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Nokia to unveil first touchscreen phone on 2 Oct

01 октября 2008

Nokia Corp. will unveil its highly anticipated touchscreen phone, known by gadget aficionados as the "Tube," at a music-centric event on Oct. 2, according to industry analysts.

In launching the device, the world's largest handset maker takes its stab at the Apple Inc. iPhone, which set off a wave of copycat devices that attempted - often with little success - to emulate its slick user interface. Nokia is the last of the major handset makers to put out a touchscreen device, which it will integrate with its Comes With Music service.

"Nokia is under enormous pressure to deliver something that's good," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner Inc."People have been waiting for this for over a year now."

The device, which will be called the Nokia 5800, emphasizes music first, and isn't necessarily aiming to be copy the iPhone.
The device is more of a multimedia player than a full-blown smartphone. Key to the device will be Nokia's Comes With Music software, which takes on Apple's iTunes, the No. 1 retailer of music, according to NPD Group.

Nokia was mum on the coming event.

"We haven't announced anything and we can't comment on market rumors at this time," said Anna Martin, a spokeswoman for Nokia.

With the Tube, Nokia will be entering a crowded field.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc. have tried their hand with multiple touchscreen devices. Motorola Inc. has its Ming product in China. Sony Ericsson plans to launch its Xperia X1, and Research in Motion Ltd. is working on a touchscreen Blackberry.

Nokia is typically late in the game when it comes to bringing innovative features into its products. But Milanesi said the company typically designs with a platform mindset, and added that she expects more touchscreen devices to show up soon.

The Tube will also test the appeal of the S60 platform that powers many of Nokia's devices. S60 is software developed by Symbian, which Nokia said it was acquiring.

While it is likely to be a hit in Europe and other international markets, where Nokia phones dominate, it's unclear how successful the Tube will be in the
U.S. Many Nokia phones don't receive carrier support, and are sold through third-party retailers such as Best Buy Co. Inc. and its own stores. High-end products such as its N95 appeal to a niche market.

Источник: Total Telecom

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