Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why The Nokia N97 Can't Challenge the iPhone

nokia n97 cannot challenge the iphoneIt would be blasphemous for any technology blogger to not mention the Nokia N97 today! Yes, it is perhaps Nokia's best kept secret and I'm sure they have taken a leaf from Apple's book in keeping secrets. Nokia officially took the wraps off its mystery smartphone on Tuesday at the Nokia World 2008 conference in Barcelona, Spain. Nokia certainly has been very late to enter this market despite being a market leader in mobile phones. I hope that this is worth the wait!

Before we go further, take a look at this video:

Ok, what is the most obvious problem that struck you? For me it was the lack of clarity and the slowness in response to touch. This could be due to the fact that Nokia is rumored to be using resistive touch screen technology as opposed to Apple's capacitive touch screen technology. Resistive touch screens are more hardy, but less responsive and do not fall in the same league as capacitive touch screens in terms of clarity.

So what are the specs that this Nokia N97 offer? It has a slide out full QWERTY keyboard (remember Sony Xperia?) and a 3.5 inch touchscreen. The Symbian-based smartphone also features a music and video player, a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and a whopping 32GB of onboard memory that can be expanded with a 16GB microSD card. The quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) world phone is HSDPA-capable handset, but it currently supports only the 900/1900/2100MHz bands (AT&T's 3G network runs on 850/1900MHz, while T-Mobile runs on 1700/2100MHz). There is integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, however. And oh yeah, not to forget A-GPS as well.

The Nokia N97 does not mention much about an App Store similar to Apple's. In my opinion this is the one single feature which has made the iPhone so successful. With an army of software developers writing applications for Apple, iPhone users have tons of applications to play with. And yes, Apple takes a neat 30% cut from it too. So its a fantastic concept. Unless other mobile phone makers try to come up with something similar, they will not be able to challenge the iPhone - at least for now!

Any thoughts on this?