Does Nokia Know What Time It Is?

Last Updated Oct 27, 2009 6:10 PM EDT

Nokia sent me a confirmation to an event promoting its new N900 series smartphone. Can you spot what's missing here?
Welcome to the N900 meet-up !
The New York meet-up is held in the Nokia Flagship store at 5 East 57th Street, New York.

The doors open at 7.30pm and the 'official' part starts at 8pm. For the following couple of hours you will be able to meet likeminded people, as well as Maemo folks from Nokia and the community. We will provide some nibble food and N900 demos, so you can get a feel for the device in case you have not had the chance yet or just have fun with it. The event then ends at 10pm after which we can continue the chats elsewhere. We will also have a surprise lottery at the end of the event.

As the space is limited, we have a name list at the door so we ask you to bring a piece of identification with you. We are very exited about the N900, and we hope you are as well. :)

Best Regards,
The Nseries team
The Nokia N900 - Extreme speed, outstanding performance

I'll tell you what's missing from this email: the date of the event. So does this really qualify as "outstanding performance?"

Ordinarily, I 'd call it unfair to skewer a vendor for this type of thing, except that sometimes the details are telling, and Nokia has had more than its share of detail-oriented peccadilloes, many of them marketing-related. But not all -- recent product performance has been less than stellar as well, as the Guardian reported this summer.

Nokia has been slower than rivals to bring mainstream colour-screen handsets to market while sales of new Nokia devices such as its 5510 handset with a full keyboard and built-in digital player are said to have been disappointing.
Really, the worst thing about this is that Nokia is trying to relaunch its brand in the US after an extremely disappointing launch for Ovi, its still-underwhelming app store. This is no minor issue for Nokia, for as analysts with Current Analysis point out:
the Ovi Store is of paramount importance to the company's transformation from a mere handset manufacturer to a software and services provider.
Its Symbian operating system remains the world's most prolific mobile OS, but that's largely the work of the formerly independent Symbian Foundation, and not something on which Nokia can rest its laurels. Indeed, the company remains in "desperate need" of a breakthrough device.

Nonetheless, and amazingly, Nokia is showing signs of complacency, and this email, poorly designed and carelessly reviewed, is just one illustration of that.

I'm going to that event, by the way (it's on Friday), and hope its on-site presentation skills are better than its virtual ones. Because the time is now and the date is ASAP, failing which Nokia will become an afterthought in Steve Job's world.

  • Michael Hickins

    Michael Hickins has written about technology and business for BNET, InformationWeek,, eWEEK -- where he was executive editor from 2007-2008 -- The Curator,, Multex Investor, Reuters, and Conde Nast's Hickins is the author of The Actual Adventures of Michael Missing, a collection of short stories published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1991. He also published Blomqvist, a picaresque novel set in 11th century Europe, in 2006. Hickins remains passionately interested in the intersections of business, technology, politics and culture, and endures a life-long obsession with baseball. He is married with two children and lives in Manhattan.