Because users complained about the network issues immediately, Nokia halted sales of the device and said it was working on a fix. In response to the issue, Nokia said:
It sounds like Nokia was taking the matter seriously, as it should. Nokia already has a diminished presence in the minds of U.S. consumers. For it to come out of the gate with such a strategically important product and flub everything is exactly the opposite of what Nokia needs right now.
We have learned that some Nokia 5800 XpressMusic devices are having issues with 3G performance. This is a very isolated problem concerning only the North American market and is not specific to any other region or country. We are currently investigating the matter further to find a quick remedy to the situation. Customer satisfaction and product quality are very important to Nokia and we take all quality and customer satisfaction-related issues seriously. Nokia is investigating the issue. Existing customers of the 5800 XpressMusic who experience 3G signal issue with the device are advised to contact Nokia Customer Care.
According to an inside source who contacted TheNokiaBlog, Nokia has determined that a firmware update should resolve the signal woes and fix the problems. There's been no official word from Nokia on the matter, but it is widely hoped that the report is accurate. Fixing the problems with a firmware update would prevent owners of the 5800 NAM from replacing their devices, and will also save Nokia some cash. Quite honestly, if the Nokia 5800 NAM were experiencing a hardware problem, Nokia would have been in trouble.
TheNokiaBlog hopes that the firmware will be available in the near future.
In the mean time, I think those interested in adopting a Nokia touch device ought to seriously consider skipping the 5800 altogether and wait for the N97 to reach the market, instead. The N97 may be a bit bigger and pricer than the 5800, but it offers a physical QWERTY keyboard, a better camera, and other improved features.