that a ‘free’ handset from an operator is far from free that is the perception. You don’t see Mercedes offering the S Class for ‘free’ now do you?!!

Orange have announced the Nokia N900 on contract as well. Not that paying £40 per month for the next 24 months sounds like my cup of tea… who in their right mind would pay almost double for a phone? I just bought it sim free for under £440.

You all (Steve, Ewan, et al) are being a pack of snobs. Don't discount a determined user or a curious user, you were one once, too.

I let my Mom have the N900 for an hour, she who hates technology & finds the iPhone very confusing, and she loved it. If the N900 was smaller, she would buy one. Then again, maybe we Californians are made of sterner stuff. ;op

The N900 is a great mobile device and it is no more and possibly quite a bit less confusing the average LG, Motorola, or Samsung that has been branded by Verizon/AT&T/Sprint/etc.

If a user seeks out an N900 and decides they want it — brilliant. I'd classify a determined or curious user higher than an average normob (“normal mobile user”). The trouble begins when the normob is — for example — shopping for a new handset by phoning their operator. The call centre agent pitches them a few handsets with specs like 'it's got a big camera, and it's got more talk time than the iPhone' (or something like that). The normob says 'Yeah? And it's a Nokia? Brilliant. Send it over'. Your average normob is going to be horrified by the N900.

I think it's a stunning handset and if your Mom is enjoying it, that is fantastic!

Got to say, I’m who may be considered a typical “normob”. Got my N900 about a month ago, and love it. I’ve had absolutely no problem understanding the user interface. I wanted a telephone/computer that is on the cutting edge of technology and has potential for growth, rather than one that is either a closed system or older technology.

“Your average normob is going to be horrified by the N900.”

I don't see why. My gf has one and she seems to like it. It looks quite cutesy to me, the way she's set it up – some built-in theme with cartoon characters and such.

Now, true to your original post, she was watching the operator site for it, so the tube adverts were pointless as far as she's concerned… but she's still fairly representative of the '20-something on a £35/month contract' group. She can tweak the settings on her desktop computer, she can tweak the settings on her consoles, and she can tweak the settings on her phones – it's not rocket science, 'normob' or not.

There's a huge group of people in-between 'people who can't work out how to change their default ringtone' and 'people who like to play with tech for fun', and I'm not sure whether you're classing those people are 'normobs' or not. I'd guess they're the (modal) average mobile phone user in this country, and they'd probably quite like the N900, even if they didn't ever use all its power.

What do you perceive as the negatives for the N900 to the average mobile phone user? Its thickness and weight are the only ones I can immediately think of. It's got a fantastic screen, a full(ish) keyboard, and it seems to allow quite a bit of customisation… these seem like mainstream features to me.

It's far too clunky for the mainstream. Provided you're happy to put up with that, bring it on. As I said in the post I think it's super that Vodafone have given consumers the option of adopting the device.

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