05 June, 2009

Touchscreens won't outlive keypads on phones, Nokia says

06/04/2009 | 05:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Everyone may want to have and hold the latest touch-screen phones but Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, believes that tactile interfaces won't outlive traditional keypad-enabled phones.

While the company is riding the touch-screen trend with its Nokia XpressMusic 5800, the possibility that all phones will become touchscreen is still very far off, William Hamilton-Whyte, Nokia Philippines country manager said in a recent briefing.

"I don't see it happening yet," Hamilton-Whyte said. "What Nokia is doing now is to give consumers choices so they can pick whatever type of phone they want."

The Nokia executive made these remarks while disclosing that the company will launch its new flagship model N97 touch-screen during the third quarter this year.

The N97, which will be sold anywhere from P40,000-P45,000, will become the company's "high-end" touch-screen offering.

The XpressMusic 5800, meanwhile, will slide as its "entry-level" touch-screen model.

With the new touch screen phone's entry, the price of the XpressMusic 5800 may go down a bit, but not very much.

"As you've seen in the past, the price of a Nokia phone model does not go down dramatically even if it has been in the market for so long," he noted.

So far, the XpressMusic 5800, Nokia's first touch-screen phone, has been able to hold its own against other touch screen models available in the local market.

However, Apple's iPhone is still king of the hill even if some consumers have decried it being difficult to use for text messaging.

Also at its press briefing, Nokia formally unveiled in the local market a slew of Internet-enabled entry-level phones and solutions that are specifically aimed at emerging countries like the Philippines.

The units – Nokia 2330 classic (now available) and the Nokia 2323 classic, Nokia 2700 classic, and Nokia 2730 classic (to be available shortly) – come Internet-ready and work with Ovi Mail, giving first-time email users the opportunity to set up and start using an email account (username@ovi.com) directly on their mobile phone.

According to Nokia consumer research, nearly half of the emerging market customers state that they would rather connect to the Internet over a mobile phone than a PC.

As a result, Nokia said it has developed locally relevant solutions that consist of affordable mobile phones and applications, designed and built from the ground up to meet the specific needs of customers in the developing world.

Unlike most other email services, an Ovi Mail account can be created and used directly on a Nokia device without ever having to use a PC, the company said.

The Finland-based tech firm said that since the launch of the beta service in December 2008, around 90 percent of the email accounts have been created on a Nokia phone. - GMANews.TV

From GMANews.tv; see the source article here.

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