Flashback to the Nokia N97 - did it 'kill Nokia'?

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GSM Arena's Flashback series rolls in, with a look back at the smartphone that many claim killed Nokia - I think unfairly. For a Symbian geek like me (at the time), it was the ultimate device, the smartphone that did everything. The catch, of course, was that it tried to do so much that it failed in terms of user experience. As documented well by GSM Arena's Will, below.

Here's the video, anyway. And note that Will didn't even get to the problems with low system disk size, meaning that everything had to be routed over to mass memory. Ho hum. Happy days, eh? (Not!)

As ever, with GSM Arena, there's some text content, from which:

After Apple released the original iPhone to great acclaim, the biggest mobile phone maker of the day, Nokia, vowed to beat it at its own game. At first it tried to undercut the price with the ambitious but imperfect Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, its first touch-driven Symbian S60 smartphone.

That didn’t work out – the 5800 had its flaws, but it did help software developers and users familiarize with the new software stack and interface. Symbian S60 5th edition was a brand new touch UI unrelated to previous efforts like S80 or UIQ.

With the worst issues ironed out, the stage was set for the Nokia N97, or as Nokia saw it, the phone that would put an end to that silly iPhone. However, in a heavy case of irony the N97 did more to kill Nokia itself than it did the iPhone.

Again, in Nokia's defense (goodness knows it needed defending at the time), I don't think the N97 was positioned as an iPhone competitor, it was just a 'flagship' in the established Symbian world and with the OS still commanding 50%-ish market share in 2009. The problem was that chronic under-resourcing in terms of RAM and system disk partitioning, allied to the UI issues that GSM Arena highlighted, meant that the N97 didn't feel like a flagship at all. A jack of all trades and master of absolutely none.

Still, good to hark back and remember the fun we had trying to get the most from this!

Source / Credit: GSM Arena