Leading on from the previous post, there where a few things that really stood out for me, and made me think about the whole way that these smartphones or ‘converged devices’ (I.T. speak) are supported and marketed. The first was that when you look into purchasing one of these devices, when you go to your local ‘mobile phone store’ you are dealt with in the same way as the average mobile phone consumer, namely that as long as you don’t ask too many ‘tech’ questions, they are happy to explain the basics to you e.g. battery life/connects to internet/you can have email!/etc. It becomes clear very quickly that all they want to do is get you signed up, grab the money, and basically then tell you to push off. Any more questions? Call your mobile carrier….its not our problem. So it seems that the way these things are marketed/sold has not really changed since the dawn of the whole mobile phone age. But for me, the real evidence of a complete lack of understanding about these devices, and what they are used for was when I was at the official Nokia Service Centre.
You see, if I am to buy into the idea of a truely mobile lifestyle, then the device I use (in this case the E61) must fulfill certain criteria. It must deal with all my email, it must contain all my SysAdmin client data, it must also contain a LOT of personal information/documents/etc…basically I use it as it was intended: as a form of pocket computer. So, looking at the device from this angle, its clear that I MAY rely on this device, it MAY be the only device I have, and so it is critical that the data is as safe as it can be, and that in the event of needing support, the manufacturer takes these things into consideration.
Not so, in the case of dealing with Nokia Service. The whole way that they dealt with the device, from the basics of pulling the sim card out, PULLING the memory card out (not even knowing to eject it first!) and then almost tossing the innards into a small service box, and handing me a disclaimer to sign. Then they offered me a ‘loan-phone’ for a day, which was no use to me, as all my contact info is on the internal memory inside the E61. I told them this and they looked at me blankly (a kind of f**k off, and leave us alone look) Can you imagine if you went to the Apple store with your new macbook, went to see a ‘genius’ at the bar, he tells you it needs fixing and so he proceeds to whip the battery out, wrench the harddrive out, and then toss the macbook into a big Service bucket/ box?…oh..and then hand you a cheap phone and tell you that this is a perfect replacement for all your computing needs, and to come back….soon…dunno when….but soon.
Clearly, things like this do not happen in the computer world because normally manufacturers realise that the device is fragile, expensive, and could contain a lot of the owners personal or business information. But in the ‘smartphone’ world, you are treated as a not-so-smart consumer who is happy to be given the run-around, because all you really want to use this device for is phonecalls, so you should be happy that we gave you a P.O.S basic mobile phone to tide you over. After all, what else could you possibly be using your smartphone for?