Nokia from flexible mobile phone to all touch
Mistreated by competition from the iPhone and Android, Nokia is able to bounce back and regain the lead
What does not kill you makes you stronger. Top selling phones in the world were from the Nokia brand. But just as the leaders of Palm or those of RIM, at Nokia one did not react to the unexpected success of the iPhone and its intuitive and simple interface, its many amazing applications (see applications for mobile phones).
Sales of iPhone with touch screen took off and for the market share of Nokia started a long fall that lasts forever, and whose end is not expected until 2012. Because iPhones are so much more innovative, and Nokia has to oppose them devices with small keyboards and tiny screens.
Yet we were surprised in June 2011 to learn that Apple, which sued most mobile manufacturers to copy its patents, is forced to agree to pay a license to Nokia: Apple was using Nokia's inventions.
In fact, the development teams of the Finnish firm is no shortage of ideas and have shown over the years several prototypes of revolutionary devices.
As the company that is the most inventive in the mobile domain is not Apple, it's actually Nokia.
In 2008, it was the Aeon, a mobile with a full touch-screen with a virtual keyboard on bottom and a screen above.
Another concept introduced in 2009, the Morph that uses nanotechnology. This provides a flexible device, which can make a bracelet to wear on his arm. But there are no plans to put it into production by 2015.
After the flexible device that wraps around the wrist, it presents a new idea: Nokia Gem, a phone without a screen, because it is the whole device which serves as a screen (see video at right).
The use of the surface is maximum and it is easier to use the keyboard, but it opens up other perspectives, such as consultation with others.
But Nokia has a weakness: the software. Even three years after the advent of the iPhone, its Symbian proprietary system is unable to provide the services necessary for a smartphone and the firm has already announced that it will be abandoned in favor of Windows Phone 7.
In fact the merger between Nokia and Microsoft takes on its meaning.
In a message appeared on Twitter, Vic Gundotra, head of social networks at Google said about the agreement between Nokia and Microsoft: Two turkeys do not make an eagle.
The two turkeys in question are the best manufacturer of mobile equipment (perfect sound, never antenna problem as sometimes iPhone), and the number 1 of software. It is doubtful that this is really so.
The software vendor has shown its ability to react and adapt to the market with the introduction of Windows 8, a revolutionary system that uses HTML 5 for applications running on tablets as well as on the desktop. Its features ridicule Unity of Ubuntu that has the same goal and return the Gnome and KDE interfaces to prehistory.
And the hardware manufacturer shows for it that it could surpass the competition in innovation practice with the N9, a pure tactile device.
The N9 is probably the first and last Nokia smartphone to use the Meego system, used because the firm needs time to adjust to Windows Phone 7. But what is interesting to see is that it can push the concept of touch in the extreme by removing all the buttons on the front and offer better ease of use than iPhones.
So it may well be that we will soon see the return to the top of Nokia handset sales in coming months.
- Our platform is burning. Desperate memo from the new leader of Nokia. The firm is losing market share, and fails to produce a competitive smartphone. (February 2011).
- Video of Nokia Aeon.