Skip to comments.Nokia's Bad Call on Smartphones
Posted on 07/20/2012 8:18:42 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
More than seven years before Apple Inc. AAPL -1.63% rolled out the iPhone, the Nokia team showed a phone with a color touch screen set above a single button. The device was shown locating a restaurant, playing a racing game and ordering lipstick. In the late 1990s, Nokia secretly developed another alluring product: a tablet computer with a wireless connection and touch screenall features today of the hot-selling Apple iPad.
Former Nokia designer Frank Nuovo says the company had prototypes that anticipated the iPhone.
"Oh my God," Mr. Nuovo says as he clicks through his old slides. "We had it completely nailed."
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Sounds like these guys were channeling Xerox PARC - who had EVERYTHING, computer-wise; the mouse, Windows, etc. Xerox could be Microsoft and Apple combined today. But they were run by a bunch of “copier heads” who didn’t see the potential.
Anybody remember the Nokia 3310? This phone was HUGE for a couple of years from about year 2001 to 2003. Also very popular was the previous model which was bigger and had an exterior antenna. VERY durable. I somehow can't remember that earlier model number.
The problem for Nokia was that they could design the exterior, but they couldn’t get the battery life, CPU power or heat issues resolved and they certainly couldn’t get the software to actually, you know, work.
It’s not the technology, it’s the marketing...you can have the best products, but if your marketing department isn’t up to snuff, you will lose.
You get the impression this guy was one of the displaced Nokia employees who is now backing a bus squarely over someone’s career?
I disagree. For example: whoever comes up with a phone that does holographic chat. Game over.
apple is a superior software company...software rules...
WSJ expects Nokia to recover and RIM to fail.
Tablet computers existed in 1992. I was selling them! Apple even brought out the Netwon. But the market wasn’t there.
Internet browsing smartphones existed long before the iPhone but they were expensive and marketed towards business not consumers. The iPhone used a Capacitive screen rather then the more dull Resistive screen and that made a huge differnece in the interactivity of the device. But other phone makers didn’t think consumers would spend that much money on a phone.
Well, we know how that worked out.
So even if Nokia engineers had an iPad device in the late 90’s, they would have failed marketing it.
The early bird may get the work, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
RIM isn’t going anywhere. They are still the preferred product outside the US and after seeing BB10 previews, that phone is going to give Droid and Apple a challenge. RIM has a few Billion in reserve they have yet to tap into so they are not going broke.
You sound like a Democrat apologist!
“It’s not our policies, nor our Communism, nor our tyranny, nor our despot leaders. No, we simply can’t get our message out. And the voters are too stupid to understand it. If we simply had a better marketing department, we’d win more elections.”
Cool, explain how the WSJ writer (elsewhere in today’s issue) who considers your arguments is wrong!
And yet they didn’t produce it.... happens
It’s going to be real unpopular if every time the girl starts taking her top off, the phone locks up or crashes. Like what Nokia’s smartphones did for years when you started doing *anything* processor intensive on them. Not just video but even web browsing or collecting mail.
Terrible, terrible software on them.
Um, RIM’s world sales have tanked, not just North American ones.
I loved playing the built-in bowling game on Nokia phones, until I realized that they rigged it so you could never bowl a 300 Game.
Apple presented what is called a “disruptive technology”, and it caught on. Who’s going to disrupt Apple and with what? Steve and his craziness are gone, what’s, who’s next?
That wasn’t the only Nokia game that was rigged.
Nokia spent much money when the inferior WAP based browsing came out. Then came G3 and G4 and the iphone at the same time and the rest is history.
I remember using browsing cell phones with touch screen 2 or 3 years before my peers who would mock me using a “sidekick phone” while they retained their standard crappy num pads. Then all of a sudden the iphone came out with the G3 network, and I do not know what happened, but all of a sudden they all bought “sidekicks” and droids and iphones. I don’t know what Apple did that I did wrong in advertising that kind of tool.
I brought mine in 2002 and I am still using mine. It's been through the washing machine 3x and the river twice. The * key doesn't work but other than that it still works great including getting great reception & sound quality.
I don't need another toy to waste time on so I'm not upgrading anytime soon
It’s going to be a while. Apparently Steve left 5-10 years of “disruptive tech” ideas behind him.
In the 90's I had a prototype of a Tivo like device in my living room, we called it the VNR or VDR for Video Network Recorder or Video Disk Recorder.
It with a Motorola 68040 based set-top box. Some ex-Apple guys wrote the operating system and proprietary hardware accelerated video codec.
The device could either record to its internal hard drive or to the hard drive of a PC or Macintosh over ethernet. The ethernet could also be used to share the PC's internet connection and CPU power for encoding to the box.
It worked and it worked great, especially married to a Pentium class PC. You could either program it with VCR plus codes from the remote or using a desktop application and an online TV Guide. Among its features was purging commercials (to preserve valuable disk space of course), it could also record music and recognize and catalog songs with the internet connection. You could also import music from CD's using the PC's CD-ROM drive.
The product sat complete for more than a year as management dithered over shipping it. They feared litigation and while our counsel was confident they would prevail over Hollywood in court it was decided it wasn't a worth the trouble for such a niche product - they also thought the networking feature was essential and would be impossible to support. One executive beta tester complained his wife threatened to hang him with the ethernet cable he ran clear across the house. All they have to show for the effort is a few patents.
During this period the Apple guys were hired back by the recently returned Steve Jobs and people scattered to other projects.
At the end of 2001 Tivo had an install base of more than 300,000. The underlying platform of our device was installed on a couple cruise ships to deliver pay-per-view and unceremoniously abandoned a short time later.
I eventually rationalized that buying her a RAZR would save money because there were no faceplates for it.
Anybody remember the Nokia 3310?
Yep. First cellphone I purchased after moving to Asia. As I recall I later regretted ‘upgrading’ to something else.
It’s got that first generatiom iBook toilet seat thing going on, so even here they’re Apple derivative. Hate on Apple all you want, but where would The PC, laptop and cellphone be without them? Hard to say, since looking like an Apple product is so ubiquitous.
Apple has quite the knack for nailing not just the software, user interface and hardware, but the whole widget from an industrial design standpoint, to the point that once Apple weights in, everyone else has a “duh” moment, throws in the towel and starts copying them.
We had the cute little Nokia 8210 that came out in ‘99 I think. One of their earliest internal antenna models. One red, one blue. Never could get much reception with either of them.
I was at the airport once and all these people are walking around talking on their phones. Mine? No service. So, I just walked around talking into it anyway so people wouldn’t think I was a loser.
It might have been the provider, Cingular. I couldn’t get service when I could see their antennas. Took it to the store several times and they just scratched their heads. Cingular blamed the phone. The phone didn’t have anything to say.
At least I know that there are other old people reading FR.
I would guess that in many industries, especially the dynamic ones like computers/electronics, many game changers have died in the lab because management didn’t pull the trigger and get it out. And also, there are many interesting ideas which shouldn’t be brought out. (Next?)
When it’s good enough, but not perfect, you’ve got pot odds.