Nokia might be a couple of hours away from releasing its Tube touchscreen smartphone, the Xpress 5800, in London later today, but chances are that it will end up just as other similar touchscreen smartphones; decent products, but not quite as good as Apple iPhone.
Here's five good reasons why Nokia's attempts to dislodge the iPhone will be met with failure even if they have been planning about that for more than one year now.
(a) Nokia's previous attempts to produce a decent touchscreen device have not been successful. Outside of the three Internet Tablets that Nokia has produced in the past years, the 7710 is the only true touchscreen mobile phone that the Finnish company has produced until now. The experience has been so bad for nokia that they had to wait all this time before even considering launching another one. Nokia currently lists 108 phones on its website and none of them is touch screen capable.
(b) Nokia is going alone. Unlike Android, Nokia is going alone with the release of the Tube. No partners other than the networks themselves to evangelise the Tube and while it might be a good thing when shouldering marketing costs is concerned, the lack of "fresh blood" from outside means that we will be stuck with Nokia's S60 platform and the manufacturer's own idiosyncratic ways of doing things.
(c) Nokia will dilute the value of the Tube. As it stands, Nokia will not be in a position to focus exclusively on one phone, leaving it to the networks and affiliates to push it over to their clients. Now, we are almost certain that at least T-Mobile and Vodafone will have the Tube running on their network from start, alongside dozens of other premium models.
(d) The 5800 is likely to be available only on £40+ contracts which means that it will only be sold to the same small portion of users who are already targeted by Apple's iPhone (and scores of other touchscreen/premium phones). Chances that it will trickle down to mainstream are still minimal and given that the Open Handset Alliance is planning more handsets in the forthcoming months, the 5800 might be too little, too late.
(e) Not much to differentiate it with the rest of the market. Nokia Tube 5800 will come with Comes with Music package which will give punters access to millions of tracks over 12 months. Android and Apple already have Amazon and iTunes already on their sides and have pulled ahead when it comes to having Application-only stores, something that Nokia will be missing sorely.
The Nokia 5800 looks more like a smartphone with a nice touchscreen rather than the iPhone Killer that everyone (including us at ITProportal.com tower) were expecting. With the Comes with Music Service expected in three months, Apple and Android could soon be running circles around the Nokia 5800 Tube.