Nokia answers iPhone's blows with its first touchscreen phone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
After more than a year without a direct competitor to the iPhone, Nokia on Thursday fired back with a phone that it hopes will better Apple's now widespread device -- albeit with a delayed launch and a few other catches.



Although the largest single producer of cellphones in the world, Nokia is only now rolling out its first touchscreen phone in the form of the 5800 XpressMusic.



Pitched as a media phone first and an Internet device second, the familiar-looking device has 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi but focuses most of its attention on a reworked, 5th Edition of the Symbian Series 60 operating system that has a drop-down media bar for controlling music regardless of where the user might happen to be in their software.



The Finland-based company touts a crisper 640x360 screen versus the iPhone's 480x320, vibration feedback for on-screen presses, a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash and video recording, and removable storage.



And in a not-so-subtle tweak at the absence of Flash on the iPhone, Nokia notes that Flash Lite 3 is built into the 5800's full HTML web browser.



"Individuals can surf the entire web, not just pieces of it," the company boasts.







Price is also important to Nokia. The phone's unsubsidized price with an 8GB memory card is set at 279 Euro, or $396 -- well below the $631 UK iPhone sold with O2's pay-as-you-go service and lower still than the $826 Belgian iPhone.



A special version of the phone will come later with access to the handset maker's Comes With Music, a service that hikes the price of the phone in return for a year's worth of unlimited but permanent music downloads.



Even with these key differences, several discrepancies as well as Nokia's current competitive environment may dampen expectations. Thanks in part to Apple's patents for multi-touch input, the 5800 uses a single-touch display and comes bundled with a stylus to handle aspects of the interface that can't be controlled with a finger.



The screen is also dependent on pressure for input rather than the reaction to finger electricity that makes the iPhone's input relatively subtle and precise, further supporting the need for a pen.



Moreover, Nokia's final release plans for the heavily leaked phone are now known to be especially conservative. Instead of a launch into its core European market or into Apple's US home, Nokia will have to launch its first touchscreen phone in Asia, the Middle East and Russia during 2008. American and European launches are now only due in 2009 and won't necessarily bring Comes With Music to all areas.



The official explanation, according to representatives speaking with Forbes, is the insistence by carriers such as Orange and Vodafone that the new XpressMusic phone come to their networks with proprietary branding and portals adapted to the touch interface. By contrast, Apple has so far insisted on keeping nearly all carrier branding and interfaces off of iPhones regardless of territory and just recently completed its third wave of iPhone 3G introductions, launching the phone in 30 more countries late last month.



The delays only serve to reinforce problems that the Symbian Foundation and Nokia itself has had with preserving its lead. Recent statistics from the mobile operating system development group have Symbian's use on phones growing just 5 percent year-over-year versus rapid growth just the year before, while Nokia proper has had to lower estimates for its market share during the summer as Apple and peers undercut its smartphones' pricing.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 141
    quambquamb Posts: 143member
    What a blatant rip-off of the iPhone.



    Sure the rest of the industry are (poorly) copying the iPhone, but thought Nokia would have at least come up with something slightly unique. Sad.
  • Reply 2 of 141
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    I never liked Nokia, their phones are boring. Sony Ericsson have much better phones than Nokia.
  • Reply 3 of 141
    Another iPhone clone with EPIC FAIL written all over it. Full HTML browser? See that screen cap with Facebook? That's the mobile site.
  • Reply 4 of 141
    meh 2meh 2 Posts: 149member
    Dead man dialing.
  • Reply 5 of 141
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,011member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Thanks in part to Apple's patents for multi-touch input, the 5800 uses a single-touch display and comes bundled with a stylus to handle aspects of the interface that can't be controlled with a finger.



    The screen is also dependent on pressure for input rather than the reaction to finger electricity that makes the iPhone's input relatively subtle and precise, further supporting the need for a pen.



    Not all touch-screens are created equal, shame the buying-public won't get this.



    McD
  • Reply 6 of 141
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Not bad for a phone that will be given away for free in 6 months. Nokia is about bulk. They'll probably sell a 100 million of them in year's time.



    Apple shook-up the industry and now the industry is catching up. What's next Apple?
  • Reply 7 of 141
    bigmikebigmike Posts: 247member
    The single fact that you have to use a stylus (other than being unoriginal) makes this thing lame.
  • Reply 8 of 141
    Let's see. It has GPS that is usable with Maps and turn by turn directions built in.

    We have a dot that moves when you drive.

    Support for All Major Video Formats including Flash Light.

    Voice Dialing.

    Speed Dialing.

    Stereo BlueTooth.

    Video Recording and with front separate camera.

    3.2 Mega Pixel Camer with zoom and a flash

    Audio and Video Recording Built in

    Stereo FM Built in

    MMS



    Weren't these all the things we wanted when we purchased our iPhone 3G's.



    I know it's what I wanted and it's pretty slick looking. Wish I was still in my 30 day return policy.



    Apple. Take Note of what's being offered built into the phone without having to pay or wait extra time for.



    Nice Job Nokia.
  • Reply 9 of 141
    Sorry double post.
  • Reply 10 of 141
    dreildreil Posts: 14member
    See the Gizmodo review of it...they really hate it.
  • Reply 11 of 141
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    People are forgetting about some of the philosophies of Nokia regarding women consumers?women will take notice of this phone. And unfortunately (clone or not) it will bite into Apple iPhone sales.
  • Reply 12 of 141
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quamb View Post


    What a blatant rip-off of the iPhone.



    Sure the rest of the industry are (poorly) copying the iPhone, but thought Nokia would have at least come up with something slightly unique. Sad.



    No it's not- does the iPhone have Flash?
  • Reply 13 of 141
    retroneoretroneo Posts: 240member
    Comes With Music is awesome.



    All the music you can download from all labels and independants, Keep the music forever. Authorize a computer to use your Comes With Music too.



    Freely give all your music to other Comes With Music users.



    Whatever happened to iTunes Unlimited?



    I would rather DRM free but I couldn't afford my collection of MP3 files at 0.99c a track. So Comes with Music sounds great.
  • Reply 14 of 141
    prokipprokip Posts: 137member
    Go for it Nokia!! I'll be buying one even though I have had both 1st and 2nd gen iPhone. The Appleistas take note: enough of your appalling arrogance... now get it right. The things that are not right in iPhone need to be fixed soon, very soon... cut & paste, flash, tethering, video recording, better camera, stupid activation stuff, closed platform etc etc. The Apple guys obviously don't want world domination. They just want their soon to be reached aficionado share!
  • Reply 15 of 141
    lugesmlugesm Posts: 12member
    At least I don't have to subscribe to AT&T's $1,700 for 2 years plan in order to buy the phone.



    The real test for many users will be: How well does the device work as a phone, its primary function ? After all, if one just wants pizazz, an iPod Touch is cheaper.



    It would be a mistake to underestimate Nokia.
  • Reply 16 of 141
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Individuals can surf the entire web, not just pieces of it," the company boasts.



    This is as false as Apple's claim if 'entire web' of full 'internet' means plugins, and support for correctly rendered pages with web standards. Does it support Silverlight, Quicktime, ActiveX? These are part of the internet. While exceedingly common, Adobe Flash is not a web standard.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iPond317 View Post


    Another iPhone clone with EPIC FAIL written all over it. Full HTML browser? See that screen cap with Facebook? That's the mobile site.



    Nokia bought TrollTech earlier this year. TrollTech created Qt. Nokia is working with Mozilla to get Firefox ported to Qt for S60. This is pretty big deal but both parties to grab users, but I'd say it's much more important for Mozilla as WebKit?not just for the mobile Safari?is dominating smartphones. Even Blackberry and Android have adopted WebKit because of it's highly mobile design.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigmike View Post


    The single fact that you have to use a stylus (other than being unoriginal) makes this thing lame.



    There are plenty that like having a stylus as it does allow for many fine-tuned usage that the iPhone's finger-usage just can't match and won't match. The 5800 may be geared toward better media and internet to compete more directly with the iPhone, but it's still a more hardcore device than the iPhone in many ways. The most iPhone-like phone I've seen is the Sprint Instinct as it's going after the average consumer who probably hasn't ever used a smartphone before, and that is fine for those that want to stay with Sprint (I know several). I love my iPhone as it suits my specific needs, but the 5800 looks like a very solid device that merges popular iPhone features with the Nokia-experience, which happens to have a nice size fan base, too.
  • Reply 17 of 141
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I don't think "Flash Lite" is going to give you the "entire" Web either...
  • Reply 18 of 141
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    crisper 640x360 screen

    3.2-megapixel camera with flash and video recording

    removable storage

    Flash Lite 3 is built in

    8GB memory card

    year's worth of unlimited but permanent music downloads.



    Not a bad start really.
  • Reply 19 of 141
    What all these companies fall to realize is that not all consumers sit there and tally up the features...I believe that what is most attractive to the tech world is that aesthetics of a device. All these phone companies can continually make devices that have all (or more) of the same features as the iPhone and make no head way because they fail to realize is that the lure of the iPhone is ease of use and the pure beauty of the device. All these devices slap an iPhone in an awkward and ugly plastic coating and they think that people will choose that over the iPhone's metal and glass?
  • Reply 20 of 141
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Flash Lite isn't enough, I think this should be an all or nothing. I don't even know how many flash objects are compatible with Flash Lite.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quamb View Post


    What a blatant rip-off of the iPhone.



    Sure the rest of the industry are (poorly) copying the iPhone, but thought Nokia would have at least come up with something slightly unique. Sad.



    I don't think it's really a copy, there are quite a few differences that are easy to see. It's kind of hard to make a black rectangle look much more different, and it doesn't seem to have the chrome bezel. I think it's less of a copy of several thematic elements than other touch screen phones are.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CREB View Post


    People are forgetting about some of the philosophies of Nokia regarding women consumers—women will take notice of this phone. And unfortunately (clone or not) it will bite into Apple iPhone sales.



    Forgetting? I've never even heard of a Nokia philosophy regarding women consumers.
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