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Summary:

Nokia is going to release a touch-screen phone on Oct. 2nd, Reuters is reporting today. Based on comments the company made earlier this summer, the device, code-named “Tube,” will be cheaper than rival models and be aimed at hot growth markets, such as India. In a […]

Nokia is going to release a touch-screen phone on Oct. 2nd, Reuters is reporting today. Based on comments the company made earlier this summer, the device, code-named “Tube,” will be cheaper than rival models and be aimed at hot growth markets, such as India. In a post earlier this month, I had asked about the whereabouts of this phone. Here is what I wrote then: “It has been over a year since the iPhone was launched, and Nokia still doesn’t have anything new to show except for some videos. Sign of a company that is, well…yes, I’m just going to say it…too bureaucratic. Either that or they’ve decided to adopt the ostrich approach to competition.”

Well, at least a response is coming, if this news is actually true. Since it’s coming from Reuters, I am inclined to believe it. Nevertheless, my first reaction was: Is this too little, too late? After all, many of their smaller rivals — LG, Samsung, even HTC — have responded with interesting if not entirely effective competitors to Apple’s iPhone. The lack of a touch-screen device makes Nokia look like a slow-moving giant that is trying to respond to whiplash-inducing changes in the mobile business.

Nokia has to grapple with the new reality of creating a seamless web and software experience on its phones. As a regular user of all things Nokia, I have to say they are not even close. Ovi, music download services and other features they have introduced don’t quite seem to have the seamlessness of an iPhone or even a Samsung Instinct.

Regardless, I will wait to see what comes out of Helsinki in a few days. What are your thoughts on Nokia and its lack of a touch device? Is the “Tube” is going to change anything?

  1. [...] Reuters is reporting that Nokia is going to release a touch-screen phone on October 2nd. The new device is code named “Tube” and will be a cheaper device focused on their hot growth markets such as India. Read the full article on GigaOM → [...]

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  2. [...] Reuters is reporting that Nokia is going to release a touch-screen phone on October 2nd. The new device is cipher named “Tube” and will be a cheaper device focused on their hot growth markets such as India. Read the full spread on GigaOM → [...]

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  3. My question to you, honestly, is what would this phone need to do/feature to be anything other than a disappointment? Since the iPhone came out, the usual label for any touchscreen-equipped phone is ‘iPhone Killer’, after which people declare that it’s not better than the iPhone. So, my question to you, Om, is, ‘IS there such thing as an iPhone killer?’ I.e. is there, realistically, anything that a new phone COULD do that might best the iPhone?

    For instance, the LG Dare – full touchscreen interface, fun to use, microSD card slot, standard 3.5mm audio port, GPS, 3G, 3.2mp cam with autofocus, VIDEO RECORDING, A2DP, etc, and yet that’s not an iPhone competitor, much less killer? Does *anything* stand a chance, and if not, why?

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  4. ”It is the usability, stupid.”

    e.g.:
    Why Nokia keeps doing phones with dial pads, when most of the inputs to a mobile phone are text entries(SMS, a contact name, an URL…)? How many phone numbers you actually dial from a mobile phone nowadays to make a phone call?

    “The innovation [...] is not that they let us do something new, but that they allow us to do what we already do better, more often, in more places and more quickly.” -Joshua Porter

    Another post on the topic: http://tech-talk.biz/2008/06/23/nokia-still-dont-get-it/

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  5. It’s been an open secret in Espoo that the touchscreen was coming out in the fourth quarter. I haven’t heard anything about it being a cheap version but people who work there tend to make a face when you mention it, suggesting that they aren’t that impressed. A few months ago it wasn’t the same at all. They were all crowing about tactile feedback and the fact it won’t be tied to one operator. Much less enthusiastic now.

    Personally, I like my N82 and think that the iphone is for girls.

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  6. Jose Miguel Cansado,

    Thanks for the insight, but you didn’t answer my question. Not pertaining specifically to Nokia, there are several manufacturers now (Samsung, LG, etc) with devices that feature a full-touchscreen user interface with few buttons, and the same user input methods as the iPhone (onscreen keypad).

    By your assertion, the iPhone will never be topped because no one can duplicate the user experience, is that true? So then, if someone came along with the features that the iPhone clearly lacks (copy/paste, haptics, etc), it would still not even come close, simply because ‘it’s not an iPhone?’

    That’s rather silly, don’t you think?

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  7. I’m a Nokia user. Their advantage is with the business user, which is where Apple has missed the mark with the iPhone.

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  8. I thought for a while that they were simply trying to differentiate themselves from everyone else by not “giving in” to what they thought to be a trend in the mobile device space. Obviously sales figures don’t lie & Nokia is realizing very quickly that users want touch screen devices. It’d be great if Nokia has just been waiting because they are going to add something more than just a touch screen.

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  9. This post is going to sound like I work for T-Mobile or Google but I don’t.

    I’ve been a Nokia fan ever since Nokia e62. I’ve been itching for the N85 to be released and the Tube but Nokia’s been dragging their feet. I’ve been looking for a multimedia phone to replace it but nothing has inspired me to drop wads of cash. And that includes the iPhone.

    symbianguru asked: “Is there such a thing as the iPhone killer?”

    My answer to that is YES! Let’s face it: after you get past the hardware, what makes a phone great is the software and user experience. Apple got both down. Their user experience is outstanding. However, T-Mobile launched the G1 running the Google Android platform. It absolutely can complete with iPhone. Will it win any beauty contests? Probably not. But look at the 3 videos on YouTube explaining how it works and check this out and tell me what you think:


    http://t-mobileg1.com/g1-announcement.aspx

    This is for the techies but even if you’re not, you’ll see why G1 running Android slams iPhone. Plus it’s OpenSource. So developers have already written some extremely cool apps. How about scanning a barcode, having the software check prices on the web and showing you who has the lowest price on the web AND brick-n-mortor? http://www.biggu.com/
    Android Architecture Overview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL6gSd4ugSI

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  10. Nokia has long missed the bus. Its their lack of forward thinking that has left a lot of the industry stagnant. But they left a huge big gaping hole out of pure greed and Apple came and exploited it.

    If they spent their considerable revenues on real innovation as opposed to crippling ram and ruining user experience – yes I have been using Symbian since 6600 right till N95 8GB, increasing screen sizes by .1 inch and camera by 2X, building cheap shells and generally profiteering in this unique model of ‘innovation’ Apple wouldn’t have been able to crash the party so easily.

    Leadership means nothing if you stop delivering value. You just make yourself vulnerable. Which Nokia phone can deliver an Internet experience rivalling iPhone? Why not? Critics go on about missing feature but there is more to a phone than just hi-res camera, stereo bluetooth, sure some folks can see value in that but a lot of folks also see value in mobile Internet use. Its because of iPhone and now Android that mobile internet is taking off/going to take off in any real way with general consumers who don’t want to struggle with small screens and keypads to use the net on the go.

    The issue with iPhone or Android is not what they DON’T offer but what they DO that other phones don’t, so talk of missing features misses the point entirely.

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