Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Woes - Justification for FOTA?

Jason Lackey

A technology which has already done much to save subscribers, operators and handset makers, FOTA, or Firmware Over The Air, still evidently has a way to go. Nokia recently released the 5800 XpressMusic, a nice phone to be sure, but one which (like so many others) had some bugs. Many issues with mobile devices are not fundamental hardware issues, which are relatively rare, but more often problems with firmware, which can be fixed with updates.

In the past, firmware updates were done via cables - you patched in to the device and made sure the battery was topped off and loaded a special app onto your PC and downloaded the firmware and used the app to load it on to the phone and hoped and prayed that nothing went wrong during the upload or you would brick your phone.

That was then. Now, many operators and handset makers, including Nokia on many of their models, offer the ability to update firmware over the air. This is far more convenient for the subscriber, who gets the benefits of a phone that works properly (or at least more properly), without having to take the phone to a brick and mortar shop and have a tech patch in and update it. It also works out well for operators and phone manufacturers, who can very inexpensively patch large numbers of phones - a process which often heads off support calls as problems are fixed before the impact the subscriber, clearly good stuff.

If the 5800 was FOTA capable, subscribers would be able to use the phone to trigger updates or updates could be pushed by mobile operators offering the handset. In some cases, the phone manufacturer may want to offer such updates as well. Sadly the 5800 does not seem to be FOTA capable, and thus 5800 owners are invited to call support or visit a Nokia flagship store for a replacement. Ouch.

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1 comment:

  1. Why didn't they put FOTA on the 5800? They have it on other phones....