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Nokia 900 Being Given Away Due To Software Glitch

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the get-your-free-broken-phone dept.

Windows 206

joemite writes "On early Wednesday, Nokia said it had found a software bug in the new Lumia 900 smartphone, its big hope to take on Apple's iPhone, and was effectively giving the model away until it is fixed. It is offering anyone who has bought a Lumia 900 phone, or who buys one by April 21, a $100 US credit to their AT&T bill. The operator sells the phone for $99.99 with a two-year contract. Both Microsoft and Nokia still have big hopes for this phone. The bug apparently causes a random data connection drop. Nokia plans to push a patch the phone later in April."

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206 comments

Fist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648079)

In for 5.

Re:Fist (5, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | about 2 years ago | (#39648261)

Have fun with your five 2-year cell phone contracts which will probably cost you over $7000 over their course.

The summary is rather inflamitory. There are no "free" cell phones, they only look free if you ignore the contract component.

Re:Fist (2, Informative)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39648457)

While I agree with your point, the summary isn't inflammatory.

Re:Fist (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#39648661)

considering the phone isn't much good without some sort of carrier arrangement.

It's slightly misleading, in that the phones are probably about 500 dollars off contract, and they're certainly not giving those away for free. But people around here should be smart enough to read beyond the first line to figure that out rather than driving to an AT&T store hoping to get their free lumia 900.

Re:Fist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648635)

Have fun with your five 2-year cell phone contracts which will probably cost you over $7000 over their course.

The summary is rather inflamitory. There are no "free" cell phones, they only look free if you ignore the contract component.

What the hell does the total cost associated with a 2 year contract have to do with the actual device costing ZERO dollars initially?

News flash! EVERY smartphone costs you something monthly and over time, unless you have found some way to circumvent the telcos...

If someone gives you a car, is it not free because you will have to pay for gas to drive it?

Re:Fist (2)

fwarren (579763) | about 2 years ago | (#39648813)

I would say the difference is that no one is giving you a free car but makes you sign a 2 year contract that you will purchase $500 worth of gas a month giving you a total of 50 gallons of gas. You are not allowed to gas up at any competitors gas station and if you use your 50 gallons of gas, each additional gallon you purchase will be at the rate of $60 per gallon.

Re:Fist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39649149)

The point is, the phone (or car) is worthless without the required resource.

Most people purchase a smartphone with the intent of using it on some carriers network, which will come with a monthly cost regardless if it is tied to a contract. You spend $70 a month for 2 years on contract or you spend $70 for 2 years off contract, guess what? They both equal the same amount.

An iPhone 4S is $199 on 2-year contract. The Lumia 900 is $0 on 2-year contract. Of course each will amass the same overall cost over the life of the required contract but the upfront money needed for the Lumia is ZERO, ZILCH, FREE.

note free, negative 1 cent (4, Funny)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39648101)

My related links shows: "Google Earns $2 Per Handset; Apple, $575" and apparently, "Nokia, $-0.01"

Not Even Close to Free (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#39648129)

Read the summary:

The operator sells the phone for $99.99 with a two-year contract.

Emphasis mine. Why don't you 'buy' that phone and then break your contract? I think you'll find out how 'free' those phones that come with two year contracts really are ...

Re:Not Even Close to Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648271)

The price you have to pay for the handset when you brake the contract is higher then the 'hidden' price you pay when you sit out the contract.

Re:Not Even Close to Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648309)

Contracts come with brakes now? How about seatbelts ?

Re:Not Even Close to Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648607)

Because a phone is useless without a contract? Why are you people so obsessed with getting a phone that you can't use to call people on?

Re:Not Even Close to Free (0)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#39649011)

Because a phone is useless without a contract? Why are you people so obsessed with getting a phone that you can't use to call people on?

Because wifi is ubiquitus in urban areas. Hell, if you are (un)lucky enough to have time-warner cable as your ISP chances are you have "free" city-wide wifi available to you too. Even if you don't have time-warner there is almost always an open wifi you can hop on near by.

yes please! (1, Flamebait)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | about 2 years ago | (#39648237)

I'm going to go out and get one this weekend. It's better than the crapola droid phones available for $0. LG Optimus, anyone?

Re:note free, negative 1 cent (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39648493)

They obviously sell them for more to AT&T (probably near their retail price), who recoup the costs by locking people in a 2-year contract.

Wrong summary, again (0, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#39648121)

A Lumia 900 is NOT a standard n900. Don't be confused into thinking its a real smartphone.

Re:Wrong summary, again (3, Insightful)

Caratted (806506) | about 2 years ago | (#39648331)

Wait, why is it not a "real" smartphone? It's a really nice peice of tech, really, and as such my guess is that you haven't seen the 900 in action, in person or, for that matter, in a review. A definitive step forward for Nokia.

disclaimer: android user here

Re:Wrong summary, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648537)

If the lumia can be rooted, dual boot to debian, feature an usb to vga cable and a real keyboard, then it's a real smartphone. Else it's a toy, just like iphones and the average android.

Toy is not a derogatory term. Definition of toy: thing with limited functionality and/or safeguards to prevent unintended actions by the "untrusted by default" users.

Re:Wrong summary, again (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648617)

If the lumia can be rooted, dual boot to debian, feature an usb to vga cable and a real keyboard, then it's a real smartphone. Else it's a toy, just like iphones and the average android.

Toy is not a derogatory term. Definition of toy: thing with limited functionality and/or safeguards to prevent unintended actions by the "untrusted by default" users.

Uh-huh. So let me make sure I understand your naming approach: if it doesn't have an incredibly specific feature that a rounding-error number of people would use, it's not a real smartphone? Your perspective is somewhat... off.

Re:Wrong summary, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39649301)

Somewhat????

Re:Wrong summary, again (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | about 2 years ago | (#39648925)

So, by definition, my car is a toy because it has a limiter that kicks in at around 150mph to prevent the engine from blowing itself up if, say, you accidentally wedged the pedal down.

Re:Wrong summary, again (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#39648775)

A definitive step forward for Nokia.

Well, if you ignore the random data connection drops and the general unsalable nature of the things, sure!

Re:Wrong summary, again (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648975)

Yeah, an Android user would think so. ;)

Pardon us embittered Maemo fans who think a handheld computer should have the same software capabilities as a desktop computer. (Though I suppose MS is indirectly going for the same concept, by crippling the desktop to match. Hi-o Metro!)

I won't say it's not a smartphone, but if one were to confuse it with the good ol' N900 as the GP suggests, they'd be very disappointed (regardless of which one they preferred).

Re:Wrong summary, again (1)

Concern (819622) | about 2 years ago | (#39649457)

Wait, why is it not a "real" smartphone? It's a really nice peice of tech, really, and as such my guess is that you haven't seen the 900 in action, in person or, for that matter, in a review. A definitive step forward for Nokia.

It's an epic-making disaster. Microsoft...Windows...Smartphone...? Really?

Nokia shareholders, sue your CEO.

The only bright spot is that this is an industry, unlike finance, where awful decisions by management actually can cause a company to go bankrupt.

Re:Wrong summary, again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648581)

lol at n900 brick phone - that thing is like 2 iphones piled on top of each other

Re:Wrong summary, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648605)

Is this one of the things where they sneak-fix the summary, or are you just too high to tell the differences between "Nokia 900" and "Nokia N900"? Because right now, it sure doesn't say "N900" at all.

Here's what I read.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648123)

"Sign a contract to pay money every month and we'll give you a device for free which currently does not work and you have not guarantee, will ever work!"

Re:Here's what I read.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648391)

While I"m an android fan..I give respect to Nokia for doing this.

What happened when Samsung's phones had/have issues basically randomly disabling the phone? nothing.

At least Nokia is saying "we're working hard on fixing this, in the meantime we'll give you what you paid for it back and let you keep the phone." Sure sure you're still in the contract, but you'd be in that contract with a different phone. Nokia is just paying you to stick with the Nokia while they work on fixing it.

Re:Here's what I read.... (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#39648451)

And what happened when the iPhone had trouble with connections? "You are holding it wrong!"

Re:Here's what I read.... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#39649133)

...quickly followed by free covers and software fixes. They also had the guts to not give their baby away for "free" in some futile effort to grab marketshare at all costs.

Therein lies the diff, no?

Re:Here's what I read.... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#39649101)

There is a small difference...

Samsung spews out a half-dozen new models each month, so the number of people with one particular model is likely to be relatively low (and the carrier can always apologize and send along yet another model of equal or greater specs).

Nokia on the other hand have their fiscal 'nads on the chopping block, so they cannot afford to bork-up what they've been bragging on as their latest and greatest flagship model. Microsoft stands to lose almost as much in the deal (at least as far as the mobile market goes).

Re:Here's what I read.... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#39648525)

Pretty much. Free phone w/ expensive contract == not a good deal. I'd rather just buy a smartphone from VirginMobile for ~$100 and then get their cheaper month-to-month billing.

Illegial flooding of the market? (1, Troll)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#39648127)

Clearly smart phone users have dealt with far more and gotten far less. Anyone see this as a thinly veiled attempt at flooding the market with windows phones?

I mean a free phone for a connectivity glitch? Fixed with a software update? That only shows up on 1 in 3 phones, but anyone is eligible... Come on...

Re:Illegial flooding of the market? (0)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#39648323)

In the article, one analyst estimates it will cost Nokia less than $10M based upon expected sales volume by April 21. @ $100/unit, that's a maximum of 100,000 handsets sold. Not exactly flying off the shelves. Once again WP7.x phone fails to make inroads on sales....

Re:Illegial flooding of the market? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#39648757)

Um, the phone went on sale Monday. Bit premature to be claiming it's not selling well. It still needs to launch internationally as well.

Re:Illegial flooding of the market? (3, Insightful)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#39648919)

Um. Estimates 100k units in the US in 2 weeks is not exactly a stunning success. Not when new iPhone and Android models are selling 500k+ on the first day, and millions the first weekend. So, no, it's not too early.

Re:Illegial flooding of the market? (2)

SpinyNorman (33776) | about 2 years ago | (#39649473)

Actually, the Lumia 900 black and cyan models are both in the Amazon "Cell phones & accessories" top 100 best sellers (accessories includes cheap plastic skinns, etc), which from previous phone releases is indicative of 1M/mo sales rate, assuming it's for real (not just Microsoft/Nokia buying).

Re:Illegial flooding of the market? (2)

Locutus (9039) | about 2 years ago | (#39648695)

with Microsoft involved this is exactly what I was thinking too. Purchasing market share is not beyond them and the Windows Phone phones are still in single digit market share after more than a year on the market.

LoB

Funny considering... (5, Funny)

A.Sleep (29468) | about 2 years ago | (#39648143)

... the newest Nokia ads claiming the "Smartphone Beta Test" is over with the Lumia 900. I hate to kick a dying dog but *point and laugh @ Nokia*

Re:Funny considering... (2)

Keruo (771880) | about 2 years ago | (#39648413)

There are NO BUGS in the software!
You're hold^wrunning it wrong!

Re:Funny considering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39649351)

no bugs, but plenty of gaping holes, sharks and gremlins.

Re:Funny considering... (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 2 years ago | (#39648735)

I had forgot about that. Too funny and I guess they forgot who they had partnered with. Well, Elop knows for sure but his vision is clearly through rose colored spectacles.

LoB

Re:Funny considering... (1)

21mhz (443080) | about 2 years ago | (#39649425)

I had forgot about that. Too funny and I guess they forgot who they had partnered with.

From all indications, the bug is in Nokia-provided adaptation firmware.
You were saying?

Ad vs. Karma (5, Informative)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 2 years ago | (#39648147)

Didn't I see a Windows phone ad recently that claimed other smart phones were treating their customers as beta testers? Talk about tempting fate.

Re:Ad vs. Karma (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#39648393)

Other smart phone providers treat their customers as beta testers. We give you the feeling of true alpha testing! Windows Phone: Alpha quality software for alpha males.

SCNR :-)

That title got my hopes up... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648159)

Nokia has TWO "900" phones -- the n900, and the Lumia 900. I was excited that Nokia was giving away n900s, the most open phone to date...

Re:That title got my hopes up... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 2 years ago | (#39648303)

There is but one Nokia 900. Thou shalt have no other Nokia 900s before me.

(naturally, posted via my trusty old Debian derivative running Nokia)

Re:That title got my hopes up... (1)

jc79 (1683494) | about 2 years ago | (#39648565)

(naturally, posted via my trusty old Debian derivative running Nokia)

In Soviet Russia, my trusty old Nokia is running Debian derivative!

Re:That title got my hopes up... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#39648545)

Yeah, when I read the headline I thought a glitch in their web software allowed you to order the N900 for free ...

Re:That title got my hopes up... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648647)

Nokia has TWO "900" phones -- the n900, and the Lumia 900.

Both customers were disappointed.

Can the Lumia 900 run a Free OS? (1)

Khopesh (112447) | about 2 years ago | (#39648743)

I can't find it in a quick search online, but didn't Nokia (or some group pseudo-supported by Nokia) commit to allowing all of their Windows phones to be flashable to Maemo and/or one of its successors (Harmatten, MeeGo, Tizen)?

Re:That title got my hopes up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648873)

There's no reason to discount a phone that people actually want to buy at regular price.

Re:That title got my hopes up... (2)

INeededALogin (771371) | about 2 years ago | (#39648985)

the most open phone to date

N9? While maybe not as gifted with 3rd party software repositories out of the box, it is certainly just as open as the n900 was.

can it run android? (1)

stackdump (553408) | about 2 years ago | (#39648167)

Would it be foolish to buy one hoping to be able to put android on it?

Re:can it run android? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#39648225)

Why would you do it? You could probably find a real Android phone with the HW specs you're looking after.

Re:can it run android? (1)

21mhz (443080) | about 2 years ago | (#39648241)

Why ruin a good phone? Android will run slow on that hardware, not to mention the bugs that nobody is going to fix by next Moday.

Re:can it run android? (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | about 2 years ago | (#39648339)

not only would it be foolish to hope for it, but it would be foolish to do so! It would be like buying an iphone and trying to load droid on it.

Front runner vs. the Competition (4, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#39648195)

This is the big difference between the front runner in a market and the lagging competition. When Apple is confronted with claims of dropped calls via "the grip of death" they responded with things like "you're holding it wrong." Only after the problem persisted they provided everyone with free bumpers (still somehow without admitting there's an actual problem).

MS and Nokia, with their drastically lower and non-dominating marketshare, are not in a position to make such claims, and they immediately respond by comping the price of the phone and signaling exactly when the fix will be available.

No matter what your feelings toward WP7 are, you should be able to recognize its presence has a positive affect in overall market quality.

Re:Front runner vs. the Competition (1)

bmcage (785177) | about 2 years ago | (#39648381)

As far as I understand your reasoning, you only claim that Nokia and WP7 would not do this if they are the market leader. So what is the positive effect? That people with a bad Nokia device get some freebees? I'm pretty sure threats of a (class action) suit are sufficient for that. I'm also pretty sure you could return your phone where you bought it in case of problems that go counter to the specifications.

Personally I think this is a bug turned into a marketing ploy. The amount of tv-web-paper-space that will be given to this 'issue' will be a good boost for brand recognition.

Re:Front runner vs. the Competition (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#39648567)

The positive effect is that companies on the top can't get away with buggy hardware/software without their customers saying "Look what Nokia did for their customers." Otherwise, those same customers will think twice when their next cellphone contract is up.

Re:Front runner vs. the Competition (1)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#39649327)

As well as show that all other smartphones at the time had the exact same problem with antenna attenuation.

So the free phone is really about $1000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648227)

I figure $1000 is about how much that 2 year contract is going to cost you considering you aren't going to get a free 2 year contract, right?

Can't believe slashdot is *that* stupid. Wow.

That is one way to gain market share (1)

linuxguy (98493) | about 2 years ago | (#39648249)

Some will say that this is a good way to admit fault and do right by customers, even though they haven't done this before with previous faults. Others will say that Microkia is giving phones away to gain market share because they cannot get people to buy their hyped up and top of the line phone for $100.

Who is right?

Re:That is one way to gain market share (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648315)

Who is right?

I'm not sure, but my money is on whoever didn't use the term "Microkia".

Not a Nokia bug! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648297)

"The bug apparently causes a random data connection drop." That's actually by AT&T design, duh!

Patch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648319)

>>Nokia plans to push a patch the phone later in April.

If the connection can be kept alive long enough for the patch to be downloaded.

The Lumia line is beautiful & competition is g (0)

lilfields (961485) | about 2 years ago | (#39648341)

Anyone who denies the sheer beauty of Nokia's new lines is in denial. The iPhone is also a well designed phone...but the Lumia series is more unique I think. The iPhone design hasn't -really- changed much in a few generations. I would definitely get buy one if I wasn't stuck on Verizon and grandfathered into unlimited data. I really hope Windows Phone takes off...because even if you absolutely hate Microsoft or Metro, they are definitely helping push the industry in the right direction with competition. I feel the same about OSX, even though I really don't appreciate a lot of the operating system itself. It has made Microsoft react in many positive ways (and some negative.)

"giving away" (0)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#39648357)

"giving away" but you're tied into a 2 year contract?

I don't think "giving away" means what you think it means.

But seriously, this is a slashvertisment at it's utter worst. This is the pits, Slashdot.

Re:"giving away" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648777)

ofc it's a gift, ask Odysseus!

Can't give it away (4, Informative)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 2 years ago | (#39648463)

I still don't want one.

Re:Can't give it away (2)

WarpedCore (1255156) | about 2 years ago | (#39648737)

I don't blame you. I pre-ordered one and got it this past Friday and what a total mistake that was. I spent most of the day calling customer support to (not) get my phone working. I ended up shipping it back the next day.

Re:Can't give it away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648993)

Really? I got one. I typed in my Hotmail email address, phone said thanks or whatever, downloaded my emails, contacts, etc.. right to the phone, I could navigate to skydrive, etc... I then added my Facebook account and Twitter account.

If you had errors it sounds like you either got a bum phone or ATT didn't setup your plan correctly (which has happened to me twice, ATT broke my data plan once and broke my voice mail once -- they fixed it after I noticed it).

Good phone y'know (1)

WikiChris (1664907) | about 2 years ago | (#39648597)

Won't be buying one but I have had a go on one and it's actually a pretty slick piece of kit. Don't hate when there's no need.

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39648601)

I knew long ago that Nokia signed a deal with the Devil. Now it's time for Microsoft (the Devil) to take their soul and put Nokia out of their misery and go to hell along with Best Buy, RIM and other defunct companies.

Toronto Sun not a good source (4, Insightful)

Relayman (1068986) | about 2 years ago | (#39648639)

... effectively giving the model away until it is fixed.

According to Ars Technica, [arstechnica.com] all new phones sold, even with the $100 credit, have the fix already installed.

Customers not wanting to wait can have their phones swapped for updated versions in AT&T stores.

Since when do we use the Toronto Sun as a reputable source for technical stuff?

Looking climb and claw it's way to..2nd/3rd place? (1)

ChronoFish (948067) | about 2 years ago | (#39648665)

"...Nokia said .... its big hope to take on Apple's iPhone..."

Didn't that ship sail long ago? I mean MS can get in the water, but Android is #1 and Apple is at what - 25% market share (and has held steadily) with RIM still holding on but losing out to Android.

Nokia is not going to displace the iPhone. If it wants to compete it will have to compete with Android where it can steal from a less loyal user base. That means becoming a commodity piece - which means pennies per phone instead of $$ per phone.

-CF

A better "giveaway" (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 2 years ago | (#39648705)

If they would "give" me a Nokia 900 without a 2 year contract, then I'd be interested. Heck, if I had to pay for a Nokia 900 without a 2 year contract, I'd be interested.

N900 ...oh wait. Damn. (1)

xeno (2667) | about 2 years ago | (#39649085)

You had me there for a second... thought they were giving away N900 phones, and I'd have to jump on it. It's the first phone that I will probably replace with another of the same model.

Instead, they're giving away the skeleton of the N9, running a mashup of Harmattan, Gnome, and Ubuntu's Unity interface, with gestures lifted (and flipped) straight from WebOS. Don't take that the wrong way -- I think WinPhone7 mostly took the *good* bits from those other OS's; I just think msft ought to acknowledge that WP7 (and now Windows 8's Metro i/f) is highly derivative of open-source software.

And I still want an *actual* keyboard, not the smudgy hot mess in the hands of most iPhone (and Lumia 900) users.

Feh.

Re:N900 ...oh wait. Damn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39649289)

N900 user since 2009... just bought a second one on eBay to have as a spare in case the original ever goes belly-up.

great social web blog (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39649247)

it is a greatest social web blog.

Really Unnecessary (2)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 2 years ago | (#39649249)

People are used to software bugs. Just wait and push the update as soon as possible.

Giving people $100 only makes the situation worse ("Nokia is the dumb company who has buggy phones and gives cash away, no wonder it's dying")

2 year lock in is not a give a way costs over $1K (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#39649361)

2 year lock in is not a give a way costs over $1K with a 2 year voice + data plan + $10 a GIG for data over the basic plan use.

never buy a windows phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39649461)

Come on - who wants a bloated, abusive monopolist controlled, patent troll, blue screen prone OS on their phone. Count me out. And I was very brand loyal to Nokia have owned dozens of them. I will never buy a windows phone.

What next? Android probably. Apple is another monopolistic censorious walled garden control freak outfit.

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