I have two super smartphones in front of me now, and both are pretty much useless as far as smartphones go.
This classy looking slab (rightly hailed for its superb user interface) was purchased locked to AT&T USA courtesy of Apple’s control policies, unlocked and shipped here. You’ve read the story: I performed a firmware upgrade, lost the unlock and now it is just a glorified iPod Touch. At least till Apple announces iOS 4.2 and then some hackers find a way to set people in my shoes free from the shackles of lala-land.
Of course, the jailbreaking and unlocking processes are not for the faint-hearted.
This smooth pebble is unlocked. But for some crazy reason(s), it won’t accept internet settings manually and so is as useful as a low-end voice/SMS-only device.
Searching the intertnet, I found tons of similar complaints from stranded Palm customers all over the world who are unable to use the internet on their devices for the same reason.
I found a solution somewhere, but guess – it requires downloading the Palm SDK, downloading a couple of gadzooks scripts, logging in as root to the Pre and changing parametres in the APN database of the device.
Does that sound like what you want to spend your time doing with these things?
My Advice to the Average Joe
If you were a geek, I am sure that you could derive some pleasure from these complex processes that it requires to get these shiny toys working. But I know that the vast majority of users are not geeks. My advice: Stick with manufacturers and companies that have a deliberate policy of supporting your country (in this case, Nigeria).
Stick with Nokia, Samsung, and LG, among others – and ensure you buy devices targeted at your country. If it has to be unlocked for it to work here, turn around and walk away. If Nigeria is not listed in the regional settings of the device (Nigeria is not listed in the Palm Pre, and is certainly not listed in the iPhone).
Nigeria is not supported by Android either. Well, Google can take a spade and shove it down their….. for all you care. As long as they do not reckon with you, you cannot enjoy those droids to the max (unless you have no need to purchase any apps). But, mark my words, it may seem to you that you do not need to buy anything now. Just wait until the need shows up.
If you are a geek and you love to spend hours on end tinkering with these things, well this article is not directed at you.
Personally, I am a geek. No; scratch that. I used to be a thoroughbred greek. In the last couple of years, I have been cross-bred – administrative duties and other responsibilities keep growing. I want to attend to clients from my PC and/or smartphone, not attend to my smartphone while customers fume. I want to respond to a mail in 30 seconds and cuddle my wife for the next 1 hour, not give her a quick peck and battle SDKs, hacks and scripts for the next 3 hours.
I’m guessing that the vast majority of mobile users fall into my category. We need tools, not patients. Still, something tells me that not many people will take to this sage’s words of wisdom. We love our toys too much to care whether a manufacturer or OS supports Nigeria. Who cares about things like that?