55% of Nokia users backup to their desktop

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Nokia Conversations have announced their results from the poll they opened last week, asking how users back up their phones. While Nokia Conversations did not publish a full set of results, it appears that around 55% of those who responded are not using the cloud, but instead using Nokia's desktop software. This 55% of desktop users is made up by the first and second places in the poll. Ovi Suite came in first with 36% and 19% answered 'Nokia PC Desktop'. It's good to see that more desktop users are using the more up to date Ovi Suite than the older desktop software.

The third most popular answer was 'other' (percentage not given), of which many voters reported they were backing up on to SD cards. This clearly shows that most users are choosing to use local backups rather than cloud storage. Hopefully Nokia Conversations will run another poll on this. Local backups are good, but the user is still responsible for looking after their data. Particularly so with the 'backup to memory card' option, in which all the data is still stored in the phone and would still be lost in the event of damage or theft. The result may indicate a technical barrier that people find with integrating a cloud solution. Alternatively, it could indicate trust issues, whereby users are avoiding cloud services because they don't like the idea of their data flowing through the air and being stored on a system they have no control over.

Correspondingly, 'SyncML' and 'Web Services' (possibly the same thing) took fifth and sixth place in the poll (percentage not given). Nokia Conversations stated that many people reported using the open source SyncML alternative, Funambol. While clearly in a minority, it is good to see this application getting some attention. Funambol is important for users who do want to sync, but want choice and flexibility. Nokia are currently pushing out their 'Ovi Sync' application via firmware updates. On paper, this is an advancement from the basic Sync application in Symbian phones. Thanks to its scheduling feature, users no longer need to manually synchronise their phones. However, Ovi Sync is hard-wired to only sync with the Ovi services, and no other PIM system. This is where Funambol steps in, users can set up their Funambol profile to synchronise with any service they like, either on a regular schedule, or even by accepting push-sync requests.

Lastly, the fourth most popular result was the 10% of users who never backup their phones. There are two types of people in this world, those who backup, and those who don't know how painful it is to lose personal data!

David Gilson, AAS