Nokia smartphones form factor

Nokia World 2012 is in just a couple of weeks and by then there will be some announcements regarding the new Nokia WP8 product lineup.

First, let’s take a look at some previous popular Nokia flagship devices:

2007 – Nokia E90

2008 – Nokia N97

 

2009 – Nokia N97 Mini

2009 – Nokia N900

2010 – Nokia E7

2011 – Nokia N950

All these high-end smartphones had one thing in common: the form factor!

They had physical QWERTY keyboards and a slide (or slide and tilt) mechanism to hide it.

I believe there is a market for this kind of devices, a lot of people text an incredible amount of messages and don’t feel confortable with touch-only devices.

Unfortunately the N950 never reached the market as it was cancelled and distributed only as a developer’s device.

This means Nokia, since the jump to the Windows Phone platform, stopped making flagship smartphones with QWERTY keyboards and I believe they are missing this huge opportunity, as all the other main competitors are focused on doing touch-only devices and don’t offer very high-end QWERTY devices (with the exception of RIM/Blackberry).

This month Nokia published in the Conversations blog an article saying that according to one of their own polls, 48.64% of the answers voted for the QWERTY keyboard as their favorite input method on a phone.

If that much people want this type of phone why didn’t they launch the N950? Why isn’t there a Lumia device with a physical keyboard?

Nokia built a reputation on offering an extensive range of products with several different (and sometimes weird) form factors but now they only make what everybody else is making: touchscreen bar smartphones.

I really don’t believe this does any good to the Nokia differentiation strategy!

I have no idea what kind of WP8 devices is Nokia going to announce in September at Nokia World but I do really hope they launch at least one QWERTY keyboard slider smartphone just to be different from everybody else and compete on their own niche, otherwise I predict they will have a tough time competing with the new iPhone and the other touchscreen-only devices that are going to be launched around the same time!

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