The Nokia Tube: OK. But not in the same ballpark as the iPhone

I was having a chat with a chap from a UK mobile operator yesterday.

He was telling me that his people have been playing with an advance version of the Nokia Tube — their answer to the iPhone. And they’re not that impressed. It works. Touch screen. Nice. But nothing as inspiring or as exciting as the iPhone.

I have big hopes for the Tube. I also have insured against severe disappointment by declaring that I’ll eat my hat if the Tube is an iPhone killer.

So we shall see. Ideally what you want is these kind of people exclaiming in hushed tones that the Tube is a piece of genius, or something like that. And they’re not. So what should I make of that?

Well, apart from partially confirming my suspicions, I think we probably have to wait and see.

Prepare to be underwhelmed.

And if it’s actually any good, we can be pleasurably surprised and excited.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

9 replies on “The Nokia Tube: OK. But not in the same ballpark as the iPhone”

Ricky: An iPhone ‘killer’ simply has to be a product that makes the iPhone look like a dead end, or just ‘dead’! In much the same way that the iPhone made the current D-pad and numeric keypad/qwerty combo look like a dead end.

What form this may take is anybodies guess, but I wouldn’t mind betting that the first company to produce an effective iPhone killer will be Apple themselves…

Nokia need to aim for something *beyond* the current iPhone, or they’ll have no chance of catching up.

HSPA – so I’m not wedded to WiFi when out.

SiRFStar III or better GPS – so the location apps are that much more accurate

A2DP Bluetooth. So I can loose the tangle. And share the audio love. Stream to your friend’s iPod/iPhone, anyone?

WiFi syncing – So I can loose the dock.

>2MP camera. Duh.

Apart from that, I’m stuck. After using one for 6 months every day, maybe it’s hard to think of something truly new, instead of improvements to existing functions or obvious omissions that are in other devices, like the N95.

But maybe the success is in the simplicity. Let’s not be afraid to credit Apple with building a seminal device that may well go essentially unimproved for the next 5 years. Maybe it will take something like mind/eye control, or fuel cells, or some other nascient technology to become mainstream before it could be applied, and the ‘iPhone killer’ moniker justly won.

For others to replicate the iPhone and bolt on the above list would *for me* be ‘killer’, and I have no problem with that – especially at a better price. A copy/clone with the above list is still a better device IMHO, and I’d buy one.

Let’s remember – Apple didn’t invent the GUI, or trackpads. They just applied them to existing apps/hardware in a new way.


Yeah and we really think operators have a clue. These are the same people who have dropped the N82 from thier line up. Besides Tube and its touch companions will out sell the Apple stuff. Exciting and commericial sucess are two different things.

@Mike – seems to me that the N95 currently offers those things that you’ve listed, so why would you not consider it not an ‘iphone killer’, by that definition?

I’m not seeking to say the iPhone sucks or anything, I intended this to be an honest question, and I appreciate the honest, non-fanboy answers.

Ricky’s last blog post..Video Of Nokia

It’s all well and good giving a phone the “iPhone Killer” title if it has better specs, but what about actually using the phone?

We’ve got an N82 in the office, and I hate using it. I really can’t stand the S60 OS. That’s not to say I wouldn’t like it if I used it regularly.

However, the iPhone has a nice and easy to use UI. Until I can use another phone without getting frustrated, there’s no chance of it ever being an “iPhone Killer”…

Simon’s last blog post..Bad mobile marketing

Ricky, good question:

I have two phones in front of me: 1.1.4 iPhone and a N95 8GB (with rotating screen – ooooh). In current form, I’ll take the iPhone for just about every occasion.

The biggest thing is the touch browser. It’s all about the internet, and the browser is just light-years better. If the N95 had the same touch screen and quick zoom rendering of pages I’d use that most of the time. I’d suffer the Nokia media player (the podcast manager would free me from iTunes – hooray!) and using the camera/web uploader I’d get just as much Flickring done as I do with the iPhone/Pushr.

I’d miss threaded SMS, but would probably learn to live with Nokia Conversations. eMail is good enough (not great). Photo browsing is now nicer with the memory improvements ad auto-rotate.

For me, Killer = browsing.



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