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nokia trips on day 3 of the Lumia 900 US launch – windows phone software bug triggers a 100% refund

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment

US nokia decided to launch the Lumia 900 on Easter Sunday when most of AT&T and Microsoft stores are closed.  every brand manager worth his or her high paying job knows you choose a launch date for a new product only when you are sure your product will be available in the retail stores for consumers to buy it from.

choosing a date when the retail stores themselves are closed is the first time nokia tripped on their Lumia 900 product launch.  now, nokia not only trips but takes a fall – on day 3 of the launch, nokia announces a 100% rebate to those who bought or will buy Lumia 900 due to a data connectivity problem with the windows phone OS. the product is priced at $100 with contract with AT&T, giving a $100 rebate is like givng it away for free.

it’s a magnificent gesture to nokia customers (hello, apple are you listening?) but it does leave a bad taste in the mount for those who have not bought their Lumia 900 yet. this fear that even though it has been fixed (to be done in the future) getting a brand new Lumia 900 that will not work can be very real even if its for free or back to the regular $100 price.

potential buyers will definitely think twice before buying the Lumia 900 or for those decided on it will probably postpone the purchase for as long as they can. with aggressive and more popular competitors lurking, nokia might just lose the sale.

this windows phone OS problem is puzzling to us –  doesn’t  nokia test their products before they launch it in the market? we would think extensive lab and field testing would be in order for cellphones  before they are launched. discovering the OS defect on day 3 of the market launch just sounds too amateurish for such a huge company.

bad news does not end there.  nokia  sent out a press re;lease as advance notice to their 1qtr call scheduled next week:

Our disappointing Devices & Services first quarter 2012 financial results and outlook for the second quarter 2012 illustrates that our Devices & Services business continues to be in the midst of transition.

nokia has announced it will have first and second quarter 2012 results will be below expectation.  it looks like the business decline for nokia that has been going on for sometime has not been arrested.

but here is what puzzles us as well – the announcement states 1st quarter and 2nd quarter results will be bwlow expectations. our question is this – what is the share of  Lumia 900’s launch in their first and second quarter forecast?

there are several possibilities here :

  • Lumia 900 was forecasted  very low versus the rest of the Nokia business that its impact to its business is very minimal. marketers typically show a bump in sales forecast when new products are launched.
  • if nokia forecasted this very low, does that indicate nokia has little confidence on the success of Lumia 900?
  • this early nokia is already anticipating very low sales on the Lumia 900?
  • the rest of the business is nokia is expected to perform so poorly that even the bump in sales from the lumia 900 will not be able to push its total sales up?
we have seen thousands of new product launches before but this lumia 900 launch we think is one of the weirdest ever and to some degree has gotten a lot of  bad luck.
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from the above, a big  sell down in the stock market for Nokia.  investors sold down NOK by almost -16% to just $4.24 at close. NOK also reached its 52 week all time low last night at $4.20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

why in the world nokia chose the wrong date to launch Lumia 900 in the US – on a day when AT&T and Microsoft stores are closed!

April 9, 2012 2 comments

nokia and even microsoft has been making a big deal out of the launch of their flagship cell phone in the US, the Lumia. they even had a pre-launch featuring nicki minaj in times square. the lumia  for both companies is a very important product t launch.

microsoft has launched their mobile phone platform windows but it has not really taken off in the US market with its market share still low even though it has gotten relatively good reviews. the lumia launch with their latest microsoft mobile OS is supposed to bring microsoft back into play in the smartphone market.

the lumia is even more important for nokia. nokia has lost a lot of market share in the past years when it decided to ignore the iphone and stuck with the dumbphone market. it’s key competitors samsung and lg did not ignore the iphone and went after it by coming out with touch phones of their own using the android platform. the result is that samsung and lg are the top two smartphone makers in the US, followed by the iphone. nokia on the other hand is a poor and far 6th or 7th in the market.

though few understood why it went with windows rather than android, the lumia 900 is supposed to give nokia its stage to get back to the smartphone market.

that is great, except that for another strange move nokia chose april 8, Easter Sunday to launch the lumia 900 in the US.

some news articles and bloggers reported that most AT&T and microsoft stores, the outlets who are supposed to sell the lumia 900  are closed for easter sunday.

On Release Date, Crucial Nokia Phone Is Hard to Buy in New York

AT&T said last month that when Nokia’s new Lumia 900 phone went on sale April 8, it would benefit from the company’s biggest product introduction ever, exceeding even the iPhone’s.

The big day is here. But nearly all 39 AT&T stores within proximity of Times Square in Manhattan were either closed for Easter Sunday or did not answer phone calls. The few that were open did not have the handset in stock.

When AT&T stores within five miles of Times Square were contacted around noon, 18 of them played an automated message saying they were closed for Easter. Nineteen stores that were authorized AT&T resellers did not answer the phone, and two AT&T resellers that were open said they did not have the Lumia 900 yet.

The stores that played the automated voice message also played a short advertisement for the iPhone 4S and made no mention of the Lumia 900. “Visit our store to see the exciting iPhone 4S and how only AT&T’s network lets your iPhone 4S download three times faster,” a female voice said.

There was some Lumia-related action in Times Square on Friday night, when Nokia sponsored a performance by the pop singer Nicki Minaj to spread the word about the phone. Nokia roped off a section of Times Square and blasted promotional messages on screens for the show, and even served free signature cocktails with names like “Lumia Light” and “Beautifully Different.” There was only a single table of Lumia 900 phones on display, ignored by most of the guests in attendance.

It’s odd that such a highly anticipated phone is so difficult to purchase in a store on its release date, at least in New York. Analysts and tech followers view the Lumia 900, priced at $100, as the make-it-or-break-it device for Microsoft and Nokia, two tech giants who are struggling to gain a foothold in the smartphone market. Nokia made the Lumia’s hardware, and Microsoft made its software, Windows Phone 7.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/0…easter-sunday/

here is another article on the matter:

Why Is AT&T Releasing Nokia’s Big Phone on Easter?

AT&T has said that the release of the Nokia Lumia 900 will be its biggest product introduction ever. But the phone is coming out on Easter Sunday, when some AT&T stores won’t even be open.

Melissa Havel, a spokeswoman representing Microsoft, confirmed thatonly some AT&T stores carrying the Lumia 900 would be open on Sunday. And she said that “many but not all” of Microsoft’s own stores would be closed. The phone will also be available online.

Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, said: “The Lumia has received tremendous product reviews and we have been taking pre-orders online and in our stores all week. We are already off to the races.”

The choice of date is a puzzling one. Many analysts and tech watchers view the Lumia 900 as the make-it-or-break-it product for Microsoft and Nokia, who teamed up to make Lumia handsets. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile software, which had its debut in 2010, has barely gained any traction in the United States, and Nokia’s share of the phone market has been rapidly shrinking. The Lumia 900, a Nokia-made phone with Windows Phone 7, was supposed to be the “hero” device with the potential to turn things around for both companies.

It’s difficult to imagine that American shoppers will scout for an AT&T store that’s open on Easter just to try a Lumia 900. And for companies, day one sales are important, because they can serve as a measure of the public’s excitement about a product and determine how it will sell over all.

New models of the iPhone, which is the best-selling handset for AT&T, are typically released on Fridays, giving shoppers a full weekend to line up at an Apple store and buy the phone. And these product introductions consistently turn in big numbers. For instance, first-weekend sales for the the iPhone 4S last year topped four million, according to Apple.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/0…ia-900-easter/

first day,  first weekend and first week sales and internet pre-orders are important milestones to cellphones. actually its apple who has started this trend. apple would make a big deal about how much they have sold and whether records have been broken by their first day, first week-end, first week and pre-order sales on their gadgets. even the length of the lines in front of apple stores during the first day sale has become some kind of measure for the success of its new products.  analysts, techies and consumers apparently have learned to look for these numbers to judge whether a gadget is a success or not.

it’s really just for brownie points and bragging rights,   but as anything apple does, it has become an important yardstick of success.

it drives us nuts to think the marketing team of nokia missed out on the fact that they picked a day 1 launch for their most important new product on a day when most of their retail stores are closed. distribution and sales . specially pipelining sales is one of the most important things you worry about in launching a product into the market. every brand manager makes sure his pipelining sales or month 1 sales is a huge success.  choosing day 1 when the stores are closed is a really dumb idea.

we’re wondering why easter sunday was chosen. it really does not make sense that nokia will choose a launch date when most of its retail stores are closed.

we can only make a guess – the marketing director or whoever it is that chose the date must probably be a christian or catholic. easter is one of the most important dates for chritians and catholics. it is the day when Christ rises from the dead.it is like a new beginning , a restart and the glorious resurrection of Christ from death.

that must be have been the  thought behind the choice for the date. the lumia 900 is meant to resurrect nokia from the grave. launching it on easter sunday totally echoed that sentiment and hope,.

the religious undertone and meaning  is a great idea but it is the same religion that has  kept customers from buying the nokia lumia. stores are closed, not even a religious miracle can save the day for nokia.

Nokia C3 product defect made worst with Nokia Customer Care who does not care

May 9, 2011 11 comments

the case of the 2 defective Nokia C3 is not yet over.  not only is it still on-going, the most recent dealing with Nokia Care, Nokia’s customer “care” service made it worst by showing they really don’t care about customers.

after a string of failures with ronald of the Nokia Care center at Greenhills, we have decided to get the information we needed on our own. through our contacts from nokia itself and from the industry, we are able to get the names of the key officers of Nokia Philippines – it’s general manager, marketing director and customer care manager.  we were able to get through to the office of the general manager and the assistant in that office listened to our complaints and got our contact numbers.

the result was swift, we immediately got a call. from a certain Byan who we think is the manager in charge of the Nokia Care center operations.  we guess getting a call from the office of the general manager of Nokia Philippines has pushed the right button.

bryan in his mild mannered tone told me at the outset that he has been briefed by Nokia Care Greenhills and is aware of our request for a refund. he quickly told me that  they are prepared to make an offer.  he said they are giving us two (2) options : option 1 – replace the 2 C3 units with brand new C3 units or option 2 – refund the purchase price of the 2 units. the latter was actually my request.

we asked him more questions to fully understand the offers he made. i asked him what guarantee can he give me that the brand new C3 units he will replace the defective ones will no longer have the same problems as the ones i bought? i asked if there were changes in hardware parts since the time i bought them. he said there were no changes in hardware parts.

he told me that it should have no problem with the ones i bought because these new units will have the latest software. i told him i doubt if that will solve the problems. i told him that the 2 units that i bought have been loaded with new and the latest software several times at their Nokia Care Center and the problems continued to reoccur.

on the refund – i asked him what was the process involved and how long will it take them to give me the refund. he said the refund will take a little bit longer to accomplish as it will involve “coordinating” with the resellers or the stores from which the units were bought from.

since the users of the cellphone were my teen-age children and not me, i told bryan i needed  some time to make the decision. i wanted my children to make the decision on what they want to do with their defective Nokia C3 units. we were given two options, i wanted each child to make up his/her own mind as to what option to take.

true enogjh, my two children had different preferences – my 13 year old son wanted a refund. he does not want to have anything to do with a nokia phone. my daughter continue to like the C3 and her decision was for the replacement of a brand new unit.

since i was going to buy a new cellphone myself, i had my two children come with me to the stores for them to see other brands before they make a final decision. we spent a whole  afternoon looking at cellphones in the malls. in the end my son stayed with a refund and my duaghter changed her mind and now wanted a refund,  both now had firm ideas on the brand and model they wanted to have and both are not nokias.

with the decisions made, i told bryan what they were the next time he called me. i asked him again – what are the processes that they will need to follow and when will i get the refund. he gave the same answers – he will need to coordinate with the resellers and it will take one week. he said he will call me the following week, on a tuesday.

so last wednesday on the first working hour, i called bryan to ask about the refund, he was not answering his phone. after lunch, he finally called me and this call was a dramatic disappointment.

he told me that they will not be able to give a refund on the units we bought from nokia. this was very shocking to me. he did not mention any problems with the refund during the previous two times we talked about it. i asked him very direct questions and all he said length of time was the only issue and nothing else.

bryan was now denying he made the offer of the refund. he said that the offer made then was tentative and that after further review, they found out they cannot offer it to me.

i was adamant – i had told my children about the refund and we even spent time to look at cellphone options to make a proper decision. and now, i will need to tell my children no refund was forthcoming.

a few more discussions ensued. i explained to him why we preferred the refund which was basically we did not think Nokia can guarantee that replacing the defective units with brand new ones will solve the problem. i told him i no longer wanted to keep going back to the Nokia Care Center for any repair.  cellphone units are not supposed to break down every two months, they are supposed to last for a long time .

sensing this was a dead end with byan, i asked him for the name of his superior. i thought that itr was time to elevate the matter to a higher level. he refused to give me the name of the person of hyis superior. i asked him what department he belonged to, he also refused to give me the specific name of the department and only said he worked at Nokia Philippines.

i asked him several times the name of his superior at Nokia Philippines and he simply ignored my question. what got me ticked was he ev en pretended not to hear what I was asking him, saying the connection was bad and he could not hear me.

that really got me very angry. i thought this bryan in his mild mannered tone was completely unprofessional.  i also thought that he was hiding something,, he probably knew he had screwed up the discussion with me and he did not have the balls to give the name of his superior as he will be found out by Nokia higher management.

i hanged up the phone even more determined to get the refund and to expose bryan.

Nokia C3 product defect unsolved, 3rd time for repair

April 18, 2011 11 comments

the nightmare called Nokia C3 continues. we had previously posted here product defect problems with 2 brand new units of Nokia C3 . one was bought in august 2010 and another in december 2010. the august 2010 unit has been sent to the Nokia Care Center for repairs 4 times already while the december 2010 unit 2 times.

the december unit has been repaired but after only 2 weeks, we have sent it back again to Nokia Care Center for more repairs. this will be the 3rd time we have brought it for repairs since it was bought. we brought the unit back to the greenhills nokia care center yesterday, april 17, 2011.

this is a repeat of the previous problems – the unit very often turns itself off when it is charged  and it turns itself off when being used at times. this is one of the problems we have had with this unit when we had brought it in for repairs. it has not been solved apparently.

a slight good news – it has not deleted all the contacts and files when it turns itself off which was one of the major problems encountered previously.

for this 3rd repair, the nokia care center manager, ronald said they will now need to replace the whole motherboard. they had apparently not done so in the 2nd repair.

if this was a laptop, replacing the motherboard is the most  major repair one can do to a laptop. the cost apparently is almost as high as buying a new laptop. if you had to pay for this kind of repair, the advise you will get is not to have the motherboard replaced but buy a brand new laptop instead. this is probably true for cell phones.

i had asked about my previous request to refund the money we paid for the nokia C3 but  ronald, the nokia care center manager said they will not be able to refund the cost. asked why not, he was unable to give any reason.

i asked who i can talk to about it. he gave me a name and cellphone number to call, a certain janelle. i asked him to call this janelle person so i can talk to her. he went to an inner room and spent some minutes using the telephone but he came out to tell me  janelle was not answering her cellphone. bi wondered what he did on the phone for some minutes if she did not answer.

ronald promised me janelle will call me in the evening of sunday or today. i dialed the cellphone number and he was right, the number just kept ringing.

we will be posting more here later.

read other posts here:

nokia care center – stupid things at call centers : 3 versions of stupid

April 2, 2011 Leave a comment

this is in relation to the the nokia C3  product problems we have elevated to the nokia care center.

we  had called  the nokia care center a few days ago. we called again yesterday to follow up.  when the call center agent talked to us,  we promptly gave the reference number we had for the case. after a few seconds, to give time for the computer of call center agent to have our record appear on his computer monitor, we told him why we called:

me : i called a few days ago and the agent told me she will call me up gain during that day to let me know status of my request. she did not call back then and i have not received a call since then, for 3 days now.

nokia care center agent: sir, nobody called you yet about it?

me : yes, nobody has called me and i want to know the status.

nokia care center agent : did anyone call you , sir?

me: no, nobody has called me yet.

nokia care center agent : sir, nobody has told you the status for your case?

me: wait a minute – look i have already told you nobody has called me about it yet. you have asked me the same question in 3 versions already,  i will give you the same answer. please do not ask me the same question in a 4th version .

listen to me – nobody has called me since i first called to tell me what the status of  the case is. let’s move on and tell me what the status is.

i did not understand why the call center agent asked me the same question in 3 versions. i had to stop him after the 3rd time as i felt he was preparing to ask me the same thing in a 4th version. what was the point of it? did he think i will change my answer if he asked me again? 3 stupid questions in a single call!

the net effect of asking the same question in 3 versions is only to lengthen the conversation. asking the same 3 times will not give the call center agent any other information nor make his understanding of it better but it will only annoy the customer.

Nokia C3 product defect – hard resets by itself, deletes contact list, messages and files

March 29, 2011 11 comments

we have never had a nokia cell phone before,  we have had a motorola, sony ericcsson and a samsung.  no particular reason why we never bought a nokia, it was just the cell phones we have had like the sony ericcsson and samsung have done very well that we did not consider getting other brands. based on experience, sonny ericcsson and samsung cell phones are self-sustaining – they hardly break, the user experience is easy, very reliable and they last long.

nokia C3 product defect

but not for teen-agers. teen-agers seem to be in love with nokia cell phones. when it was time to replace her old cell phone, my teen-age daughter looked for a replacement phone and she was convinced a nokia c3 was the best buy.

looking at the specs, she was correct – it was a qwerty phone, bigger than normal screen, wi-fi, decent camera, nice color and at a very good value price of only P6,500+. the phone actually had  everything she wanted at a very good price.

think again.

we bought the phone in august 2010 and since the time we bought it, we had gone back to the nokia repair center 4 times, an average of every 2 months to have the phone repaired for the SAME reason –  her phone hard resets on its own. what happens is it turns off on its own and when you power  it back on, everything in the cell phone is gone – address book, files and even the games that came pre-installed with the phone when it was purchased.  there were also times when she can’t send text and can ‘t connect to the internet through wi-fi.

sometime in december, 2010, my son needed to replace his own cell phone as well, thinking that maybe the experience of my daughter is isolated and since it had great features at a good value price, we bought a 2nd C3 for my son.

guess what – we have been to the nokia repair center twice already with my son’s C3 for exactly the same reason we have been going back for my daughter’s cell phone.

for those 6 times we have brought the 2 Nokia C3 cell phone, what they had done was “update” the OS. unfortunately, it does not seem to work as after some time of the update, the same problem reappears. so now i am thinking this is no longer an OS problem but a hardware problem. and since the same problem occurred in two units, i think this is a product defect already.

being that, i had asked nokia for a refund of our money. i just did not want to keep on going back to the nokia repair center every 2 months for each nokia C3 that we bought. aside from the hassle and gasoline expense, the  inconvenience of having my children’s contact lists, files and messages deleted every 2 months is just too much of a bother.

we have called nokia for this request. we will update this blog as things develop.

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