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Nokia leans on new N97 as best hope for an iPhone rival

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
At a special event in Spain, Nokia has revealed the N97, which is just the second touchscreen phone in company history -- and potentially the company's one real chance at reversing market share losses to Apple's iPhone.

As the successor to the N95 and this year's N96, the N97 is Nokia's first truly high-end smartphone to use a touch interface and is technically far superior to the 5800 XpressMusic that earned the distinction of being the phone maker's first touchscreen handset just two months ago.

Unlike its more basic sibling, the new model is aimed at pleasing heavy-duty Internet users and not just music enthusiasts. Its trademark feature is a new, sliding keyboard that tilts out from the side of the phone for typing. It also adds a larger 3.5-inch, 640x360 touchscreen, a sharper 5-megapixel camera with a better flash, and -- in a likely first -- 32GB of built-in flash memory. A card slot gives room for yet another 16GB of space.

With 3G, a digital compass, GPS, and Wi-Fi also coming along for the ride, the phone is being marketed first and foremost as a social networking device which is constantly aware of where it is and what's happening with its owner's friends. The home screen appropriately has a new interface with widgets that supply an at-a-glance view of contacts from Facebook and other services.

It also includes a full HTML web browser with Adobe Flash, cut-and-paste text, video recording, and options for a removable battery and storage that are either already in place or missing from certain rivals, Nokia says. Apple's patents nonetheless prevent it from using multi-touch.



But while the N97's features and overall focus are different than those on the iPhone, the chrome-trimmed, uncluttered design and certain interface elements for Nokia's new offering also share more than a few passing resemblances to its American-born rival -- including, as blogger Robert Scoble notes, a similar photo browser.

"You can see Jonathan Ive's challenge taken up all over the device," he says.

The debut ultimately reveals the N97 as Nokia's real answer to the iPhone and comes just as the Finnish company finds itself in the unfamiliar position of having to stem a rapid loss in market share, much of which can be attributed to Apple. Compared to the year before, Nokia has lost 20 percent of the smartphone market this summer and can pin the blame largely on iPhone 3G's appearance this July.

Before it published its quarterly results earlier in the fall, Nokia itself had warned that unnamed competition, now widely known to be Apple, was undermining its market share by using heavy carrier subsidies to beat Nokia's pricing.

However much closer the N97 may bring Nokia to having its own ultimate touchscreen phone on a hardware level, the details of the launch have already been deemed problematic. The unlocked, unsubsidized phone will cost 550 Euros, or nearly $700; this is as much or less as the iPhone costs in countries that allow contract-free sales but about 75 percent more expensive than the 5800 XpressMusic.

And though attendees of the iPhone's Macworld 2007 debut were frustrated when the first Apple cellphone wasn't slated to ship for another five months after it first became public, the N97 isn't scheduled to ship until sometime in the first half of 2009 -- and then while largely excluding the US. As is customary with most Nokia phone introductions, the N97 lacks support for AT&T's 3G network.
post #2 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

At a special event in Spain, Nokia has revealed the N97, which is just the second touchscreen phone in company history

Well it is, if you don't count the other touch screen devices Nokia has released in the past (like the 7700, 7710, plus the tablets they make(
post #3 of 130
Although my initial reaction was to say 'meh', halfway through the article I read the device is being touted as a "social networking device". This worries me, and should worry apple, Apple does not seem to understand social networking and the significance it will play in the future. I see no clear strategy, and I consider it one of Apples few weaknesses.

Another weakness is porn, porn has been a driving force in many technologies and (as far as i know) is not readily available on Apples squeaky clean iphone/itunes.
A platform that provides more freedom in the adult department, could amass the masturbating masses.
post #4 of 130
I assume the home screen is user-customizable, but taking one look at the publicity shot of the screen, you have to wonder about their PR people...what an ugly mess! I suppose it may play with the MySpace-ers...

And just how thick is this thing, after all?
post #5 of 130
For me, it always feels like nokia is just reinventing the same phone over and over again. (The spec sheets always look nice however)

I do not see any huge threats to the iPhone coming from a single phone but rather from a mobile operating system such as android.
post #6 of 130
I don't know if you guys saw the Nokia promotion video yet, but my first thought is WHAT A FRAUD. The interface on the phone in the video is obviously pre-rendered. whether or not Apple and other companies do the same thing I don't know, but it certainly is the most blatant example.. Seriously the interface speed and fluidity is NOWHERE NEAR what is shown on the video. Even the iPhone, which has the fastest interface animation/transition can't do what they show.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O2Li74EYew

Now I'm not a Nokia-hater. This hardware looks good if a little bit thick, and definitely has some standout hardware features like 32GB flash, 5MP camera with autofocus/flash, high resolution screen (although it is NOT a capacitive touchscreen, instead being a resistive model... similar to all the crappy touchscreen WinMo phones that work with a stylus and a finger. These are nowhere near as responsive as a capacitive model like the iPhone's display). I do wish Apple would take a cue from Nokia regarding the camera though, which is still a sore spot on the iPhone.

However, like all the other wannabe "iPhone killers" that have failed so miserably, they focus on the hardware and neglect the interface. Instead of building a new touch interface from the ground up, they simply bolt-on a touch layer to the existing ancient S60 code base, which is entirely conspicuous in the akward, cluttered, and unintuitive interface. I wish they would just throw S60 out of the window and simply add phone functionality to their Linux-based "Tablet OS 2008" that runs on their iPod-touch like "internet tablets".

The only interesting thing with this phone will be if they upgraded the processor and GPU to Texas Instruments OMAP3 line, which uses the new ARM Cortex-A8 core and PowerVR SGX graphics. Though if the platform is not sufficiently optimized it won't matter how much power you throw at it. Perhaps that is why this phone will not be released until H1 2009. I'd expect an iPhone v3.0 to be ready by then..
post #7 of 130
I'll never own another Nokia phone as long as I live. The one I have now, is really pretty horrid. And get this, nowhere in the instruction manual, and I mean NOWHERE, does it tell you how to perform one of the most basic functions of ANY phone: How to adjust the volume. Really, if that is as much thought as they put into their products, I'll pass.
post #8 of 130
The device isn't even complete yet. What they are showing is basically a demo/mockup of the device. It won't be ready for another 6 months.

Maybe the web should hold off on the "iPhone's in trouble now" talk until the product actually is finished.
post #9 of 130
Quote:
And though attendees of the iPhone's Macworld 2007 debut were frustrated when the first Apple cellphone wasn't slated to ship for another five months after it first became public, the N97 isn't scheduled to ship until sometime in the first half of 2009 -- and then while largely excluding the US. As is customary with most Nokia phone introductions, the N97 lacks support for AT&T's 3G network.

By the time they release this phone Apple will be ready to release new version of the iPhone. I don't know what is the problem with Nokia! They gave up too much information about the device that by the time they release it it will become yesterdays news! The specs looks great but too much Nokia and as mrpiddly said they seem to keep reinventing the same phone over and over again.
post #10 of 130
...HTC should probably sue. It's like Nokia got their hands on a shipment of five year old HTC handsets, crammed System 60 onto them, rebranded them with the Nokia logo, and said "Hey look everyone! A new Nokia smartphone!"
post #11 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

....... the N97 isn't scheduled to ship until sometime in the first half of 2009 ........

OK. We'll check back sometime in the first half of 2009.

(By then, the world will probably be abuzz with the 3rd Gen iPhone which could well end up freezing the market for Nokia; Nokia appears to be simply chasing yesterday's technology).
post #12 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Although my initial reaction was to say 'meh', halfway through the article I read the device is being touted as a "social networking device". This worries me, and should worry apple, Apple does not seem to understand social networking and the significance it will play in the future. I see no clear strategy, and I consider it one of Apples few weaknesses.

The App Store should be able to provide social networking Apps for the iphone, but Apple could certainly help the developer community along a bit by opening up the OS a bit more.

Quote:
Another weakness is porn, porn has been a driving force in many technologies and (as far as i know) is not readily available on Apples squeaky clean iphone/itunes.
A platform that provides more freedom in the adult department, could amass the masturbating masses.

Apple is does not provide some anit-porn firewall for safari on the iPhone and if one were so inclined, one could find the same porn on the iPhone as they could on their home computer (as long as it is not flash or java based)
post #13 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

The App Store should be able to provide social networking Apps for the iphone, but Apple could certainly help the developer community along a bit by opening up the OS a bit more.

Apple need their own social networking system (one that works), and more integration is needed with the iApps and social sites. I believe a good Social networking strategy is crucial to their future.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

Apple is does not provide some anit-porn firewall for safari on the iPhone and if one were so inclined, one could find the same porn on the iPhone as they could on their home computer (as long as it is not flash or java based)

Sure but (again I havent checked but at a an educated guess) the App store would not approve porn apps.
Porn is also not available on itunes (as a movie). Therefore for your average human, access to porn is hampered.
post #14 of 130
>2009
>No 3G

Good luck. By the time this thing ships, the 3rdGen iPhone will be out.
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post #15 of 130
this phone will do nothing to help nokia catch up. until nokia has a PC grade OS for their phones they will continue to lag. I used to love symbian but ditched nokia after the n73 and E71. I got tired of the horrible lag that develops once the device starts to fill up with data particularly email and pictures. A painful experience for sure.

I would note though that nokia phones are way better spec wise on paper. I would love to have a 5MP camera with LED flash on my phone so I am hoping Apple produces a "Pro" version of the iPhone. One that is more expensive but has more sophisticated hardware in it like a better camera, and flash. Video capture and video chat would be amazing too but i can live without those.
post #16 of 130
Very Interesting - Looks like Nokia is going to lose another 20% of market share.
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post #17 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Apple need their own social networking system (one that works), and more integration is needed with the iApps and social sites. I believe a good Social networking strategy is crucial to their future.

Sure they could make their own social network, but it's much faster to just burn a huge pile of cash every once in a while. Either that or they could just partner with existing networks.

Sebastian
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post #18 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Another weakness is porn, porn has been a driving force in many technologies and (as far as i know) is not readily available on Apples squeaky clean iphone/itunes.
A platform that provides more freedom in the adult department, could amass the masturbating masses.

You, are an idiot. But thanks for supplying justification for moderating forums.
post #19 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Apple need their own social networking system (one that works), and more integration is needed with the iApps and social sites. I believe a good Social networking strategy is crucial to their future.

Their is no reason why Apple needs to waste money on building a social network. All of the major social networks have apps for the iPhone.


Quote:
Sure but (again I havent checked but at a an educated guess) the App store would not approve porn apps.
Porn is also not available on itunes (as a movie). Therefore for your average human, access to porn is hampered.

Their is no reason why Apple needs to provide porn through iTunes or the App store, any more than Blockbuster needed to provide porn for the VCR.

Porn sites can easily provide downloadable content for iTunes and streaming content for the iPhone.
post #20 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

Sure they could make their own social network, but it's much faster to just burn a huge pile of cash every once in a while. Either that or they could just partner with existing networks.

Sebastian

It wouldn't touch the sides for apple to develop their own social network, in-fact I could practically write it myself.
The main social network is Facebook, and they seem rather cosy with microsoft, Facebook Connect extends their reach even further.

I know Facebook has had a lot of hype, but it deserves much of that hype, it certainly deserves more than the attention Apple currently gives it.
post #21 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Furter View Post

You, are an idiot. But thanks for supplying justification for moderating forums.

What the on earth is your problem? What exactly offends you that I have said? You registered simply to say that? How very sad.
post #22 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Their is no reason why Apple needs to waste money on building a social network. All of the major social networks have apps for the iPhone.

Many of these networks have the potential to become formidable platforms in their own right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Their is no reason why Apple needs to provide porn through iTunes or the App store, any more than Blockbuster needed to provide porn for the VCR.

Porn sites can easily provide downloadable content for iTunes and streaming content for the iPhone.

Porn was the driving force behind many technologies, streaming, SEO, file-sharing just to name a few. It is more influential than people think. I'm not saying that lack of porn will break apple, but general increased levels of freedom that will be available from Android , could well eat into Apples market share, and a contributing factor will be availability of porn and other trash.
post #23 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

Sure they could make their own social network, but it's much faster to just burn a huge pile of cash every once in a while.

Most social networking stuff doesn't get past the first round of VC money so it's probably a small pile of cash.

Although, lord knows, they've burned a nice pile of money on MobileMe with very lackluster results.
post #24 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

A platform that provides more freedom in the adult department, could amass the masturbating masses.

lofty and poetic
post #25 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Many of these networks have the potential to become formidable platforms in their own right.

Social networks provide an interesting service. But they are still trying to figure out how to capitalize on their popularity. It is believed that Facebook's value is highly inflated.



Quote:
Porn was the driving force behind many technologies, streaming, SEO, file-sharing just to name a few. It is more influential than people think. I'm not saying that lack of porn will break apple, but general increased levels of freedom that will be available from Android , could well eat into Apples market share, and a contributing factor will be availability of porn and other trash.

Porn has helped drive the adoption of some technologies. The only technology porn significantly helped was VHS win over BETAMAX. Porn is not a requirement for technology to be successful.

As I said earlier porn sites can and do provide downloadable content for iTunes and streaming content for the iPhone.
post #26 of 130
From what I've read it is believed that Apple has greatly increased users of .Mac now that it has turned to MobileMe. The challenge will be to get those users to sign up again next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Although, lord knows, they've burned a nice pile of money on MobileMe with very lackluster results.
post #27 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Social networks provide an interesting service. But they are still trying to figure out how to capitalize on their popularity. It is believed that Facebook's value is highly inflated.

I'm polishing off a facebook app as we speak, I know the platform pretty well and I'm fairly confident in its future influence as a general concept. Though it's still early days, and still possible to be unseated by a company that carries weight, but leave it too long..

Anyhow, I have just about had enough of facebook, the most disorganized frustrating anything I have ever had the misfortune to develop for. Frankly after using Apples frameworks, most dev environments seem second rate, but facebook has been complete undocumented disorganized hell.
post #28 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's patents nonetheless prevent it from using multi-touch.

so how do other companies get away with it?
post #29 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

The App Store should be able to provide social networking Apps for the iphone, but Apple could certainly help the developer community along a bit by opening up the OS a bit more.

App store already has several apps that connect to social networks, as well as Safari. Can you name specific things that you want Apple to open up that would help social networking apps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Apple need their own social networking system (one that works), and more integration is needed with the iApps and social sites. I believe a good Social networking strategy is crucial to their future.

This has come up before. The problem is that social networking is incredibly unpredictable in which direction the next one will go. They generally tend to rise and fall within maybe five years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

It wouldn't touch the sides for apple to develop their own social network, in-fact I could practically write it myself.
The main social network is Facebook, and they seem rather cosy with microsoft, Facebook Connect extends their reach even further.

I know Facebook has had a lot of hype, but it deserves much of that hype, it certainly deserves more than the attention Apple currently gives it.

Isn't the problem really in the scaling? Apple has had problems scaling MobileMe. I'm sure it was a good service when they demoed it with a thousand beta users within the company, but it seems like they just didn't prepare for or expect the load that it got.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironknee View Post

so how do other companies get away with it?

Re: multitouch: I think Apple has specific patents on capacitive multitouch, there are other forms of it, one involves reading the internal reflection of the glass panel with an array of sensors. I think Microsoft's surface uses an infrared light and camera to see where objects are touching the table.
post #30 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Porn is also not available on itunes (as a movie). Therefore for your average human, access to porn is hampered.

Ahem, not if your average human can manage to google "iphone porn".

post #31 of 130
Not a bad looking phone. I'd take one if I got one for free from T-Mobile or Verizon. I like the slide-out keyboard, but most phones that have that seem kind of cheaply put together.

It is good that the iPhone kicked-up the market. As Apple's competition catches up one can only wonder what Apple has up its sleeves for the next iPhone rev. The software part of the iPhone is coming along nice but the hardware could be kicked-up a notch.

Blackberry Curves, Bolds, Storms, etc have nice cameras with awesome lighting. Would it hurt Apple to up the camera to 5mp and put in a freaking light for stills and videos? While we're at it how about a high-rez mini-projector (wishful thinking) or a mini-display ports to hook-up to an external monitor and play some video on a bigger screen. A 128Gb flash RAM model and a faster proc would always be great. Throw-in an FM tuner and you got me (j/k on the last part).
post #32 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

A platform that provides more freedom in the adult department, could amass the masturbating masses.


Why do I come here?


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post #33 of 130
If the publicity shot in this article holds true, at least the Nolia phone isn't a big black screen with silver trim around the outer casing like all the other iPhone wannabes. \

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post #34 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

... Seriously the interface speed and fluidity is NOWHERE NEAR what is shown on the video. Even the iPhone, which has the fastest interface animation/transition can't do what they show.

...(although it is NOT a capacitive touchscreen, instead being a resistive model... similar to all the crappy touchscreen WinMo phones that work with a stylus and a finger. These are nowhere near as responsive as a capacitive model like the iPhone's display)...

Three things. First, it was a proto, not the final software. If I remember correctly when the iPhone was first shown half the software was nothing but a JPEG!

Two, try using your capacitive touchscreen with gloves on... Oh, sorry you can't. And the iPhone has a minimum operating temperature of 0 degrees C. Total fail there then. Obviously designed only for use in California too.

And three, multitouch is only used in a couple of apps. And as research has shown, most users don't even know it is there.
post #35 of 130
I do not own an iPhone, waiting for a 32 GB version, and better camera with a flash. Things like copy/paste & MMS can be added via version upgrade, so that's not crucial, but more storage and better cam requires a new iPhone model.

After reading about the N97, it initially sounds intriguing and a possible buy. But no launch for 6-7 months and no U.S. offering, this is of no use to me. By then Apple will hopefully have the one I want.

Therefore, I'll pass on the N97 and continue to wait for a better iPhone. Lastly, if it cost that much in EURO, how much will it be when it eventually does come to the U.S., sounds very expensive.
post #36 of 130
capacitive multi touch is a good thing in my opinion: I can buy gloves which work with my iphone (so usefull) and then I don't have to worry about the damn screen being pressed in just the wrong spot in my pocket...

Oh and here's another thing which gives iphone the edege: The simple fact that everyone else is playg catch up http://forums.appleinsider.com/images/smilies/lol.gif

What I want to see in a phone is: an iphone like touch screen, with some way to detect the difference between my finger and a coin in my pocket, I also want the phone to be able to connect to the web seamlesly with a good data plan. I also don't want social networking crap. Really folks! I don't want to have my life be on the web for everyone to see!!!!

oh and a very nice thing that the iphone could do would be to get a mobile version of iWork onto the phone, that works in such a way where you can use it like a mini computer. that would be so awesome!
post #37 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodyfanning View Post

Three things. First, it was a proto, not the final software. If I remember correctly when the iPhone was first shown half the software was nothing but a JPEG!

Two, try using your capacitive touchscreen with gloves on... Oh, sorry you can't. And the iPhone has a minimum operating temperature of 0 degrees C. Total fail there then. Obviously designed only for use in California too.

And three, multitouch is only used in a couple of apps. And as research has shown, most users don't even know it is there.

Wrong. iPhone 1.0 did pretty much everything it does now except for App Store and stability fixes.

Two: I don't use gloves with my phone. Neither do my friends on both west and east coast where it does go below 0 degrees C. I ride a motorbike most days and even when I had a regular keypad cellphone, I still took my gloves off to use it because the buttons were always too small to use with gloves.

Three: Using an iPhone won't make you smarter, but using a regular cellphone will certainly lower one's IQ. The interface is far more elegant and user-friendly than any other cellphone/smartphone on the market. Your research link - while interesting - seems to be put together by college-students with a few errors on it.

Is the iPhone perfect? No. But this is Apple's first phone attempt and obviously got something right where all the other players that have been in the arena for years were absolutely clueless. Everyone else is playing catch-up and eating crow and coming out with inferior designs just for the sake of coming out with something remotely iPhone-related.

While the N97 does look interesting, the design has been tried by others and have failed. It's not that I'm an iPhone fanboy. It's because the other manufacturers just don't seem to be seeing the bigger picture that Apple obviously was able to see. Tight integration with hardware and software and a rapidly evolving ecosystem (AppStore/iTunes) is what will keep Apple on top for the forseeable future. Nokia does not have the software-design ability like Apple to maintain anything beyond an initial model release.

It will take more slap in the faces of these players by Apple for them to realize they are missing the obvious. The cooperation between the hardware developers and software developers just aren't there for them to succeed.
post #38 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodyfanning View Post

Three things. First, it was a proto, not the final software. If I remember correctly when the iPhone was first shown half the software was nothing but a JPEG!

Two, try using your capacitive touchscreen with gloves on... Oh, sorry you can't. And the iPhone has a minimum operating temperature of 0 degrees C. Total fail there then. Obviously designed only for use in California too.

And three, multitouch is only used in a couple of apps. And as research has shown, most users don't even know it is there.

Great post. What continues to get lost is that there are people that DO NOT WANT AN IPHONE but in this forum the pervasive thought is that everyone wants one. There have been people wait for Nokia to launch this device. These same people could have bought an iPhone but they didn't. So Apple will continue on with its locked contracts/devices, hypocritcal App Store policies, older tech and hardware and will sell 10s or millions, while Nokia will continue what it does and will sell 100's of millions. Also not mentioned is that Symbian will be Open Source in a few months which will allow thousands of developers to enter the fray. Symbian is about to get a facelift. If Nokia can work out a movie deal, Apple will have a hard time on its hands.
post #39 of 130
Quote:
Apple's patents nonetheless prevent it from using multi-touch.

So what does this mean, that we will never see a phone except the iphone with multi-touch functionality? I'm not talking about the gestures here but there must be other ways to benefit from it?
post #40 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Wrong. iPhone 1.0 did pretty much everything it does now except for App Store and stability fixes.

Two: I don't use gloves with my phone. Neither do my friends on both west and east coast where it does go below 0 degrees C. I ride a motorbike most days and even when I had a regular keypad cellphone, I still took my gloves off to use it because the buttons were always too small to use with gloves.

You deliberately misunderstand . When the iPhone was first shown at Mac World in January 2007 much of the software was nothing but a JPEG image and only a few journalists could even handle it. This was Nokia's equivalent introduction. The prototype shown is much further along than the original demo of the iPhone. The iPhone 1.0 release wasn't available until June 2007.

You must not live in a place where it can easily get to -20C. You probably wouldn't be riding in that case.
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