Friday, July 31, 2009

Nokia Cityman Leaked

After a series of lukewarm receptions for Nokia S60 handsets in North America. Nokia is dialling it back to when phones were easy to use with a quiet announcement of the new Nokia Cityman. Initial testing of the new Nokia Cityman has just started with prototype units reaching a small group of testers.

For years North American users have shunned Nokia's smartphones running S60 in favor of "simple to use" phones such as Nokia's own S40 phones and the Motorola RAZR. For example, Nokia's dumb 5310 outsold Nokia's multimedia flagship N95 almost 10 to 1 in North America. They have even tried to cater to North America's love of flip phones by introducing the N75, North America's love of sliders with the E75, and North America's love of QWERTY with the E71x. But they all never seemed to sell in numbers that Nokia wanted.

The nail in the coffin was the release of Apple's iPhone. This was a phone without things that Nokia phones had for ages. It had no MMS support, a 1.2MP camera, no multi-tasking, and a user interface of just a screen of buttons. But it was taking North America by storm. Many of the phone's fans praised its ease of use, intuitiveness, and big buttons.

Nokia executives were fed up with the numerous failed attempts to crack the North American market and quickly began a series of studies and meeting with focus groups to better understand what North Americans wanted. Results of these studies were initially met with skeptism from executives at Nokia Headquarters. Although their studies were never released to the public, a Nokia source, wishing not to be named, says the results were that North Americans enjoy a simple life such as going camping for pleasure and dwell in the past such as collecting antiques.

Based on their studies, Nokia has created a phone that combines what North American users want: ease of use and love of the past. Nokia has brought back the Nokia Cityman is a bold new way:

Nokia's true iPhone killer. Nokia has made the Cityman easy to use for North Americans and gave it a retro look much like the PT Cruiser

This stands to be Nokia's boldest phone to date. Sources tell me that the Cityman will run S60 5th edition underneath but stick to the simple numberpad UI for touchscreen dialing. Time will tell if this phone will capture the hearts of Americans that dumb phones like the RAZR and iPhone enjoyed. But for sure I will be looking forward to getting my hands on this phone. Unfortunately specs have not yet been released but stay tuned for a preview!

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