I’ve just come to realize that, probably, the Nokia N95 8GB phone I bought from a SingTel hello! store recently is unbranded. Yes, subsidized by phone contract still, but unbranded. How cool is that, particularly since I don’t care for operator branding on my phone anyway. In Singapore, phones are not SIM-locked, but branding of the phones still introduces some problems.
For example, a common issue that afflicts Nokia owners concerns the availability of software updates. This may be the same for other brands, but at least I know for Nokia, software updates are tied to product codes, which are different depending on operator branding.
I begun to suspect my phone is unbranded because my software updates came quite promptly. Software for my phone had, twice already, become available within a few days after I see it announced by Nokia. That few days delay is only because I don’t check for updates daily. Initially I thought SingTel was just being more efficient than my previous telco. But a friend who bought the same phone model from SingTel hasn’t been getting his updates! We discovered our product codes are different, and also that his phone had different wallpaper and an extra operator icon. So… I concluded that my phone must be unbranded afterall!
I wonder, can you specifically request for particular product codes when you buy phones from SingTel hello! shops…