Nokia is sharing a video on the design process for its Lumia 800 Windows Phone, and after watching it, I’m struck by the similarities to prior Apple iPhone videos that I’ve seen. The eight-minute clip speaks to the use of metal and precision milling, the way the curved glass enhances the sliding Metro interface of Windows Phone and the general feel of the product in hand.
See for yourself, especially if you’ve ever watched the Apple videos that discuss the iPhone design choices:
Even more interesting is the fact that the Lumia 800 is nearly identical to the Nokia N9, a MeeGo handset that debuted some months ago. In an interview earlier this week, I asked Nokia CEO Stephen Elop about the N9, since it’s running the MeeGo software that Nokia has abandoned. Elop told me that Nokia learned much by building the N9, and the design features carry over to the Windows Phone version.
The video shared on Thursday indicates otherwise, although few consumers know about the N9. Most will see the movie, and the Lumia 800, as a groundbreaking design for Nokia’s newest Windows Phone handset. I have both an N9 and a Lumia 800 in hand, and the differences are barely noticeable. While the Lumia 800 is an excellent piece of hardware — perhaps the nicest ever to come from Nokia — it doesn’t appear to be designed solely for integration with Windows Phone.
Unless, of course, the N9, which first arrived back in June, was a prototype design for the Windows Phone platform, something Nokia has never said. Regardless, if I close my eyes when watching the video and ignore the references to Nokia and Microsoft, I’d swear I was listening to a description about iPhone design. It’s clever of Nokia to show off the handset integration between its hardware and Microsoft’s software, almost as if the two teams were from the same company and providing complete control over the entire smartphone experience. Just like Apple does.