Nokia N9 'better than iPhone'
Cape Town - Smartphones should be easy to use and the new Nokia N9 has been designed to be simpler than Apple's iPhone, Nokia has said.
Nokia launched the N9 in Cape Town on Thursday and the company is on a drive to recapture market share on the decline since the launch of smartphones like the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android powered devices.
"We out-innovated Apple and I believe that we've brought a more natural expression to the touch screen," Marko Ahtisaari, the global head of design at Nokia told News24.
He said that the key design principle of the smartphone was to make it easy to use.
"That's one of the key driving impulses the making of the N9: Our goal to design a better way to use a phone,"
Nokia said that a key design feature of the N9 was a swipe gesture.
Switching between applications is done with a swipe across the screen and one can easily cycle through various home screens to access applications.
"When you go back to anything you've used before, it feels like old technology. It has to do with fluidity and how the UI [user interface] is built," Ahtisaari said.
According to Nokia, the phone is designed to be used with one hand and there are no buttons on the front face of the device.
Ahtisaari said that the smartphone, which is available in black, cyan and magenta with a polycarbonate or plastic curved back, was designed for mobility.
"This real use in mobile situations is something that most touch screen phones fail at. Most touch screens are immersive: You have to stare at them a lot, and it's my goal and the goal of the design team to design products that give people their head up again."
He took a swipe at the iPhone 4 which annoyed some users who complained about dropped calls and lack of reception when held in the so-called "death grip".
"You can hold this thing any way you like. It still makes phone calls; you get great reception," said Ahtisaari.
The Nokia N9 has an 8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and an aperture of f/2.2 for low light conditions.
The device has a recommended retail price of R5 999 which places it in the same price bracket as the iPhone, Nexus S and BlackBerry Torch smartphones.
Many analysts have suggested that Nokia's declining market share may render the company to the history books, especially since the new Windows operating system is due on next generation devices.
The N9, to some extent, represents a gamble by the company that needs a win in sales to secure a new generation of fans.
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