N96 Firmware Upgrade on Vodafone UK

As I write this I’m on hold with Vodafone customer services (tech support) trying to find out when they’ll approve/build a version of the new v30 firmware for the N96.

For those not familiar, when Nokia update their firmware, the updates can only be downloaded by those with generic (unbranded) phones. If your phone comes from a network, it will have a different product code depending on the network. When you run Nokia’s Software Updater it reports back what code you have, and if your network haven’t approved an updated version of the firmware, you don’t get any upgrade.

Vodafone haven’t approved an update for the N96 firmware since v11.018 which was released in September 2008. The problem is that there have been several updates since this time to fix poor performance and other issues, including two major updates in May and July which I really want to get hold of.

So I’m trying to get a call centre to tell me when Vodafone are going to get their fingers out of their arses. What do you think of my odds?

To Hack or not to Hack?

I’m aware of two other methods of getting firmware upgrades by bypassing Vodafone, but these aren’t ideal. One is to change your product code to the generic one (I’ve been told for the UK & Ireland this is 0568238, but I haven’t checked this), then run Nokia Software Update. This time when your phone sends its Product Code to the server it’ll get the latest version of the genereic firmware and apply it to your phone. The problem is that your product code is recorded against the IMEI of your phone in the server, so Nokia know you’ve been naughty and should you have any problems with the phone they will tell you you’ve voided your warranty and refuse to fix it.

The other method involves downloading the firmware and applying it to the phone yourself using a program called Phoenix. This is also naughty, but Nokia don’ t know abou t it. If you’ve any problems and need to call on your warranty you can change the firmware back and (if you do it right) they can’t tell. However this method seems to be more complicated.

Oh and the guy on the phone denied any firmware existed past v12, released in January. I told him the page he was looking at (probably this one) as out of date. Shortly afterwards the call was mysteriously disconnected. Odd that. OH and i fyou enter that UK & Ireland N96 code above into the Nokia update checker, it comes back with the non-existant v30.033 firmware. Also odd, no?

Author: nerd.

An experienced IT professional, I used to run a number of small websites and spend a lot of time tinkering with my sites or my PC - back when I had free time.

2 thoughts on “N96 Firmware Upgrade on Vodafone UK”

  1. I just downloaded the v30 firmware for the N96 through the Nokia software updater – i have vodafone branded phone and didn’t need to ‘hack’ or unbrand phone!

  2. Yeah I got a text from Nokia during the week telling me there was new software for my phone, but google didn’t turn anything up. I’m guessing vodafone finally got their fingers out of their arses.

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