Nokia Unveils New Multitouch Phone?

Nokia Multitouch

A presentation slide from Nokia Capital Markets Day shows something we’ve never seen from Nokia before: a new gesture-based multitouchscreen-only S60 handset interface emphasizing aesthetics. Of course, it could all just be a pretty mockup to impress investors, but it could also reveal Nokia’s new interface direction.

I know what you’re thinking: Pretty gesture-based multitouchscreen-only interface? Nokia’s copying the iPhone! While this possible direction does indeed mirror that of the iPhone, it’s backed by four things the iPhone lacks: powerful hardware, global smartphone leadership, a diverse product line, and the open-source Symbian OS.

You may wonder if the prospect of a future iPhone-like Nokia handset will dampen enthusiasm for the G1-like N97, the same way the iPhone 3G dampened enthusiasm for the iPhone 2G. That’s where Nokia’s product diversity kicks in. People who want a full functional keyboard will get the Nokia N97. People who want a pretty multitouchscreen-only interface will wait for this future Nokia phone.

Unlike Apple, Nokia’s edge has always been function over form. Is Nokia finally catching up in the form department as well?

(Via Paul Miller.)

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