*Update* HMD explains why you shouldn’t buy #Nokia 6 TA-1000 outside #China

Update: Google Play now available for the Nokia 6 (TA-1000)

When HMD introduced the Nokia 6 for the Chinese market, a lot of us outside China were a little jealous of Chinese Nokia fans and couldn’t wait to get our hands on a global version when it arrives. Almost six month after the debut in China, we are still waiting for the 6, and latest info suggests we will have to wait a month more.

A lot of Nokia fans and customers who like the phone, what it offers and the price, but live outside China, decided to order their phones from Chinese resellers or local stores that buy the device from the Chinese resellers. Another reason for deciding to buy the Nokia 6 from China is the fact that the China variants come with 4GB RAM instead of 3GB that the global version will have, but the China versions on the other hand don’t have NFC and autofocus on the front camera.

HMD introduced two Nokia 6 variants for the Chinese markets and 2 configurations: Nokia 6 TA-1000 for China and Nokia 6 TA-1003 for Hong Kong and Taiwan; and 4GB RAM with 32GB or 64GB internal memory. The difference between TA-1000 and TA-1003 is that the TA-1003 variant comes with Google services, while the TA-1000 doesn’t have Google Apps and uses a customized Android Nougat that follows the guidance of the Chinese government.

Nokia sticker and phone info on the box

Considering all above, customers outside China have only the options to either order the TA-1000 or TA-1003, and the TA-1003 seems and is the better choice. But, a lot of people end up with the TA-1000 variant as well.

Some buy it because they don’t think about the Google Play support, others buy it because they think it’s the TA-1003, because the reseller said Google Play services are installed. Indeed, there are TA-1000 variants with Google Play store, but no one from the XDA Developer community knows how the stores/reseller managed to install Google Apps on a restricted device.

Potential buyers of Nokia 6 buying the TA-1000 are facing two problems: First problem is the lack of Google apps if the device comes with “stock” Android customized for China, and the second is if the device somehow comes with Google Apps, there is a high chance that TA-1000 won’t receive further updates via official channels.

Call me foolish, but I ordered a Nokia 6 from a local retailer that imported the device from China. The price was right, the store offered legit 2 year warranty, and they said the device supports Google Play services. And my Nokia 6 has all Google services, and at First, I thought it’s the TA-1003, but the about page in settings and the phone’s retail box said otherwise. After researching online, exchanging few emails with HMD’s customer services, and noticing the broken Nokia seal on the box, I came to the conclusion that the person/store who/that sold the Nokia 6 to my local retailer installed the TA-1003 ROM on the TA-1000 variant.

I asked HMD is it possible that some TA-1000 models do come with Google Play, HMD said no. I also noticed the lack of “system update” settings, and after manually searching for it, it shows that my phone is up to date running Android 7.1.1 and April security update. As we all know, Google’s latest security patch is for the month June, but HMD pointed out to me that the TA-1000 doesn’t receive security updates directly from Google, because of government restriction, so it’s normal that the security updates for the TA-1000 come few days or weeks after the TA-1003 or global models. The bad news is that the latest security update from the TA-1000 is the May update, and I’m on April’s. They also said that the TA-1000 variant does not show “system update” option in the section, because of government restritions.

Phones having a custom ROM, like the Nokia 6 TA-1000 with Google Play does, are usually not eligible for further software updates from Google. Or as one of the XDA Developer forum members said to me: “The update will come, but itย will fail to be applied,” adding that if all partitions were flashed (such as bootloader etc.) updates should come normally, but if it is only the system that’s flashed, then no.

Down below, you can find the official response from HMD Global answering my question about the phone updates for the TA-1000 with Google Play.

Firstly, we would like to inform you that the Nokia 6 TA-1000 model is the Chinese model which is with restrictions on all Google services, including Google Play, by the Chinese Government. Therefore, It is not possible the use Google Play on those devices. The Nokia 6 which is able to use the Google mobile applications is the TA-1003.

The updates which your specific device has comeย OTA via different services and not the regular Google Android update channels. These channels are for global distribution and devices that are made for the specific China region market cannot be updated this way. The devices are not only identifiedย via the ROM to google, as there are many more identification items inside a smartphone that may filter the devices to be updated or not. Very often, custom ROMs on any Software platform are not subject to update to official ROMs.

Summa summarum, if you want a Nokia 6, and don’t want to wait till July, please be sure that you are buying the Nokia 6 TA-1003. If you end up with a Nokia 6 TA-1000 with or without Google Play, for getting the Google apps or updates the only thing we can do is wait. The XDA community hasn’t found a method of flashing the TA-1000 yet, and when they do, we will cover it here on NokiaMob. The same goes for the problem with future software updates.

 

  • Rocky

    Oops, looks like someone’s Nokia 6 doesn’t get update anymore ๐Ÿ˜

    • The price I pay for being impatient. :/

      • Haha… Don’t worry. Can’t you manually flash the rom again? When TA-1003 is updated just flash that rom in your Nokia 6. Is it possible that way?
        If you remember I recently gave my x2-00 for flashing and he installed an OS of different region. Its s40 but is it possible on android too? Like you said the seller installed the rom of TA-1003

        • Rocky

          Even XDA community doesnt know how to install play service like resellers do. For S40, there’s a thing called j-tag box (if I’m not mistaken) to flash it.

          • Oh yes he was saying me about some box that will be needed to install the software which he didn’t have and had to send it somewhere else.

          • Boxes were needed for old gen Nokia phones. I don’t think those JTAG boxes will be needed to flash the Android phones.

          • Is it really hard to simply install all the Google apps? I did that several times on my OnePlus 2 when I flashed H2OS. Why would it be hard for the Nokia 6? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

          • Rocky

            Because Nokia 6 is hard to find now :), unlike OnePlus that already had many communities

          • Well, actually it was just a simple task and would work for all phones. Just installed an APK which downloads all Google Apps APKs. Install them all, provide them permissions and all done ๐Ÿ˜€

          • Rocky

            Actually I mean flashing the whole TA-1000 original ROM because the reseller intall the TA-1003 ROM, for gapps, just install Google Installer right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Exactly. How is the whole ROM a hard task too? If it is how the rest of Android phones work:
            Flash ROM via Recovery (ADB Sideload)?
            Flash individual files via Fastboot?

          • Don’t know, but on XDA forum seems people tried that way and it didn’t work.

          • I wish I had access to a Chinese Nokia 6 lol. Don’t have enough cash to burn, unfortunately ๐Ÿ™

            As I edited, maybe people just don’t have access to the ROM files. Nokia does not have a stock ROM downloads section like OnePlus does xD

          • TechbuzzIreland Dublin

            My six is ta-100 and everything is working fine

          • Same here, but with a custom TA-1003 ROM that the retailer or more likely exporter installed. System updates can’t be installed, but Play store works fine.

          • Mtemi Edson

            i have my NOKIA 6 TA 1000 tried to update into android 7.1.1
            Now its not working it opens only in boot and recovery mode
            can you help me to get either update zip or whatever solution

          • Mtemi Edson

            my whatsap number +255754860946

          • As Rocky said, no one who owns the device didn’t find a way to install it. I have Google Apps but no updates and I’m new to Android so I don’t have a clue how to do those fancy stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • How about selling the phone to someone else who might be interested in it? You will get almost full price at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜Š

          • I took care of that already for later this year when and if the 9 arrives ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t worry

          • Sorry if i hurt you by suggesting you to sell the phone. ๐Ÿ™

          • Hehe don’t worry you didn’t. And i really do have someone who wants to buy the phone from me when I’m ready to let go of the 6 ๐Ÿ™‚

          • ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought you were upset with my comment. Nice to read this ๐Ÿ™‚
            BTW Nokia 6 isn’t available in Copper in India ๐Ÿ™

          • Maybe it will be ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Hemedans

            To flash anything on your phone you need
            -custom recovery like CWM or TWRP
            -PC software like ODIN/Kies/smart switch (samsung), flashtool (sony) etc

            Untill HMD release software like PC suite, or community release software like Phoenix or custom recovery like TWRP it will be very difficult to flash anything on that phone.

          • I wasn’t talking about a flashable zip of Gapps. Just an APK ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Hemedans

            If you install playstore via apk means your phone already has some google framework, for what i know you cant install playstore in aosp rom without flashing them as whole package. I may be wrong though.

          • Nope. The Google installer just works fine on Android versions where you can manually give permissions to the apps.
            I’ve tried it on China based ROMs for Xiaomi and OnePlus 2.

          • Hemedans

            both of them are not aosp, and if am not mistaken xiaomi provide google installer official in their store.

          • What is AOSP then? Android without Google services is what I regard as a ROM based on AOSP. And that’s exactly true for Hydrogen OS and China version of MiUi.
            Yes, Google Installer is included on the Xiaomi’s store. IDK what is official. The app isn’t made by Xiaomi. And Xiaomi’s store is just an APK store. It does not auto-install apps like Play Store. It just drops an APK in your downloads and you install it.

          • Hemedans

            Aosp is pure android without google services, miui has already been modified, am not sure about hydrogen (never own oneplus).

          • That doesn’t make a difference in the question here. Modified or not, it is AOSP without Google services and you can install them via APKs. Period.

          • Hemedans

            read this
            https://mobiforge.com/news-comment/android-forks-why-google-can-rest-easy-for-now
            it explain well on OHA, AOSP, certified and Non Certified ROMs

            xiaomi’s Miui is not pure AOSP just a fork, and they are certified to use google apps so they can pre built google framework but not including google apps and leave it to consumer to decide.

            My guess when HMD release Nokia 6 they were not yet Certfied in both CDC and CTC or they just decide not to include google framework in their chinese version.

          • Google Framework is not included in the Chinese version of MiUi. It is simply customized AOSP. The Google installer APK is just capable of doing the required installation. The problem with older versions of Android was that permissions were system decided. Any custom installed apps cannot those permissions unless it was flashed. With the newer versions of Android, nearly all permissions can be manually provided to the apps. That’s all they actually need.
            I might be wrong. But I just wanna end it here ๐Ÿ™‚ Let’s see if there’s a Chinese Nokia 6 user here who can try that Google Installer and see if the Google Apps work.

          • I think Nokia X runs on true AOSP ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not much into software but i can’t install google playstore on my Nokia X by just downloading an apk ๐Ÿ™‚

          • It was running Android Kitkat. There was no possibility of setting permissions manually.

          • No LOL. Its even older than Kit Kat ๐Ÿ˜› It runs on Android Jelly Bean ๐Ÿ˜›

          • I kinda confuse all Android 4xx with Kitkat only :p There were no serious API changes, so yeah ๐Ÿ˜€

          • Ian Fuentes

            bad thing is nokia 6 TA-1000 is lock only for chinese users/version they will not give any updates including gapps -_-

      • Rocky

        Do you already contact the reseller?

        • No, I’ll contact them. They did they part of the job: 2 year warranty and Google Play. Will ask who is their contact in China.

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