A former Nokia employee has claimed that the Finnish mobile phone maker had developed a touch-screen, internet enabled smartphone prototype long before Apple had launched the iPhone.
According to The New York Times, former Nokia employee Ari Hakkarainen said that although Nokia researchers had come up with the prototype in 2004, the company's management rejected the model, thinking it would be an expensive flop.
Three years later in 2007, Apple astonished the world by releasing the iPhone which went on to sell 50 million units worldwide and gave Apple the dominance over the smartphone market, which Nokia is so desperately trying to breach.
“It was very early days, and no one really knew anything about the touch screen’s potential,” Hakkarainen said.
“And it was an expensive device to produce, so there was more risk involved for Nokia. So management did the usual. They killed it.”
With Nokia wishing to get back into the game, the company has hired former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, who is charged with putting the company back on the smartphone map.