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The Nokia Communicator - AVOID

I have a long history of brand loyalty to Nokia. Back when I was acting as the UK Managing Director for a subsidiary of a German company, I had the first GSM phone that anyone had seen - a Nokia 1011.

It was a brick, but it worked and international roaming (thanks to Kate Grieg, later Kate Worth, at the Vodafone shop in Kettering) was a reality. It was later upgraded to a Nokia 2110i (490130/10/249066/0, in case anyone from Nokia is even remotely interested in customers these days) which gave sterling service for years, accessing email via an Option modem (Dutch company - very good) and a PalmPilot.

The Communicator (a 9000, acquired the instant it was available) was a godsend - you always felt a right poser putting the 2110i/Option/Palmpilot configuration together on a train, like Scaramanger laboriously putting his gun together in the Bond movie.

The 9000 was followed by a 9110.

Then the problems started. The 9110 was replaced by a 9210i that also did sterling service for a while, even though the software bought for the 9110 didn't work any more and had to be expen$ively replaced.

A lovely and functional design.

The problem? Using them. If you want to carry one on your belt - OK. But use them - open and close them - too often and they break.

When it first happened, the repair cost (it was out of warranty and obviously not an insurance claim) demanded by Nokia's arrogant tied repair arm (Communicaid) was ludicrous. So laughable that it was cheaper to buy a second 9210i.

You guessed it - they're now both kaputt for the same reason - the ribbon cable connecting the two halves is just not up to the flexing caused by actually using the device. It's a design fault in all Nokia Communicators and the flexible foil ought really to be regarded as a consumable.

If anyone from Nokia is still reading, we're talking about 350840/10/078128/0 and 350840/10/287296/2. Around £1,200 of investment that must now - according to Nokia - be discarded. Why? Because Nokia has decided not to make the ribbon cable (actually part of a flexible printed circuit that runs the whole device) available to repairers. So I have spent £1,200 on Nokia products that are now just junk and Nokia want me to buy a 9500 and thus follow that with another £600 of my hard-earned cash. And how long will the 9500 last?

Not long, if the 9210i is any guide.

Yeah - right. It's not my fault if you rip me off once - but it IS my fault if you rip me off twice. I don't mind regarding a £30 phone as obsolete after a year, but not a device that cost more than my laptop.

No more Nokia Communicators.

Update - I broke the above rule. A 9500 turned up in CEX in Sheffield for £70. Five months later, it's just fallen to bits. Serial 354305002893837, if anyone at Mokia's interested. Faint hope.

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