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Nokia apologises for 'faked' Lumia smartphone advert (bbc.com)
71 points by nsns 1868 days ago | hide | past | web | 33 comments | favorite

A willingness to apologize is one feature of companies which treat the B2C market as if it were B2B. It's been a core of principle of Microsoft (e.g. their fixing of the Xbox's Red Ring of Death). Compare this with Apple's "Hold Differently" in regard to the iPhone 4 or their simply ignoring the manipulation of the Star Trek and sending the New York Times flash animation down the memory hole in regards to the iPad.

Nokia doing so in this case shows why there is such potential for their partnership with Microsoft over the long term. Both companies have similar approaches to the consumer market.

Microsoft denied the red ring of death problem for months:

"In the early months after the console's launching, Microsoft stated that the Xbox 360's failure rate was within the consumer electronics industry's typical 3% to 5%."

Third parties have determined it was somewhere between 20 and 40%.


Apple responded to "antennagate" within two weeks iirc.

As for Nokia: they faked the stills and video, got caught on the video and confessed. But it turns out they faked the stills too:


If Nokia were such a great company they would have come clean all at once.

I can't find a link, but I remember hilarious comparisons of earlier Nokia demo videos to the actual devices, so it's not like this is something Nokia (a) just started doing or (b) just accidentally did this once.

All this does is reflect very well on Apple by comparison.

The antenna problem can be clearly demonstrated by anybody with that model iPhone, a finger, and a few minutes.

The RRoD cannot be clearly demonstrated in a few minutes. Presumably Microsoft needed to carefully verify these claims by studying the market and reported failure rates before acknowledging it publicly.

I have an iPhone 4 (which I pre-ordered) and as soon as I read about antennagate I spent quite a bit of time trying to replicate it and could not.

If you're selling tens of thousands of a product with a high brick rate you will have very good stats very quickly.

> The antenna problem can be clearly demonstrated by anybody with any phone, a finger, and a few minutes.


AFAIK the root cause of the iPhone 4 problem is due to closing the loop of the antenna using your finger to complete the loop (converting the metal from a line into a circle, thereby degrading its antenna characteristics).

You should be able to do this only on phones which have an external unsheathed antenna. Which other ones are there?

I had an older Nokia phone that had the antenna near the bottom of the device (to keep it away from your head), and when you had your hand on the device like you would hold an iPhone (fingers on one side, thumb on the other side) you would lose signal strength rapidly.

The same issue was evident in various blackberry devices.

Unfortunately the human body simply is a fantastic sink for RF frequency do the fact that we are mostly made out of water and salt. Yes, the iPhone is simpler in that it allows you to close the loop, but the issue can be found in multiple phones.

Sheathing or no sheathing, humans are hard to transmit through.

Here's the video (Nokia N97 ad with commentary): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJpEuMidcSU&feature=youtu...

"Hold Differently" is a gross misrepresentation of the iPhone 4 antenna issue.

What actually happened: A full fledged press conference by the CEO himself basically saying: "This happens to all smartphones, we made it worse by marking the spot, we think performance is still acceptable but if you don't, here have a free bumper as it reduces the problem".

here have a free bumper as it reduces the problem

That's a huge oversimplification. The free bumpers didn't go out until the outrage level became too much to ignore.

And at first, it was ignored, or at the very least handwaved with "stop holding it that way". I very vividly remember the videos on Apple's site which showed signal degradation of competing smartphones when held a certain way.

What actually happened: We did no wrong ... but here have a free bumper

And of course this all happened out of pure love and altruism from Apple. Not like it had anything to do with a class action lawsuit or something...


Looks like the reality distortion field is still going strong, even post-Steve.

Maybe this is a stupid question, but what does a lawsuit settled in 2012 have to do with an announcement made in 2010?

The outcome was predictable when it started. Apple's "full fledged keynote" was a maneuver to deflect PR damage.

And obviously they succeeded; Many people know about the keynote but don't know that it was an attempt to pre-empt a lawsuit.

However, "Hold Differently" is a close approximation of Apple's initial response (via leaked email). It was only after continued pressure from consumers and in the tech press that Apple acknowledged the issue and took steps to make their customers whole.

In Nokia's case, they quickly apologized for something which didn't affect anyone.

"we produced a video that simulates what we will be able to deliver with OIS"

So I'm going to build a crappy car, demo it using a Ferrari engine and tell I was trying to simulate the engine feature in my car. Doesn't sound like an apology to me.

> In a blog post the handset maker said it should have "posted a disclaimer".

In #eee on white background and x-small font size, I believe. How about simply telling the truth?

Is there any reason why they couldn't be prosecuted for fraudulent advertising?

Depends on the country. Australia has extremely strict laws about false advertising, and they carry stiff penalties.

The UK as well, and they stopped letting Apple run their iPhone ads which purported to have the entire internet, because they did not show Flash. I wonder if they still hold this position.

To answer people from the other thread, this is the reason why we should always complain about things like this.

edit: no matter who the vendor is.

Uh did anyone really think that they shoot an advertisement with a mobile camera?

An advert purporting to show the video quality of the camera? Yes. If it's not showing the actual quality of the image, what is it meant to be showing? "This is what effect image stabilisation has on a vastly different camera. So buy ours"?

It is like what they used to do with video games, where lots of games would not show actual game footage on the backs of the boxes. They would show cut scenes.

I expected better from Nokia. They were running on a high after saving the bloggers that Samsung hung out to dry.

If they said they did, then yes.

Seriously, do you think that they did not special effects for the following iphone commercial? I'm not a cameraman, but i guess it's simply impossible to get this quality by just filming a real device.


Nobody is complaining that they fake the screen of the device in a commercial. Yes, it's hard to film that. But when you are showing off imagery that is supposed to be coming from the device it had better be accurate.

Yeah..... never trust Nokia after http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJpEuMidcSU]

They don't grasp how much they hurt themselves with crap like that. If your product isn't good enough to be used in the commercial, then don't sell it.

That video was hilarious. This is why false advertising shouldn't exist especially when it's about showing how your product works. You can't just show people in ads how the product works drastically better than it actually does in reality. A lot of people would buy it thinking it actually works like advertised. That's just wrong.

Nokia is a company with over 100 years of success behind it, and it approaches new products with the concomitant confidence: they really believe the engineers will be able to pull off whatever the marketers come up with. (Even after, as the video shows, the top of the line N97 fell far short of the hype.)

The actual demo of the tech is much less impressive. Horrible distortions at the edge of frame.

> we produced a video that simulates what we will be able to deliver with OIS

Why not wait till you can deliver it to show it then

Because they had to get their announcement in before Apple's event next week. This way, hopefully, some people will hold off on buying the next iPhone and wait for Nokia to actually ship.

With the release coming up, if they don't have the software running on a dev kit by now they have far bigger things to worry about.

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