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Nokia admits the N8 is dying on "limited number" of owners

Nokia has admitted to a major problem with a small number of its flagship Nokia N8 smart phones -- namely, they won't switch on.

Nokia has admitted to a problem on its flagship N8 smart phone, with some users reporting that their device no longer turns on, or even charge up.

It's so serious that Nokia executive vice president Niklas Savander was moved to issue a public statement on the official Nokia Conversations blog. He admitted that "a limited number" of N8s are now expensive paperweights.

Nokia traced the source of the problem to the way it assembled the phone's "engine", and has taken "precautionary measures" across its product line.

Of the number affected, Savander said, "If you look at the total number of N8s that we have shipped, it's a small number. However for the one individual where it's not working, it is of course a significant issue."

If you're an N8 owner with this problem, Savander said you should contact your nearest Nokia care centre, as it's covered by the standard warranty.

"I am concerned," said Savander. "Any dissatisfaction of an individual consumer with a Nokia product is always a source of concern."

You can check out a discussion thread detailing the problem on Nokia's user forum. Below is a video of Savander's statement in full.

Our problem with the N8 has always been its outdated Symbian software. We have nothing but praise for the hardware, for which Nokia has an excellent reputation. We don't think this problem seriously compromises that reputation, especially as a senior executive has got out in front of the problem and effectively explained it.

Compare this measured, humble response to Apple's approach to the antennagate fiasco. A phone not switching on is a far more serious problem than bad reception, but the antenna is a problem on every iPhone 4, and Apple refused to admit anything was wrong for some time. It failed to dent record sales, however.

We'll be very interested to see whether you've suffered any problem with your N8, and what you think of Nokia's response.