Nokia’s Touch-Screen Plans: Stepping On iPhone’s Toes?

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) will issue new profit targets and give info on its internet strategy to analysts gathering in Amsterdam next week, this Reuters report says. But one analyst has already given the handset maker something to think about. Nomura’s Richard Windsor (via DJ) reckons Nokia is developing touch-screen features for an update to its Symbian S60 operating system, due out next year, that will put it on a collision course with a certain iPhone: “I think Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) will likely view Nokia as infringing on its user interface patents. But I don’t see this being the same scale of (the) legal battle Nokia has with Qualcomm.”

Windsor reckons Apple “is likely to protect” the at-least 200 iPhone patents it has filed – but figures any Apple-Nokia disagreement would be settled out of court in 2009. Neither Apple nor Nokia are by any means the first to develop a touch-screen mobile and, while the prospect of a lawsuit seems unlikely, it’s true that, as the biggest handset maker and with its own music store plans in track, Nokia is iPhone’s biggest competitor.