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Nokia 900 Being Given Away Due To Software Glitch 206

joemite writes "On early Wednesday, Nokia said it had found a software bug in the new Lumia 900 smartphone, its big hope to take on Apple's iPhone, and was effectively giving the model away until it is fixed. It is offering anyone who has bought a Lumia 900 phone, or who buys one by April 21, a $100 US credit to their AT&T bill. The operator sells the phone for $99.99 with a two-year contract. Both Microsoft and Nokia still have big hopes for this phone. The bug apparently causes a random data connection drop. Nokia plans to push a patch the phone later in April."
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Nokia 900 Being Given Away Due To Software Glitch

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  • by Anonymous Coward


  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:16PM (#39648101)

    My related links shows: "Google Earns $2 Per Handset; Apple, $575" and apparently, "Nokia, $-0.01"

    • Actually, don't forget Microsoft.

      Since they probably earn $10 per android headset (or was it $15), and Nokia (some amount).

    • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:18PM (#39648129) Journal
      Read the summary:

      The operator sells the phone for $99.99 with a two-year contract.

      Emphasis mine. Why don't you 'buy' that phone and then break your contract? I think you'll find out how 'free' those phones that come with two year contracts really are ...

    • They obviously sell them for more to AT&T (probably near their retail price), who recoup the costs by locking people in a 2-year contract.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Sign a contract to pay money every month and we'll give you a device for free which currently does not work and you have not guarantee, will ever work!"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:39PM (#39648391)

      While I"m an android fan..I give respect to Nokia for doing this.

      What happened when Samsung's phones had/have issues basically randomly disabling the phone? nothing.

      At least Nokia is saying "we're working hard on fixing this, in the meantime we'll give you what you paid for it back and let you keep the phone." Sure sure you're still in the contract, but you'd be in that contract with a different phone. Nokia is just paying you to stick with the Nokia while they work on fixing it.

    • Pretty much. Free phone w/ expensive contract == not a good deal. I'd rather just buy a smartphone from VirginMobile for ~$100 and then get their cheaper month-to-month billing.

  • Clearly smart phone users have dealt with far more and gotten far less. Anyone see this as a thinly veiled attempt at flooding the market with windows phones?

    I mean a free phone for a connectivity glitch? Fixed with a software update? That only shows up on 1 in 3 phones, but anyone is eligible... Come on...

    • by Locutus ( 9039 )
      with Microsoft involved this is exactly what I was thinking too. Purchasing market share is not beyond them and the Windows Phone phones are still in single digit market share after more than a year on the market.

    • by SpryGuy ( 206254 )

      Or, you know, maybe it's just first class customer service?

  • by A.Sleep ( 29468 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:19PM (#39648143) Homepage

    ... the newest Nokia ads claiming the "Smartphone Beta Test" is over with the Lumia 900. I hate to kick a dying dog but *point and laugh @ Nokia*

    • by Keruo ( 771880 )
      There are NO BUGS in the software!
      You're hold^wrunning it wrong!
    • by Locutus ( 9039 )
      I had forgot about that. Too funny and I guess they forgot who they had partnered with. Well, Elop knows for sure but his vision is clearly through rose colored spectacles.

      • by 21mhz ( 443080 )

        I had forgot about that. Too funny and I guess they forgot who they had partnered with.

        From all indications, the bug is in Nokia-provided adaptation firmware.
        You were saying?

  • Ad vs. Karma (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bill Dimm ( 463823 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:20PM (#39648147) Homepage

    Didn't I see a Windows phone ad recently that claimed other smart phones were treating their customers as beta testers? Talk about tempting fate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:21PM (#39648159)

    Nokia has TWO "900" phones -- the n900, and the Lumia 900. I was excited that Nokia was giving away n900s, the most open phone to date...

    • There is but one Nokia 900. Thou shalt have no other Nokia 900s before me.

      (naturally, posted via my trusty old Debian derivative running Nokia)

    • Yep what a let down :-(

    • I can't find it in a quick search online, but didn't Nokia (or some group pseudo-supported by Nokia) commit to allowing all of their Windows phones to be flashable to Maemo and/or one of its successors (Harmatten, MeeGo, Tizen)?
      • I don't believe any such commitment was made. That might have been a dream you had.
        • by Khopesh ( 112447 )

          I don't believe any such commitment was made. That might have been a dream you had.

          And still have.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        I can't find it in a quick search online, but didn't Nokia (or some group pseudo-supported by Nokia) commit to allowing all of their Windows phones to be flashable to Maemo and/or one of its successors (Harmatten, MeeGo, Tizen)?

        well, what do you think? of course they didn't.

        you might be confusing it with n9, which looks in pictures exactly the same.

        it's possible one of the reasons ms wanted to go with nokia because nokia has had the rep as being pretty tight about their fw lockdowns(fun fact, siemens sx-1, a s60 phone from yesteryear, can run a linux port. how many nokia s60's have been hacked to do the same? none. they outnumber the sx-1's in the wild by maybe 1000 to 1).

    • the most open phone to date

      N9? While maybe not as gifted with 3rd party software repositories out of the box, it is certainly just as open as the n900 was.

      • Damn shame about the lack of a physical keyboard, though.

      • by makomk ( 752139 )

        More effectively locked down than Motorola's Android phones ever were, apparently - even though on paper you have root, you can't load non-Nokia-provided kernel modules or replace the kernel, you can't tamper with the system software, and it has a fairly powerful mandatory access control framework to make it harder to bypass any of this.

  • by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:24PM (#39648195)

    This is the big difference between the front runner in a market and the lagging competition. When Apple is confronted with claims of dropped calls via "the grip of death" they responded with things like "you're holding it wrong." Only after the problem persisted they provided everyone with free bumpers (still somehow without admitting there's an actual problem).

    MS and Nokia, with their drastically lower and non-dominating marketshare, are not in a position to make such claims, and they immediately respond by comping the price of the phone and signaling exactly when the fix will be available.

    No matter what your feelings toward WP7 are, you should be able to recognize its presence has a positive affect in overall market quality.

    • by bmcage ( 785177 )
      As far as I understand your reasoning, you only claim that Nokia and WP7 would not do this if they are the market leader. So what is the positive effect? That people with a bad Nokia device get some freebees? I'm pretty sure threats of a (class action) suit are sufficient for that. I'm also pretty sure you could return your phone where you bought it in case of problems that go counter to the specifications.

      Personally I think this is a bug turned into a marketing ploy. The amount of tv-web-paper-space that

      • The positive effect is that companies on the top can't get away with buggy hardware/software without their customers saying "Look what Nokia did for their customers." Otherwise, those same customers will think twice when their next cellphone contract is up.
    • by Pope ( 17780 )

      As well as show that all other smartphones at the time had the exact same problem with antenna attenuation.

    • I had an iPhone 4. It had far better reception than my previous AT&T non smart phone. I did not have any problems with dropped calls. My sons phone at the time seemed to have weaker reception than the iPhone. I was able, only by trying, to get the grip of death. But with moderate to heavy use I never had any problems. (At least not in that regard - it did seem that anytime I was at any event my AT&T Internet bandwidth would go to near 0 once a healthy attendance arrived, but I digress...) Oh, and
  • Some will say that this is a good way to admit fault and do right by customers, even though they haven't done this before with previous faults. Others will say that Microkia is giving phones away to gain market share because they cannot get people to buy their hyped up and top of the line phone for $100.

    Who is right?

  • Can't give it away (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:44PM (#39648463)

    I still don't want one.

    • I don't blame you. I pre-ordered one and got it this past Friday and what a total mistake that was. I spent most of the day calling customer support to (not) get my phone working. I ended up shipping it back the next day.
    • by DAldredge ( 2353 )
      I have one and it is excellent. Of course this being /. the previous statement will get me labeled a shill. I can't understand the hate for something that most of you haven't even tried.
  • by Relayman ( 1068986 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @03:56PM (#39648639)

    ... effectively giving the model away until it is fixed.

    According to Ars Technica, [arstechnica.com] all new phones sold, even with the $100 credit, have the fix already installed.

    Customers not wanting to wait can have their phones swapped for updated versions in AT&T stores.

    Since when do we use the Toronto Sun as a reputable source for technical stuff?

    • Since when do we use the Toronto Sun as a reputable source for technical stuff?

      Since when do we use the Toronto Sun as a reputable source for anything?

      (For those that are lucky enough not to know, it's a tabloid)

  • "...Nokia said .... its big hope to take on Apple's iPhone..."

    Didn't that ship sail long ago? I mean MS can get in the water, but Android is #1 and Apple is at what - 25% market share (and has held steadily) with RIM still holding on but losing out to Android.

    Nokia is not going to displace the iPhone. If it wants to compete it will have to compete with Android where it can steal from a less loyal user base. That means becoming a commodity piece - which means pennies per phone instead of $$ per phone.

    • by MikeMo ( 521697 )
      Actually, Android and iOS are in a virtual tie with Android at 47% and iOS at 43%. But, Android has been falling while iOS has been climbing [techcrunch.com].
    • The biggest problem I see with competing with Apple is the annual refresh cycle that Apple is achieving. Everyone's been used to Microsoft taking about three years between operating system releases (Starting with Windows 95, five newer versions of Windows for the desktop have been released in 14 years). Even IBM with its IBM i operating system for servers has released 11 new versions since 1995, not quite as fast as Apple but a lot faster than Microsoft.

      So we have 10 kinds of companies writing software and
      • by Kenshin ( 43036 )

        I'd go beyond the annual software refresh and look at the annual hardware refresh.

        Apple makes a killing release ONE new phone a year, whereas Nokia is used to releasing a dozen or so new phones a year.

    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
      Well Nokia as a maker of the handset is probably looking to nudge into the iPhone's top spot as the most popular phone, not Android/iOS in the most popular smartphone operating system.
  • If they would "give" me a Nokia 900 without a 2 year contract, then I'd be interested. Heck, if I had to pay for a Nokia 900 without a 2 year contract, I'd be interested.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      it was at least reported that you could buy it at microsoft store without contract, but at a price that wouldn't make sense unless you really wanted the bundled hw with it (something like 900 bucks, bundled hw being some bluetooth speaker etc..).

  • You had me there for a second... thought they were giving away N900 phones, and I'd have to jump on it. It's the first phone that I will probably replace with another of the same model.

    Instead, they're giving away the skeleton of the N9, running a mashup of Harmattan, Gnome, and Ubuntu's Unity interface, with gestures lifted (and flipped) straight from WebOS. Don't take that the wrong way -- I think WinPhone7 mostly took the *good* bits from those other OS's; I just think msft ought to acknowledge that

  • by gtirloni ( 1531285 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @04:36PM (#39649249)
    People are used to software bugs. Just wait and push the update as soon as possible.

    Giving people $100 only makes the situation worse ("Nokia is the dumb company who has buggy phones and gives cash away, no wonder it's dying")
  • 2 year lock in is not a give a way costs over $1K with a 2 year voice + data plan + $10 a GIG for data over the basic plan use.

    • I'm really impressed by these prices. I live in Argentina, and a Nokia N9 still costs around 1.3kUSD here.

  • Nothing to see here, guys. Just another once-great company that's partnered with Microsoft. Some may care to stay to watch as the parasite devours it from inside.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan