Why Nokia’s S60 Touch Demo Sucked

If you’ve not seen it, here’s the video on YouTube of Nokia’s S60 Touch UI, as demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress. Thus far, everyone I’ve read were appalled that it was so poorly demo’d. Personally, I’m more excited about S60 Touch now than I have been in the past. I’ve noticed four major complaints that I want to counter:

1. It was demo’d on a tablet, connected to a PC running an emulator. When you’re wanting to show off the UI of something, but don’t want to give any clues as to the hardware, how *ELSE* would you suggest demoing it?

2. It looks just like S60 does. Duh. It’s called ‘S60 Touch’, not “Entirely New Touch Interface”. As is stated in the video, one reason behind this is so that users can easily swap from a non-touch S60 device to a touch-enabled one and not have a learning curve. With over 6 years of history and millions of S60-based handsets on the market, and both Nokia and Symbian kicking butt, why on *earth* would you want to alienate your existing userbase? There’s just no sense there.

3. It doesn’t look like the iPhone. Again, duh. Nokia doesn’t want their products constantly compared to the iPhone, just the same as Jobs doesn’t want his iPhone constantly compared to the S60 handsets. Why not? Because they’re targeted towards entirely different market segments, with only slight overlap. The only thing that they have in common is that they both ‘do’ more media than most phones, and they’re both priced higher than most consumers want to pay for a phone, at least in the U.S.

4. ‘If this is how far along Nokia is, they’re in trouble.’ Personally, I don’t think Nokia/S60 sees touch as a necessity. Everything that I’ve heard points to Nokia/S60 looking at touch as just another input method, to be offered alongside hardware buttons as a convenience in some situations.

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