Nokia has to do something soon. Don't think it's quite as urgent as "must introduce something this week" as Scoble describes but the window is closing for Nokia to re-capture the "high-end today but quickly becoming profitable mainstream" mind share that they have lost.
What do I want? Here's my N999 "multimedia-creator phone" vision updated for Dec 2008 (not in order of priority):
- screen the size of the 5800 Tube
- S60 simplified and fixed as Rui describes
- 5 megapixel camera with cover and Xenon flash with 3x optical zoom and 640x480 30fps video (basically re-use the awesome N82 camera hardware and software)
- Quad band GSM and 3G (i.e. works on Rogers and AT&T in North America AND European 3G out of the box just like the N85, no funky North American model)
- Built in ShoZu (with 10MB limit removed for 3G and WiFi, make the limit 50MB for 3G and WiFi) - killer app for photographers and videobloggers
- Bult-in Qik (killer app for videobloggers!)
- Awesome web browser (Nokia's Web Kit browser was great in 2006, it is now far behind Apple's)
- Lots of available RAM (as much as the N95 8GB please!), 8GB storage on built-in card
- Built in Nokia viNes to take advantage of Nokia's great GPS hardware (killer GPS app!)
Here's what I don't need:
- QWERTY keyboard
- Email (Email is dead to me; I continue to use it reluctantly for work)
- Touch (would be nice, but not convinced Nokia has the software chops for this; I am not interested in S60 transmogrified with touch, I would prefer touch to be part of a totally revamped user interface that's NOT S60.)
- Micro SD card slot
- Calendar (would be nice but that's what my laptop is for :-) !)
- IM (Twitter is IM enough for me and I am fine with using it in the browser)
- VOIP is dead to me except for Skype
- MMS - I am not convinced I need it, I can always use ShoZu email photos :-) but I was wrong about SMS (so maybe I am wrong about MMS)
Would be nice:
- Built in S60 Python so I can hack around and do some Geo hacks (and with reasonable security model to let mash up creators create some insanely great mashups) - Sorry widsets, Nokia WRT and flash lite don't cut it for me, but I am willing to be convinced of course!
- Built-in Skype (the one on the N800 is fab and yes I know it's on a different operating system but Nokia has some awesome developers, c'mon and get with it :-) )
- USB charging
- Over the air firmware updates
Translation: this is the week that Nokia either shines or moves to the B list of the cell phone market. Yeah, you won’t know how this week turned out for a year or two, but there is no bigger week for Nokia.
Now, can you count Nokia out yet? No way. It has the biggest slice of the cell phone marketshare pie. Its devices are much better engineered than Apple’s are (GPS on Nokia is better, so are the antennas, the cameras, and bluetooth radios that Nokia uses). But engineering does NOT equal a great experience. Yeah, my Nokia does not drop phone calls in places in Silicon Valley that my iPhone does, but generally I reach for the iPhone when I want to make a call or surf the web. Why?
Nokia is behind in experience. The executives here from Nokia that I’ve talked to know that. They know this is Nokia’s touchiest week and one where they either deliver a much better device or they are going to face a very tough 2009 globally.