Nokia recently announced their next big thing, the Nokia N97. This phone and internet device with a 3.5″ touch display and full QWERTY keyboard is another company’s attempt to oust the iPhone in the mobile touch screen device market. And, like the Blackberry Storm, this one isn’t going to be a successful iPhone killer. Simply put, Apple has not only created the touch screen market for mobile phones, they now dominate it. Although companies like RIM and Nokia can try to beat out Apple, I don’t see it happening anytime soon, that’s for sure.
To begin, one of the main features being touted by Nokia for the N97 is called “So-Lo,” and consists of the phone using GPS sensors to “… update social networks automatically with real-time information, giving approved friends the ability to update their ‘status’ and share their ‘social location’ as well as related pictures or videos.” Seriously? In my opinion, that isn’t very useful at all, and I don’t need everyone, even my friends, to know where I am all the time. If you want to beat the iPhone, you’re going to have to market and develop features that are not only useful, but are must-haves. The iPhone currently has tons of functionality built in by Apple, but then also contains a library of tens of thousands of applications to add to its usefulness. “So-Lo” doesn’t even come close to that.
On another note, there is hardware design. When it comes to this, Apple is great at creating hardware that is not only sleek and sexy, but functional (minus FireWire). Although the Nokia N97 isn’t terribly designed, it does seem sort of “brickish.” However, to be fair, the N97 does have a full QWERTY keyboard, which I’m sure is no easy feat to include in a design that is all that nice looking. That said, the iPhone still wins in this category as it feels just too great in your hand.
Don’t get me wrong, the N97 does have its perks, but I don’t believe they are enough to challenge the iPhone. For example, it does pick up some of the iPhone’s slack with its 5MP camera and support for 48GB of memory. Nokia’s going to have to better than that, though. The best part about the iPhone is most definitely its software, and that’s something I don’t see any company beating for a while. What are your thoughts?