Nokia Country Variants

The PR1.3 firmware update for MeeGo Harmattan was originally launched this year in July 2nd.

Nokia published the following changelog:

  • Over 1000 quality improvements
  • Mail for Exchange (MfE) now supports client certificates
  • Localization improvements and support for new error codes with the Facebok app
  • Twitter API changes that reflect the back end infrastructure of Twitter
  • AccuWeather widget weather update fixed
  • VoIP calls now work via Skype/Gtalk when in flight mode and connected to WLAN
  • Changing the “week starts on” date within the calendar error now fixed
  • Network and connectivity improvements
  • Usability and performance improvements

Today, and despite the update having been announced officially on my country’s Nokia N9 support webpage as you can see above, more than four months since the PR1.3 original release, my Nokia N9 is yet to receive it, as you can also see in the screenshot below.

Since I bought the phone unlocked and paid full price at the retailer’s shop, I wondered why I had to wait this absurd amount of time to get this PR update that patches a huge amount of bugs.

Usually, there are two different situations regarding smartphone software updates:

  • You buy the phone to your operator, which usually means it’s carrier-locked, full of the operator’s additional software that most people don’t care about and the phone depends on the operator schedule to receive the firmware updates! The good thing about this is that the phone is usually subsidized by the operator and the customer ends up paying less for the same phone.
  • You buy your phone unlocked at some shop, not attached to some contract or anything, and you get the user experience the phone manufacturer intended when designing the phone.

Unfortunately Nokia, besides having unlocked generic phones (the so-called NDT versions) and the carrier-branded ones decided to create an additional third category:

  • The Country Variants: these are unlocked phones the consumer paid full price for and that may or may not come with some region-specific software pre-installed.

Although Nokia is apparently the only responsible for the approval of their software updates, they usually take much more time to release the updates compared to the generic NDT versions!

In fact, it’s common to see some carrier-locked devices, like Vodafone branded phones, get the PR updates before some Country Variants unlocked phones receive it!

With the N9, it’s even more strange the fact that some third-world countries (probably with residual sales) receive more support and faster firmware updates than some European countries like Portugal.

At this point one might argue: the easy solution is just to buy the NDT version instead of the Country Variant one!

The problem is that Nokia, in countries like Portugal, never released the NDT version of the phone, so you have one of two options:

  • Buy the carrier-locked phone and depend on the operator update schedule
  • Buy the Country Variant phone and wait forever to get the update when and if Nokia decides to release it

Either way you’ll end up waiting, unless you know what you’re doing and flash the phone with some Global firmware variant, voiding the warranty in the meantime.

Nokia should sort this out: avoid having several software variants for hundreds of different product codes for each phone model. At least unlocked devices sold on the same region should all get the same firmware updates at the same time.

Companies like Apple are able to deploy at the same time for everybody new OS versions for several different devices (iPads, iPhone, iPod Touch) of different generations, both carrier-locked and unlocked.

I really didn’t want to void my N9 warranty but for me the waiting is over: I’m going the Navifirm way and flash it with a generic global PR1.3 firmware! Damn You Nokia!

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: