Power fault strikes Nokia N8 smartphones

19 Nov 2010

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Nokia has admitted that a small number of its latest N8 smartphone devices have a power fault that originated during the manufacturing process. The company says affected users are covered by the standard warranty.

A number of users reported that their Nokia N8 is not switching on as it should.

In a video interview on Nokia’s official blog, executive vice-president Niklas Savander explained the problem.

He said: “Through our customer care we have heard that a limited number of Nokia N8 customers are experiencing a power down or not power up of the device.

“And as I’m sure you’ve heard today, this discussion between us and consumers is spreading to the general public and this is a good time to talk about it.

“We have traced it down to the way we assemble the engines,” Savander said. “We have taken immediate action.”

Savander said the issue affects a "small number" of devices.

Nokia’s breakthrough smartphone … broken?

The N8 is Nokia’s breakthrough phone that it intends to compete directly with the iPhone 4 from Apple, as well as the new bevy of Android and Windows Phone 7 devices from a variety of manufacturers. According to Gartner, 50pc of all mobile devices in the US next year will be smartphones.

A recent study by iSuppli found the Nokia N8 device’s Bill of Materials (BOM) is almost the exact same as the Apple iPhone 4’s BOM. The N8’s BOM amounts to US$187.47, according to iSuppli. This is just 4 cents off of the 16GB version of iPhone 4, which was US$187.51 in June, though iSuppli states that since then, component prices have eroded for Apple.

Commenting on the power faults discovered in the N8, Savander said: “If you look at total number of N8s we have shipped it is a small number.

“But for the individual, if it is not working it is a significant issue. We have a good monitoring system, consumers are loving N8 but we will ensure the limited number (of affected devices) get fixed.

“If a consumer feels their device is impacted, immediately contact our contact centre and it is covered by standard warranty."

When pressed on how many devices were affected and in what geography, Savander said: “It’s a small number of devices and we have taken precautionary measures but can’t identify particular geography.

“This will be identified, we took precautionary measures. I am concerned, any dissatisfaction is always a source of concern.

“Across the larger group of Nokia n8 consumers there are a lot of happy customers on a broad scale,” Savander said.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com