Power failure mars Symbian Anna update rollout

Power failure mars Symbian Anna update rollout

Summary: Symbian phones including the E7 and N8 can now be upgraded to the keenly-anticipated Anna version of the OS, but many have been unable to download the update


Nokia has rolled out the much-awaited Anna update to its Symbian platform, but the process has not gone smoothly for everyone.

People using smartphones such as the N8 and E7 were given the chance on Thursday to download the new version of Symbian, which features significant upgrades to the operating system's browser, maps, input and general feel, as well as to its email and instant messaging capabilities. However, many in the UK and elsewhere found themselves unable to download Anna.

"We want to apologise to Symbian smartphone users," Nokia said in a statement on Friday. "A power failure where a number of our servers were located caused download issues for some users. Please bear with us — we promise you'll be able to download Symbian Anna again soon."

The problem affected some — Nokia did not say how many — who were trying to download the update through Nokia's Ovi Suite desktop software. Most owners of the E7, N8, C7 and C6-01 handsets were able to update wirelessly, but mobile operators in the UK and Germany got Nokia to force customers in those countries to download the update through a broadband connection.

In a blog post entitled Why Does Nokia Do This To Itself?, CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said the experience must be "galling" for Nokia.

"It seems Nokia has learnt no lessons from the Ovi Store debacle in May 2009," Wood wrote. "Once again, the company's servers appear to have buckled under the strain, leaving most of those who tried to upgrade disappointed."

Once again, the company's servers appear to have buckled under the strain, leaving most of those who tried to upgrade disappointed.

– Ben Wood

Wood suggested that the problems were "partly a result of Symbian's popularity" as, despite its winding down as part of Nokia's big switch to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, Symbian devices are still hugely popular in Europe and other markets.

"Rather than delighting the customers in Europe's two biggest markets who have persevered and remained loyal to Symbian, Nokia has once again left them disappointed, if only for a day or so," Wood wrote. "Nokia already has a dismal reputation when it comes to software and this does nothing to dispel that idea."

When Nokia and Microsoft announced their Windows Phone deal in February, Symbian was given an official prognosis of two years. However, Nokia said it intended to use that period to sell 150 million more Symbian phones, to add to the 200 million already in users' hands.

The Anna-upgradable handsets are still on sale, and new units will be sold with the new OS version, Nokia said. Smartphones that are already shipping with Anna onboard include the Nokia X7 and E6.

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Topics: Mobility, Smartphones

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • anna is the best version
  • After downloading Anna to my Nokia n8, it will not install. Again and again it fails with the message that install failed. Both on wireless install and with OviSuite. Can anybody help either to tell me how to remove the download so i can redownload it or to Downgrade my N8 so i can start over again. Both my wifes and my sons N8 didnt cause any problems upgrading.
  • I am one of the unfortunate ones who have a nokia N8 that will not update. Nokia have been very apologetic and have even called me but I still can't update to Anna. This is the reason why people move away from Nokia.........Very disappointed.
  • The download and upgrade worked fine to my E7. I've never had a single problem with downloads or upgrades from Nokia.
    I have no doubts that the ZDNet moderator will quickly remove this positive comment.
  • In Australia and no OTA or on Navifirm... E7 is unbranded & can only see NZ and many other non english speaking countries on navifirm ... my wifes ex voda blue N8 updated OTA 4 days ago ... felin unloved :)
  • Never mind the Symbian Anna update - I've yet to be able to update any of the N8 firmware updates. Hours spent on the phone to Nokia and T-Mobile and neither are able to resolve a simple issue - the firmware update asks for a username and password. Neither Nokia nor T-Mobile can explain what this is meant to be. All they suggest is that I trek to some back street phoneshop they call the Nokia repair centre and have the phone sent away and wiped clean.
  • I've repeatedly tried to install this 'Anna' update on my N8 - only for it to fail every time! - Nokia's very poor care service has sent several different methods to get the update to install correctly - and none of them have worked. And worse still is that it has actually damaged the phone - so now I have a broken phone for my trouble. Always been a loyal Nokia user - will never buy another - especially as they now refuse to replace a phone that they broke!.