Nokia (NOK), the world’s largest mobile phone-maker, put out a new one: the N97, which features a touch screen and costs $693 before taxes and subsidies. It’ll hit the market during 2009’s first six months, said CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo in a news conference.
The WSJ calls it an all-in-one phone:
The N-97 has the touch screen popularised by Apple Inc.’s iPhone, a real keyboard that appeals to users of BlackBerrys and Nokia’s own E-Series devices, and fast Wi-Fi Internet access to complement third-generation broadband access.
The phone also has an accelerometer, a widget-friendly OS, a still and videocamera and a 3.5 inch screen.
But other analysts don’t think the phone will do much to help Nokia avoid what’s expected to be a 1% to 9% industry-wide decline in sales next year.
“[Nokia] tried to cram in lots of different technologies such as a touch screen, full qwerty keyboard and plenty of memory, but it had to make trade-offs in its size and features,” CCS Insight’s Research Director Ben Wood told Reuters. “It has ended up with a relatively thick device that lacks some of the benchmark features expected in flagship products in mid-2009.”
Said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi: “It might give Nokia a little edge, but it’s six months until this reaches the market.”
Gadget blog Gizmodo’s take:
The model we briefly handled tonight in NYC was, of course, the Euro version, with no U.S. 3G (and, sadly, no Wi-Fi). Its handlers were keeping it close to the vest, and with no connectivity there wasn’t much testing to be done, but we can say that the hardware is indeed pretty—befitting a $700 Nokia piece. The desktop Symbian widgets look nice, but the drawbacks of a resistive touchscreen (there, as always, to ensure character recognition via a stylus for Nokia’s Asian market) were immediately noticeable when dragging widgets around the desktop.
Those desperate to see the N97’s every angle should check out Engadget’s slide show.