Nokia E7: Nokia’s Road to Nowhere Continues

Nokia World in London sees the debut of the Nokia E7, a phone squarely aimed at the business world that doesn’t win any prizes for originality, but it does run on the new Symbian^3.

The popping 4-inch clear black polarized AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display comprises 360 by 640 pixels, ridiculous resolution for a screen this big.

Then, looking at its awkward 8-megapixel camera, I just learned businesspersons can evidently live with fixed-focus lenses, but unlike other businessmen, to me, Carl Zeiss Tessar is also one of the desiderata for optics.

Rated at 1200 mAh, the irremovable battery on a 3G-connected Nokia E7 is expected to stay up for 5 hours talking (9 hours 2G talk time). Unlike any other brands and due to its fondness of not putting any screws on its products, the battery on most Apple’s products is irremovable. Now, Nokia is following Apple’s trouble-making path. Guess what you should do if somehow end up with a faulty battery; take in for servicing, perhaps. What about having a spare battery? Taken out of the equation now, has it?

Now, Nokia E7 has no MicroSD card slot. Well, that is just fantastic, what are they trying to prove here?

I know it’s got a dedicated GPU capable of 3D graphics hardware acceleration, but if you are supposed to compete with today’s tough rivals, the processor should clock at around 1 gigahertz.

Nokia N97 comprised a not-so-well-engineered backsliding hinge mechanism. It was tight, but there was a flaw. Because the part underneath—with the QWERTY keyboard—has been covered for almost 40% of its surface by the remnant of the backsliding screen, the keyboard on the N97 had three rows. Lacking the fifth row for numbers, this is somewhat the case with the new Nokia E7’s truncated 4-row QWERTY keyboard. Leaked images of the MeeGo-powered N9, Nokia’s next super phone, verify the fact that Nokia does not care about the fifth row. Expected to release in early 2011, its metallic construction and brushed aluminum finish might promise a deserving N95 descendant.

What the hell is happening with Nokia? Once a market leader, it is now putting out profit reports showing a steeper-than-expected 40 percent drop in second quarter net income, because of pressure from Apple and other smartphone makers.

Nokia is not failing, per se, and it’s still significantly profitable at the moment with its sales of low-end phones in the poorer nations of the world propping up its business. But the tide of the company’s fortunes may have seriously turned, and market watchers will be scrutinizing it to see if efforts like the launch of its touchscreen N8, E7, C7, and C6-01 Symbian^3 smartphones can reverse the downward trend when the third quarter finances roll in.

Nokia has a problem with its strategy. Like a deer caught in the headlights, it’s too slow to react and there will be no improvement this year or for that matter the next.

While Apple’s recently unveiled iPhone 4 was flying off virtual shelves with 600,000 pre-orders and other vendors rolling out models with Google Android, Nokia wasn’t even there.

Strategically looking, Nokia will not survive unless it finds its place in the industry. Apple has cornered the market on user-friendliness and lifestyle integration with iTunes and widespread application software support, while RIM (Research in Motion, makers of the Blackberry) has a firm grasp on the enterprise market. Unless it finds a niche, Nokia will continue to struggle and go nowhere on the road to irrelevance.


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