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Nokia Had a Touchscreen Phone 7 Years Before the iPhone

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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  • 7710? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_7710
    Reply
  • fb39ca4
    So why is there a picture of a Windows 7 phone?
    Reply
  • panders4
    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.
    Reply
  • teh_chem
    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).
    Reply
  • blurr91
    iPhone 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.
    Reply
  • Spanky Deluxe
    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.
    Reply
  • xerroz
    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.
    Reply
  • dan4patriots
    nice trollbait article toms
    Reply
  • sacre
    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.
    Reply
  • sacre
    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.
    Reply