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Nokia Had a Touchscreen Phone 7 Years Before the iPhone

By - Source: WSJ | B 40 comments

Nokia beat Apple to it... maybe?

There have been lots of allegations that Apple's iPad and iPhone do not deserve the credit to the invention -- Especially if your name is Frank Nuovo and you have worked for Nokia, you would agree, but would have to admit that you have missed the chance of a lifetime.

Nuovo, formerly vice president and chief designer at Nokia, told the Wall Street Journal that Nokia had developed an iPhone-like device in 2002. There was not much information about this product, other than it had a touchscreen and allowed its user to browse the web, find restaurants and play games. Nuovo also said that Nokia had a tablet that was finished in the late 1990s. He told the Journal that he was not happy when he heard that Apple would be releasing a tablet and he is similarly unhappy when people tell him that the iPhone is unique.

Unfortunately, there is not much detail in the article and we have no idea what Nokia had in mind with its prototypes, other than the company decided to hold them back from a commercial release. In Apple's defense, the iPhone and iPad are, of course, more than just hardware and some may claim it is the combination of software and hardware that has made them so successful. Did Nokia have the software to go along with its hardware? We may never know.

However, we should also note that Nokia was not the only company that had a tablet in the late 90s and early 2000s. Back then, we called them webpads and they were released from virtually any company that remotely had hardware experience. You could find products from Honeywell to 3Com - all of which were ahead of their time and suffered from lack of wireless connectivity, short battery running times and unimpressive displays. So, Nuovo can have hard feelings about the iPhone, but an entire computer industry should blame itself for having missed the right time to come out first with a decent tablet.

 

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  • 17 Hide
    fb39ca4 , July 19, 2012 11:28 PM
    So why is there a picture of a Windows 7 phone?
Other Comments
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 19, 2012 11:25 PM
    7710? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_7710
  • 17 Hide
    fb39ca4 , July 19, 2012 11:28 PM
    So why is there a picture of a Windows 7 phone?
  • 3 Hide
    panders4 , July 19, 2012 11:35 PM
    iPhone and iPad really were only successful because of the timing, don't credit Apple for innovation. All the hand held devices before WiFi and capacitive touch screens were a joke. Most of the devices struggled to interpret touch inputs because they were too slow. Not to mention that wireless carriers has just started to subsidize contract phones. Any other time and the iPhone would have been as much a joke as all of the other failed devices with proprietary, computer tethered content delivery networks.
  • 5 Hide
    teh_chem , July 19, 2012 11:41 PM
    Most every device that Apple has gotten fame for was developed in a not-so-different form quite some time before Apple made them popular by some other company. I know that Apple has developed--sometimes significant--technologies, but they more market and revolutionize products and devices as opposed to inventing them from scratch. Hell, they straight-up stole quite a few things throughout their lifetime (like most other companies).

    I am NOT an Apple lover, but I will honestly credit Apple for revolutionizing the portable media player market. That's the only thing (in my history) where I can see things being crap until they started pushing things. I do believe they've also pushed the phone market similarly (though I think iOS sucks to high-heaven), despite the iPhone being an overrated clump of hardware. Despite computers being their claim to fame, I don't even think they really lent much to improve the computer arena (since they function to isolate themselves and their technologies from everyone else rather than communal sharing/licensing).
  • 5 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , July 19, 2012 11:50 PM
    I had a Nokia 7710, their 2004 touch screen phone. Nokia proved with that phone that they weren't capable of keeping up with smartphone technologies. Firstly, the phone was unbearably slow and secondly, they cancelled the variant of Symbian OS that ran on it before the phone actually reached customers so despite advertising third party apps, no one wanted to develop for an OS that would never be used ever again.
  • 3 Hide
    xerroz , July 20, 2012 12:32 AM
    blurr91iPhone and iPad are successful because of the "out of the box" UI design and tightly integrated App store. MS had touch screen phone 10 years ago running Pocket PC, and later Windows Mobile. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the UI that worked so well on desktop just didn't translate to a phone-sized device. iPhone was nothing special. iOS, on the other hand, was revolutionary.

    It was successful because it gave the herd a brand, something which they could point out to their friends and feel cool, superior, edgy. Products released by other companies were never made with that in mind so they never quite reached that potential. The majority of people don't care about the UI or how is it to use it is (it's not), all they care is that by owning something Apple they automatically feel integrated into this group.
  • 6 Hide
    dan4patriots , July 20, 2012 12:40 AM
    nice trollbait article toms
  • -8 Hide
    sacre , July 20, 2012 1:14 AM
    dan4patriotsnice trollbait article toms



    Umm, EVERYONE DOES THIS with their new phones. Its not just Apple, hell, I did it with my HTC Touch when I got it. I walked around showing my buds how cool this little phone was, until i broke it purposely because it was slow, unresponsive and couldn't do anything.

    You blindly insult iphone folk because YOU have some form of issue deep inside, so what? So what if they like their phone, its easy to use, smooth, can play many games, apps, and does what its supposed to do.. Why is it such a bad thing? Because they're "sheeple"? Anyone who uses a specific brand that YOU disapprove of will be considered sheeple.

    If you liked Apple products and saw someone using Android, you'd call them a sheep of google.

    You're just the type that acts like a little child and teases the other child because he likes the red sucker instead of the blue sucker.

    Grow up child.
  • 1 Hide
    sacre , July 20, 2012 1:14 AM
    xerrozIt was successful because it gave the herd a brand, something which they could point out to their friends and feel cool, superior, edgy. Products released by other companies were never made with that in mind so they never quite reached that potential. The majority of people don't care about the UI or how is it to use it is (it's not), all they care is that by owning something Apple they automatically feel integrated into this group.


    I meant to quote this one, not Dan's.
  • -2 Hide
    nuvon , July 20, 2012 1:45 AM
    "...all they care is that by owning something Apple..." Apple was not a brand name before, so your point is not valid here. They make a name of themselves because of their products. Just like every other brands, there are haters and followers.
  • 1 Hide
    mrmez , July 20, 2012 2:39 AM
    I wouldn't be bragging that we invented these products but were too stupid to get them to market, let alone be successful.
  • 0 Hide
    xtc28 , July 20, 2012 2:41 AM
    As for first tablets Arches was way ahead.
  • -1 Hide
    xtc28 , July 20, 2012 2:54 AM
    Edit^ Archos. I had one early in 2005. I also built one about a year before apple announced the iPad. Although it wasn't nearly as refined as there iPad it sure was pretty. Unfortunately it used a resistive touchscreen and an acquired 11" laptop. I built the case out of thin pieces of exotic birds eye maple and used thin li-PO batteries designed for model rocket launchers. It even ran windows 7. I know I know, Pics or it didn't happen! I wish I still had the build and final pics.
  • -1 Hide
    motheninja , July 20, 2012 2:55 AM
    Look, nobody gave a shit about smartphones or tablets until apple came along and out out their product... If Nokia had developed it, why not market it? Apple is just lucky.... With their timings.....

    That beng said, I love my iPad and there is no tablet tha can compete with it....
  • 0 Hide
    wshwe , July 20, 2012 3:16 AM
    Nokia's latest financial results speak for themselves.
  • -1 Hide
    xtc28 , July 20, 2012 3:20 AM
    Ok . I have all 3 IPads, both galaxy 10.1 tabs, 2 iPhone 3Gs, 1 4g, many different iPods from nano to 3g touch to classic, 1 asus transformer, an Archos 7, a Toshiba thrive, and a Samsung series 7 slate. My favorite is the Toshiba Thrive. Next to that is the series 7 slate. The thrive is a far better machine than the iPad. Yes the iPad has a delicious screen, super thin and slightly faster price processor BUT the thrive makes up for these shortcomings by giving me access to a full size SD card slot(I have a 128GB card installed) it has full sized USB port and full sized hdmi. With root I can connect an external Blu-Ray or DVD drive. I am running Ubuntu on it as well as a custom Android. I can plug up external hdd and USB thumb drives. Then I can swap out batteries if I'm not where I can charge up. On too of all that I'm not restricted and controlled by apple. I can understand why the not so techy folks or the LAZY techy folks like the apple crapple but cmon folks they are to restrictive and cost WAY to much for what they provide. Then there is the business side ....... Arm based tablets are NOT the way to go. You need a slate for that.
  • 1 Hide
    xtc28 , July 20, 2012 3:22 AM
    Back on topic Nokia should have done better.
  • 0 Hide
    boixwunder , July 20, 2012 3:54 AM
    I love my ipod, I will more than likely always have an ipod, but that is where my love for apple ends. The simple UI does not entice me to spend extra money on their products that are not more technologically advanced than a dell laptop that is a thousand dollars less than a macbook pro with similar specs. I understand why millions of people love them, they are simple to use, although, when i say that people think that i am insulting their intelligence. I simply decided to choose a side and i chose PC's.
  • -1 Hide
    xtc28 , July 20, 2012 4:36 AM
    boixwunderI love my ipod, I will more than likely always have an ipod, but that is where my love for apple ends. The simple UI does not entice me to spend extra money on their products that are not more technologically advanced than a dell laptop that is a thousand dollars less than a macbook pro with similar specs. I understand why millions of people love them, they are simple to use, although, when i say that people think that i am insulting their intelligence. I simply decided to choose a side and i chose PC's.

    Crapple fans have insulted their own intelligence by purchasing the over prices piece of technology that most would agree is is less advanced than an HP or dell. The best thing they have going for them is the casings they use for construction.this still shouldn't call for the price tag.
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