Home > Idiots, Small Things I Blow Out Of Proportion > John Gruber and the N9

John Gruber and the N9

So Gruber called Nokia’s new N9 phone a worthy rival to the iPhone. Then took a shot at the fact that it’s based off of Meego, not Windows Phone 7, because, hey, why not take a shot like that? I mean, it’s not like this phone was already goddamn built, and them not releasing it would mean a massive waste of money, which would be goddamn idiotic. Gruber’s implication — and I know I’ll get all his cheerleaders yelling at me for daring to know what he was implying, because nobody can possibly know that, even though they claim to — seems to be that the Microsoft/Windows Phone 7 deal was a bad idea, even though we’ve yet to see the fruits of that deal.

Now, time may prove that correct, I don’t know. What I do know is that right now, Gruber thinks the phone looks pretty sweet, and if you watch the promotional video, I think you’ll see why: they’ve done their best to make an Apple product video, right down to a nearly-bald designer talking about how wonderful a designed product is. In this case, Nokia SVP of Design Marko Ahtisaari says:

Every once in a while, a product comes along that changes our perception of how we use technology, and how natural it can feel.

Compare this to, say, Jony Ive’s description of the iPhone 4:

iPhone 4 is so much more than just another new product. I mean, this will have a lasting impact on the way that we actually connect with each other.

And his description of the iPad:

You know, it’s true, when something exceeds your ability to understand how it works, it sort of becomes magical. And that’s exactly what the iPad is.

So, apparently, all you need to do to get Gruber to say something looks great is to make their promotional materials seem like Apple materials. Protip: If you’re ever around Gruber when a bell goes off, mind the drool.

Shut up.

  1. Erik
    June 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

    So you don’t think the hardware looks good? And Meego is already declared dead by Nokia so that is unfortunate. I don’t like WP7, but consider it with Android (unskinned of course!). It would be so much more beautiful than my Galaxy SII.

    • June 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

      I’m not saying the hardware looks bad or good. I’m just pointing out some of Gruber’s ticks.

  2. El Aura
    June 22, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Well, I understood Gruber’s criticism as saying why invest any penny and engineering and marketing resources into a product that you know will not very successful because you know there will be almost zero apps for it (because you already told everybody that the platform is dead). Customers buying it will be unhappy very soon when they realise there is no continuing support (OS updates, third-party support). And why confuse your marketing message by pushing this OS now and in a few months pushing a different OS?

    That is the criticism at this move but naturally it could be that the sales and positive image they receive from having this product out now outweighs the negatives (or maybe they are still trying to hedge their bets, which again could be criticised on their own).

    Of course, Gruber could have additional motives and reasons (including the ones you stated) but the most obvious ones are the ones I cited. And ignoring the obvious (as you seemed to have done), could also be described as a tick.

    • June 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Actually, I was suggesting that Nokia has probably already spent the money on the N9, so “invest any penny” is a bit wrong. I mean, it’s not like they started developing the phone after the Microsoft deal was announced; these things have long lead-times, so it’s most likely that they’ve already blown their financial wad on the thing. Hell, the promotional materials have probably been in the can for some time.

      It seems likely that it might’ve been released earlier if not for the deal, for the obvious reasons you stated, but someone said “Hey, we’ve got this built, why not try to sell it, and possibly make some of our money back, rather than not sell it at all, in which case we’re guaranteed to make absolutely none of it back?”

  3. June 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    It only looks good because they completely copied the iPod… I mean seriously, can’t everyone see that?

    Having said that, at least they took the time to build something solid and not the typical plastic monster Android phone. We certainly have enough of those around so that none really stand out (even among meego phones)

    Nice try by Nokia but they are dead. Copying Apple won’t save them like it has been for Samsung.

    • June 27, 2011 at 9:13 am

      “Copying Apple won’t save them like it has been for Samsung.”
      What kind of sentence is this? Do you even look at what you write before hitting submit? Crap-cakes.

      Yes, it looks good because they completely copied the iPod. That was actually my point (and that they copied the style of promotional materials Apple makes), but apparently you responded without reading what I wrote. Good job, Gnome.

      Also I’m not a fail, you’re a fail! You shut up!

  4. June 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    P.S. Gruber rules, mosspuppet is a fail. Shut up.

  5. Joe
    June 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Okay, I’ll bite — I think you are missing Gruber’s point. He’s not criticizing Nokia for releasing a Meego-based product. (I personally think they do deserve criticism for that, or at least for announcing Meego dead when they knew they were still planning to release products based on it.) He’s just asking the obvious question: Why would anyone buy this product knowing that Meego has been declared dead? His comments are addressed to prospective purchasers, not to Nokia.

    • June 27, 2011 at 9:17 am

      I disagree with your assessment, obviously. Also, the Meego thing is something of an impossible situation; if they release a phone based on a platform they’re not going to make more of, then they’re idiots milking their customers. If they didn’t, if they held it back, they’re idiots for wasting a chance to give something to customers that would make them money, and which the customers might actually like. Gruber’d be making fun of either case.

      Also, I think for the average customer, there’s less concern about the architecture. Would you by a car knowing that the company who makes it isn’t going to make another model year? It seems silly to say you wouldn’t, given that right now, there’s a car you like. Most customers, average, non-tech-addicted customers, will walk into a store, see a thing, think “I like that, as it’s cool looking and suits my needs right now,” and go on with their day.

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