Nokia’s N97 brings a clash of two cultures

Smartphones are booming – even in the middle of a recession – but their design and functionality can differ remarkablyThe launch of Nokia’s long-awaited N97 smartphone at the same time as Apple’s beatified iPhone 3GS marks a clash not just of two remarkable devices but of two cultures. Nokia didn’t invent mobiles – Motorola did – but it has led the world in their exploitation, especially in adding new functions. Apple, with no legacy in mobiles to protect, came to the drawing board with a clean sheet of paper, and it still shows. The 3GS has virtually no moving parts and despite its sophistication it is amazingly easy to use and doesn’t need a manual. Nokia couldn’t, and maybe shouldn’t, make that leap yet (its touchscreen N800 tablet a couple of years ago was not a success). The N97, in addition to a touchscreen, comes with a pull-out keypad – it’s an impressive piece of engineering but it adds weight and cost.To read this report in full in The Guardian, see:
www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jul/01/mobile-phones-nokia-victor-keegan

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