Nokia World – More Than Just a Convention

By Simon LR

This is an old post that has been added to the archives.

I am keeping this short, but let’s get right into it. I went to my first Nokia World. It was a paid trip, including all accommodations and cherries on top. I spent a glorious week in London, England and met with well over a hundred people who are all, or at least were once, enthused about the same thing I am; mobile technology, and to quote Nokia – “It’s not technology, it’s what you do with it”. Well I must have come away with, or experienced something completely different than what I’m reading about on the internet.

After 5 inexplicably action-packed days, I came back to Canada to be greeted by some recent posts, from some pretty well-earned people, that basically demonized Nokia for not launching 50 new devices, for not announcing their absolute immediate availability and for failing to release a show-stopping MeeGo platform and device. Am I the only one who knew MeeGo would be staying off the lips of just about everyone who wasn’t a developer? I’m pretty low on this totem pole – yet it seemed so. Did people not know the N8 and counterparts would be announced? – and then to finish it off, be available by Q4? The Mobile Fanatics already had their hands on the N8 and C7, well before any others – so maybe we did know something well in advance. We saw early leaks and rumors of an E-series device that basically took an N8 and slapped a sliding QWERTY keyboard on it. Nobody really knew this would materialize; yet the E7 was announced and the design blew off my socks.

I wasn’t expecting an N9. I wasn’t expecting Ovi services to rival those of Google. I wasn’t expecting to see MeeGo on a 7” tablet, and to none of my surprise – I didn’t see those things.

I also wasn’t expecting to see a brand-new-not-even-employed Stephen Elop, CEO – handing over a $1,000,000 dollar cheque to a Kenyan startup. I was sitting 2 chairs behind the dream-team and can safely say the amount of energy that radiated from them was almost enough to cause my eyes to swell. They leapt from their seats and the room erupted in applause. I saw the Managing Director of Virtual City, John Waibochi, return to his seat teary-eyed and in a state of pure, unadulterated happiness.

I thought to myself; “…this…this is why Nokia has a place in my heart”. Aside from the claims of lack-luster device announcements, and ignoring (I will admit) obvious platform orphaning and seemingly dead-end support – one of the major reasons that I respect Nokia (as a company) is their mantra and the principle that has been etched into company for over a decade. “It’s part of our DNA” (to quote Peggy T – Product Manager for Nokia’s Sustainable Lifestyle Services). What I am talking about is their “Connecting People…” slogan. It’s a whole buncha things, but Nokia World 2010, was literally – connecting people.

That’s all I have to say about that.