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Nokia’s Tube ‘iPhone killer’. I’ll eat my hat if it’s anywhere NEAR an iPhone killer

I’ve been reading about Nokia’s Tube. The supposed iPhone killer.

It looks a bit like an iPhone, some accounts say.

Well I’ll eat my hat if Nokia pull it off.

I’ve been wanting them to do actually innovate for a while. I don’t mean hair-brained innovation. I mean smart thinking; modifications that I don’t know that I need. Proof that the handset developer teams aren’t sat on their arses drinking a little too much Nokia kool-aid.

Now and again people have an argument with me. A pitched battle. They think I’m mean to Nokia with my coverage here on SMS Text News.

(SMS Text News is the 7th most influential site on the planet for the term Nokia, by the way, according to Buzzlogic. Phoneboy, you’re above me, I think.)

I’m always clear that I think, on balance, Nokia products are excellent. My E90, when I’m not chucking it in the back of oversized limos, works very well. It’s reliable, good battery, good facilities and so on.

Likewise, the Nokia N95 — still very much a brilliant handset.

But with stupid, stupid flaws.

That the designers rectified in — what — version 20 or something of the device. It finally takes pictures quickly, for example. And, er, the GPS — well, it’s a bit better.

But if you’re a standard normob with no idea — or inclination — to wipe your phone and upgrade it, then stuff you. You’ve got the shit version. It still works — mind — it’s still usable. That’s what I sometimes miss when I’m ranting. The key point, although I’m frequently annoyed with the lack of innovation or silly development issues, the handsets still *work*.

So this Nokia Tube.

If it’s an N95 in a smaller, sexier shape, I will go nuts.

If it’s actually innovative, I’ll be delighted. If it’s upgradable in-line, so that the development team can easily make updates when the smart readers of SMS Text News suggest them, fantastic. (“Witness Apple releasing the iPhone — no multi text function. OK, you want multi text? Ok. It’s done. Upgrade. There.”)

If it actually shows some original thought. If you can get music on to it with one click, if you can share stuff easily, if you can add applications piece-of-piss-style, brilliant.

My viewpoint is, unfortunately, that it’ll be another fake-smile launch. Let’s look at applications. You can actually do a lot with your N95. Order flowers, live-stream with Jaiku, book a flight to Las Vegas with ShopQwik, use maps, stream video — man there are TONS of things you can do with add-on applications.

The problem I’ve got is that *I* can do this. James Whatley can do this. YOU, dear reader, can do this.

My mother can’t.

My friends COULD but can’t be bothered. It’s too sodding difficult. Too annoying.

Even Windows Mobile is rubbish with applications. Ever tried installing Opera Mini or Google Mail on a Windows Smartphone? You get presented with a horrific set of ‘UNARCHIVING JAR’ bollocks. Total rubbish that’s presented to the consumer.

Try installing an application on a Nokia that isn’t signed. Normobs get very nervous when they get stupid and scary INVALID CERTIFICATE errors.

Apple get this.

You don’t get this kind of bollocks on an iPhone. Click, click done. If you’ve ever unlocked your iPhone and installed one of the application installer services, you’ll note that installing an application on your iPhone is an absolute dream. Click, install, thank you, it’s ready to be used. No arsing around.

You can agree or disagree with Apple’s desktop itunes application strategy. But it works. Shortly I will be able to buy an application on iTunes and have it loaded on to my iPhone without even thinking.

I reckon my mother could install an application on her device this way. And you know what, she would. If she read about some £30 application that helps you track your pet’s health or something — something relevant to her — she’d go on to iTunes, buy it and expect it to work. What’s more, it *would*. When Apple finally release their applications store, just sit and watch the innovation.

When we’re talking iPhone killers, I wonder just how Nokia is planning on handling applications, music, video…

Perhaps the best policy is to sit back and shut up. Yes.

Sit back and wait. Look. Explore. Then eat my hat. I’m well prepared to be astounded by Nokia. Perhaps that’s good news.

Perhaps that’s why Nokia simply vomited out the Nokia N96 (nicer shaped N95, bit higher spec): They were busy working away on the Tube. Bring it on.

We’ll see. I’ll be it’s biggest cheerleader if there’s clear innovation.

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