Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

March 10, 2010

Flickr with Nokia Share Online in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 5:00 am

I talked about it a long time ago and now I don’t care about Nokia 😉 I am using “Flickit Pro” for the iPhone.

Anyway, The Maxer sent me this solution: this flickr_configuration_file.cfg file should work in Saudi Arabia with most Nokia phones including N97.

June 29, 2009

Flickr with Nokia Share Online 4.3

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 2:11 am

I have a Nokia N79, a very basic Symbian S60 phone. One of the frustrating things that the Share Online app (an app that allows me to upload media to web services) only listed 2 services: Vox and Ikbis. Flickr (the biggest online photo service) was not available for a number of countries including Saudi Arabia.

The only method was to use a config file on Flickr’s site to manually install flickr support on Nokia Share Online. It worked until the latest Nokia update was released.

I updated my Nokia N79 to v20 firmware and with it the Share Online tool was updated to version 4. When I ran the Share Online app the flickr and Vox profiles I have added are gone! I tried to add them but the only service available was Ikbis and I can no longer add Vox! Flickr cfg file was unsuccessful. Many users on the nokia forums have the same issue (here, here and here ) they are from India and other countries that Nokia don’t care about.

Sure I could use pixelpipe or Shozu but this service is available in the phone already! If I insert a German SIM card then the phone will be able to add flickr so why is it limited? I have found a list of countries that “support flickr” on this page (check comment number 43).

Nokia needs to actually CARE about providing services to all it’s customers and Saudi Arabia is one of their biggest markets! My friend Maxer posted here “We need it open to Middle Eastern users” and you know what, Nokia? I just want to upload to Flickr using Share Online.

Is there a licensing deal between Nokia and Flickr about which countries to add? This is what Nokia told me:

However, kindly note that some services are not available in some countries such as Saudi Arabia and others. The access to those services was restricted, such restriction was deemed necessary due to the laws and social norms of these countries regarding web content. Access is blocked based on the IP ranges of these countries. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.

I can access Flickr in Saudi Arabia just fine! So I contacted Flickr support, they couldn’t do anything except:

I have escalated your email to a senior representative in an effort to obtain the best answer. Please allow some time for a follow-up reply to your question.

This is discouraging me from becoming a Flickr Pro subscriber. It is unfortunate that Nokia is doing this to it’s customers. By the way if you are an iPhone user then I recommend a free app called “Flickit” for uploading to Flickr.

May 29, 2009

Nokia in Saudi Arabia: Screw the consumers

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:20 pm

Update: This will happen again with the new Nokia N900 that will be released in Saudi Arabia soon.

I had high hopes when Nokia decided to officially enter the Saudi Arabia market (through their Nokia Stores) that the prices of the Nokia phones will be reduced to more acceptable rates. But instead those Nokia stores are doing what I can only describe as price gouging.

I will quickly explain “price gouging” as I will talk more about price gouging tech in Saudi Arabia. Price gouging is a pejorative term for a seller pricing much higher than is considered reasonable or fair.

nokia-e75Let’s start with the Nokia E75. Before the phone was released the Saudi Arabia Nokia Stores took pre-orders on the phone. You had to pay 100SR deposit and pay the rest later. The phone was sold for about 1,900SR for pre orders only. But when the phone was released it was sold for 2,300SR. Now it cost 2,199SR. These prices were for the “black” Nokia E75 only. The red edition of the phone (same features) was only released this week and it cost 2,499SR. So you are paying 300SR (almost $100) more just to get a different color. The 2 phones are identical in every way, both are sold for the same price at Amazon.com. This is neither reasonable nor fair.

The pricing on the Nokia E75 is not fair for Saudi Arabia as well. The Saudi custom fee is cheap on electronics. Yet the Nokia E75 is sold in by Amazon.com for $450 (1,750SR) much cheaper than 2,200-2,500SR sold by the Nokia Store. The E75 is sold in Jordan for what’s equivalent to 1,880SR! But to be fair the Nokia E75 is sold by Amazon.de (in Germany) for 382 EUR (1,988SR). Update: Nokia E75 is sold in the eastern province branch of Hyperpanda for only 1,990SR! Thanks Ahmed for reminding me.

nokia-n97The second example is the upcoming Nokia N97. The Saudi Nokia Store is beginning to take pre-orders for the the phone and the posters only showed the white model. I expect they will do the same as what they did with Nokia E75 red and gouge the price even more. The expected price of the Nokia N97 in Saudi Arabia will be 3,400SR! The N97 is expected to be sold for 3,000Dh in the UAE!

On Amazon.com the Nokia N97 will be sold for $604 (2,300SR). You read this right! 1,000SR difference! In the German Amazon.de website it will be for 650 EUR (3,384SR). Not reasonable or fair, isn’t it?

This is just Nokia’s way of thanking the Saudi Arabia market, by overcharging us for their phones. What do you think? Is Nokia justified with these prices?

January 20, 2009

Nokia software update over the air

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 2:10 pm

With the latest Nokia S60 phones (N79, N96 and 5800 XpressMusic) you can run the Nokia update from your phone without using the Nokia Software Updater on your computer.

Just type in *#0000# to open the Device manager and choose Options – Check for updates. Connect using either Wi-Fi or 3G. You can choose to download it only and remind you to install it later.

August 5, 2008

Should we do Navteq’s work for them?

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 2:17 pm

After over a month after I emailed Navteq telling them that their maps are out of date (on Nokia phones and Garmin Nuvi GPS devices), they finally responded telling me about their “Navteq Map Reporter” service by visiting this site then browsing the Navteq map database and highlighting the errors in that map.

I would recommend that everyone in Saudi Arabia who uses a Navteq supported device (Nokia phones and Garmin mainly) to use that service. Hopefully this will push them into actually giving us a 2008 map that is from this year (unlike Garmin City Navigator 2008 Middle East map that have stores that were closed in 2004!).

May 5, 2008

What I did with my Nokia N95

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:19 am

Since Nokia’s so-called official dealer “mashail AlKhaleej” decided not to repair my phone, even when I offered to pay them for repair. A valid request if you ask me, who else better to repair the phone than the certified engineers? They said NO to me. And Nokia’s support telephone line offered me no valid solution at all.

So what did I do? I went to one of the local, no-dealer, mobile phone stores in Riyadh and they repaired it for a total of 600 Riyals. The cost included a new Screen and an IC (Integrated Chip). And the store told me they found no traces of water in the phone, none that would cause the “Liquid Damage” claimed by mashail AlKhaleej.

My conclusion from all that? Being a Nokia (fan according to my friends). I’ve been using Nokia devices since the “Nokia Banana”, the one in the first Matrix movie. And every phone I bought for myself or a family member I always made sure to buy a mashail AlKhaleej supported model. Not anymore, mashail AlKhaleej for me now is just an expensive store with bad service and support.

One last interesting point, when I posted my issues on a Nokia forum, most of the members asked me to take the phone to another Nokia dealer and they should fix it under the “Nokia Warranty”. So Nokia’s warranty covers all the “dealers” yet when you buy a Nokia phone in Saudi Arabia, you only get a warranty from a single dealer instead of directly from Nokia. This goes against Nokia’s warranty policy:

If you wish to make a claim under this Limited Warranty, please return your Product or the affected part (if it is not the entire Product) to a Nokia authorized service company.

You can’t take a Nokia phone bought from mashail AlKhaleej and ask Etisalat (another Nokia dealer) to service it. They will immediately refuse to repair it.

February 18, 2008

Nokia Map software updated – Saudi map still outdated

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:38 pm

Nokia released Nokia Maps 2.0 Beta. It features a new interface and much smoother graphics.

On the other hand, the map data for Saudi Arabia is still outdated. There are many new roads still missing from the maps. And in terms of finding points of interest, don’t waste your time. The data is only useful if you travel back in time 🙂 or you have to enter your own data in it to make it relevant.

Hopefully NavTeq (the maps provider) will update their data soon. edit: and still no mac Nokia Map Loader software.

December 14, 2007

Bricked my N95 after an update. Nokia says “You got water in it!”

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 6:35 pm

So sorry for the lack of updates! Just thought I’d post my issues with Nokia’s N95 which is now an expensive brick :(. This is the email I sent to Nokia:

I’ve been using Nokia phones since 1997, Nokia 7110, 8310, 6210, etc. Only using Nokia and recommending it to my friends and family. I bought a Nokia N95 late April 2007 and I made sure to bought a “mashail alkhaleej” warranty phone, because they claim they are the only official Nokia distributor in Saudi Arabia. Last month I wanted to update my N95 firmware to v13, I already did a previous update so I am fully aware of the process. I did my backup and ran the update, at the final steps, the one that said “Remove the battery of the phone to restart it”, I did so but when I tried to restart it all I got was a black screen. Essentially bricking my N95. I took my phone to the so-called official distributor to have a look at it, after a week at the maintenance shop of “mashail alkhaleej” they notified me that the phone had “water” inside and refused to repair my phone at all. My phone was working perfectly before doing the update, and the “engineer” at the Nokia distributor claims I dropped it in water, which I did not. Now I am stuck with a brick that costed me 3000SR and no way to recover my backup from the flash memory card. I demand my phone to be repair or replaced under it’s warranty. The warranty that made me make my buying choice. The money that I paid for the phone was a complete waste and I should have bought a cheaper phone from a better distributor (Sony Ericsson, Apple, Samsung, LG, Siemens, Motorlla).

I expect Nokia will give me a better response than the crappy Mashail AlKaleej, the so-called Nokia official distributor in Saudi Arabia. I will never buy a Nokia again. (All salute the iPhone 😉 )

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