What Will Mobile Phones Look Like in 2010?

NokiaN97.jpgLast week I met with Anssi Vanjoki, executive V-P of markets at Nokia (s NOK), to discuss the state of both the Finnish company and the mobile industry overall. Since Nokia has been particularly good at defining the specifications and features of phones ahead of time, I asked Vanjoki what some of the common features one should expect to see in a top-end phone in 2010 were. Here’s a quick rundown of what he told me:

  • A high-quality (QVGA) screen with 16:9 horizontal mode capabilities
  • A high-quality camera with resolution of between 5 and 12 megapixels and the sharpness and quality of a standalone digital camera.
  • Touchscreen input along with a good QWERTY keyboard. (I’m pretty sure Apple would disagree.)
  • About 32-64 GB storage.
  • GPS and multiple radios that allow access to voice, 3G and Wi-Fi networks.

Most of these phones will come with services integrated into them, and many phones will be “solution-specific.” As an example, Vanjoki offered the soon-to-be-released Nokia N97 and forecast that by 2013, such feature-laden phones will be commonplace. I remember the Nokia N73 and N81 phones from three years ago. Indeed, their features — 3-megapixel camera, music playback and high-speed wireless access (3G or Wi-Fi) — are commonplace today. From that perspective, Vanjoki (and by extension, Nokia) might be right, though there remain two problems on the horizon: the continuing slump in the global economy, which is preventing people from spending big dollars on their phones, and the fact that Apple, not Nokia, now sets the phone trends, thanks to its super-hit device, the iPhone.