Hello from Helsinki, Finland!

Hello everyone and good morning from Helsinki, Finland.

I knew I had landed in Finland because the moment the plane touched down, a cacophony of Nokia text message beeps sounded across the cabin.

I’m here with Rafe Blandford, Founder and Editor in Chief of All About Symbian, the biggest Nokia/Symbian-related site on the planet. We didn’t manage to sit together on the plane on account of the gazillion Finnish folk heading back out of London late on a Sunday afternoon.

The middle-aged chap sitting next to me was not impressed at me using an iPhone. At all. So much so that he stared at me a few times, hoping, I suspect, to encourage me to put it away. We’d only just taken our seats and the announcements made it clear that using mobile devices at this point was perfectly acceptable. His wife joined in with the upset disapproving stare a few minutes later. I was busy working away on a presentation using the utterly fantastic Documents To Go Premium app (more about that in a dedicated Application Review newsletter this week).

Eventually the chap plucked up the courage to tell me, “You shouldn’t be using that.”

I wondered if I’d brought out my N86, if he’d have the same reaction.

I stared at him for a moment.

I then pointed to the fancy little Aeroplane icon on the top left of the device screen, explaining, “It’s on airplane mode.”

“Oh,” said the chap.

So I carried on using the iPhone until the plane taxied off.

I wonder if the Finns aren’t that impressed at the iPhone. I should have brought out my iPad to see what this chap and his scowling wife would have made of it.

Blandford had warned me. It seems bringing an iPhone or an iPad to Finland isn’t best practice. Everything including my N86 connects perfectly fine to the hotel’s free WiFi service. Everything, that is, apart from the iPhone and the iPad. Is it a conspiracy?

No. Just an incompatibility somewhere along the line. Should’ve brought my MiFi unit. Or perhaps I should turn my N86 into a hotspot. Trouble is, that’s running a 3UK SIM which, I suspect, will be positively ridiculous in terms of mobile data pricing. Just looked. It’s £1.25 per meg. But they’ll text you if you go over a 45 pound limit. Which is useful to know.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying five-bar mobile signal wherever I go, even at 70mph in the taxi.

They’re pretty good at mobile, the Finnish.

Back in London tomorrow evening.

Happy Monday! 😉

7 replies on “Hello from Helsinki, Finland!”

“I wonder if the Finns aren’t that impressed at the iPhone.”

Nope, we're not. There are two reasons for that: a) most people use Nokia phones and refuse to use anything else – 89 % of all phones in use right now are Nokias (old habits die hard, apparently – I personally think that's a bit sad), and b) we don't like operator-locked phones; according to statistics from last year more than 80 percent of our mobile phones are free (= not susidized/SIM locked). Apparently we want to buy and own our phones and we want to choose freely which operator we use. There are no official data on the amount of iPhones in Finland, but it's estimated to be about 30.000.

(My reply didn't go through – maybe you're to busy to manage comments, but just in case:)
Well, yes, maybe… but keep in mind that this is only an estimate, and no-one knows how many privately imported unlocked iPhones there are (since you can buy unlocked iPhones in Italy, for instance – or here: ).
According to this:… the phones in use right now (in Sept-Oct) are: Nokia 88,7 %, Samsung 5,7 %, Sony Ericsson 3,3 %, Siemens(!) 0,6 %. That leaves 1,7 % for “others”, including the iPhone.

I just have to join this conversation, cause as a Finn I have just betrayed our nation and bought my first phone that isn't Nokia. At this point I have had about 11 different kinds of Nokia, all of them I have liked. They are easy to use and switching to another brand isn't easy.

Because of my work I somehow got to a point, that I just had to buy a iPhone or an Android phone. Somehow the decision wasn't hard: an Android it must be. As wordord said, it's annoying to be forced to take Sonera as your phone operator, if you buy iPhone. So, now I'm trying to learn to use HTC Legend and have to admit, it's an awesome phone. Everything is made so easy that I almost laugh every time I use it. Except writing text messages, that is impossible after using Nokia for 12 years.

How ever, I have noticed that teen agers are ready to adopt iPhone as their phone. Too bad they are too expencive for youngsters. But maybe after few years, when they start to buy their own phones, it's time for iPhone to strike in Finland as well 🙂

Oh, almost forgot. As a women I would like to see these phones in different colors as well. A pink one for me, please 😀

Funny story. Used to be that you'd hide your airplane ready device anyway out of respect for the cabin crew's ignorance. I guess the fan boys don't workshop at that church nowadays. Finland has plenty of iPhones and they don't cause much stir any more, but unlike in the UK they are still uncommon enough not to have completely lost their gloss from being in the hands of every Vicky Pollard yet. It's funny what a strong social identity thing phones manage to still be.

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