HELSINKI: Nokia Corp said its top N8 model, aimed at making up lost ground in the smartphone market, has had power problems with some handsets not turning on after recharging.
The fault is limited to “a small number of handsets” and will be fixed in line with Nokia warranty rules, Nokia spokesman Eija-Riitta Huovinen said. She gave no details of whether the problem was regional or how many handsets are affected.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about the N8. This problem involves really a small number,” Huovinen said.
The N8, which looks like Apple Inc’s iPhone, features a 12-megapixel digital camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a 3.5in display. It is built on Symbian 3, a new version of the Symbian software with photo uploading connections to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Available also in North America, Nokia’s worst market, the N8 is meant to compete with the iPhone that has set the standard for today’s smartphones and Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerrys that are the favourite of the corporate set.
More recently, Google Inc’s Android software has also emerged as a choice for phone makers that want to challenge the iPhone.
And the N8 has been beset with problems.
It was unveiled in April with deliveries expected in the summer but Nokia did not start shipping it internationally until the end of September.
The latest fault, though relatively small, comes at a bad time as the fourth quarter traditionally means strong growth in the wireless industry.
“This doesn’t help the Nokia brand, that’s for sure. The problems have been mounting for the past few years and every little negative headline adds to that,” said Neil Mawston from London-based Strategy Analytics. “It’s not a great start for their supposed iPhone or Android killer.”
In September, Nokia replaced its Finnish CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, a Canadian, the first time the company appointed a non-Finn at its helm.
The choice of a North American executive to lead a Finnish company was seen as reflecting the increasing dominance of US and Canadian companies in the evolution of the top end mobile phone business.
Nokia reported a third-quarter net profit of 529mil euro (RM2.7bil), up from a net loss of 559mil euro (RM2.8bil) last year, but said it had lost market share to 30% in the period — from 34% in 2009.
Despite setbacks, it is still the global leader in handsets, including smartphones, selling 26.5 million smartphones in the quarter — up 60% on a year earlier. Its closest rivals, Apple sold 14 million and RIM 12.5 million. — AP