Following the first success of Apple’s iPhone, Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer at the time, promised to defeat it at its own game. With the ambitious but flawed Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, its first touch-driven Symbian S60 smartphone, it aimed to undercut the competition at first.
Although the 5800 had shortcomings, it did assist software developers and consumers in becoming accustomed with the new software stack and interface. Symbian S60 5th Edition was a completely new touch interface that had nothing to do with prior attempts like S80 or UIQ.
The stage was set for the Nokia N97, or, as Nokia saw it, the phone that would put an end to that ridiculous iPhone, with the worst faults addressed out. However, in a cruel twist of fate, the Nokia N97 did more to sink Nokia than the iPhone.
Many causes contributed to the failure of this phone and its siblings, but one of the most important was that customers now expected to download complex software from app stores. That was something neither the N97 nor the Ovi Store had anticipated.
Will is back with another edition of the Flashback video series to explain what went wrong:
You’ve undoubtedly heard the end of this story. Nokia tried to reimagine both desktop and mobile Windows for the touch future with the Nokia 808 PureView, which we highlighted in a previous video, while Symbian had one last hurrah with the Nokia 808 PureView, which we covered in a prior video.
It did so by transferring Windows Phone 7 into the Nokia N9’s body, thus killing off MeeGo, the company’s more promising touch OS. Nokia N97, Symbian, MeeGo, and Windows Phone are now digital relics, for better or worse.