Is it Nokia’s Bluetooth that sucks, or Apple’s?

Once upon a time I had a Nokia phone, an N73. I unwisely put it through a firmware upgrade. Apart from the fact that the computer crashed partway through the upload, so the phone had to go back to the manufacturer to be sorted, after the upgrade I found I couldn’t Bluetooth to my Mac. The two devices would go through most of the procedure, exchange passcodes, and then say “Unable to establish connection”. The phone also, perhaps not irrelevantly, no longer connected to my in-car hands-free kit. Previously, both had been fine.

Well, I put it down as one of those things that might get FITNR [fixed in the next release]. Then I upgraded my phone (a newer Nokia, nice touch screen, like it!) and the new one connects fine to the computer. It’s handy not just to replicate my contacts and calendar, but the Mac’s Bluetooth send-file interface is neat too. I use this for event stuff (registrations, travel arrangements and maps): the documents arrive as Bluetooth text messages, making them easy to file away, to refer to, and to delete after the event. QuickOffice Adobe Reader for Symbian, and the fact that the Mac has a PDF writer built-in, make all this a doddle.

But yesterday I was with a friend who has an iPhone, and hasn’t used the Bluetooth interface. So just for fun, we set out to connect. The iPhone wouldn’t see my Nokia. But I could see the iPhone and it was just like the old days. Try to pair; exchange passwords; and then “Unable to establish connection”.

What is it about standards that makes them unable to interoperate? And since this appears to be a well known problem between Nokia’s and Apple’s devices, why doesn’t someone fix it?

No Links, but try searches on Google, Apple Support and Nokia Forum.

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