Nokia N9 'better than iPhone'

2011-09-23 11:21

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."

Market share

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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  • Fredster69 - 2011-09-23 11:41

    It still has that horrible interface. iPhone is still better.

      Agent Bastad - 2011-09-23 12:13

      By what metric?

      LLEWELLYN - 2011-09-23 13:04

      I agree with you i have had many Nokia phones and none of them are as good as MY IPHONE4

      Niren Mahabir - 2011-09-23 14:48

      @ Llewellyn, Silly to compare old Nokia phones to the IPhone 4.

      Fredster69 - 2011-09-23 15:34

      Screen Resolution on the iPhone is far better, just to name 1. This N9 should actually be compared to the new iPhone 5, to make it realistic

      Maarten - 2011-09-23 18:17

      Let me get this right. NOKIA says that their phone is better than the iPhone 4? Imagine that! But let us give Nokia the benefit of the doubt and say that the N9 is as good as the iPhone 4. Well whoopdidoo! Means bugger all as the iPhone 5 will be launched in October. So Noka will still be an "almost as good". Sorry Nokia, the only guys who can even begin to compete with iPhone is Samsung. Not suprising, seeing as Samsung makes mos of the important bits that go into the

  • Kiren Pillay - 2011-09-23 11:44

    This is running the MeeGo OS, which Nokia won't be developing much for in future.

  • Mikemcc - 2011-09-23 11:47

    A swipe gesture on a touch screen is nothing new!

  • kidblack - 2011-09-23 11:47

    in a world where phones are basically a block of capacitive touchscreen with two buttons, software is king. And sorry Nokia... but without (at least) WinMo 7 on this thing, its not only worse than iPhone, its about 10 years behind.

      Agent Bastad - 2011-09-23 12:14

      Windows Mobile 7 is the most underrated of all the smartphone OS'es.

      Born To Fish - 2011-09-23 12:39

      Microsoft software sucks big time!

      Agent Bastad - 2011-09-23 12:41


      wernervanaswegen - 2011-09-23 13:21

      Proof: The discontinuation of suuport for WinMo 6.5 despite the fact that there are still largely more people using phones with WinMo 6.5 than there are with WinMo 7. WinMo 6.5 wasn't really well supported to start with...

      borjanaizo - 2011-09-23 13:22

      Meego shows to be better than iOs. Faster, smoother, with more than 32 apps running without losing anything in the way and, sorry, but it's really, really sexy and intuitive. I would definitely give them a chance.

      CTatheist - 2011-09-23 19:05

      I'll second Born To Fish, Microsoft software sucks.

      Warslat - 2011-09-23 23:20

      Microsoft software sucks??? How very informative, such a persuasive argument...I'm convinced

      christo.cilliers - 2011-09-24 07:02

      microsoft has software? hahaahhaha

  • John - 2011-09-23 12:10

    Crap article - I hope Apple sues the last remaining assets off of Nokia for copying a design that they started 4 years ago finger gestures and UI. Also, Nokia insist on using a crap operating system. This is Nokia's last attempt to try a get some market share that they have lost over the last few years. Right now, the only phones they are good at making are tough but simple and cheap phones that are ideal for kids, maids, artisans etc.

      nangamso1 - 2011-09-23 12:41

      I dont think putting kids,maids and artisans in the same bracket is on please have respect for maids and artisans

      Agent Bastad - 2011-09-23 12:42

      tablet PC's were here long before Apple started making the iPhone. Also, Apple's OS is based almost entirely on UNIX, which they stole in the 80's.

      jontheb - 2011-09-23 12:47

      Nokia tends to be a little behind the other companies only in release dates. Everyone else rushes their product through and end up selling poorly designed cr@p, while Nokia takes more time to develope a quality product. They're usually more expensive, but you get what you pay for...

      Mikemcc - 2011-09-23 14:30

      @jontheb, I must disagree with you. My current nokia is way worse than it's own predecessor. Initially the better looks and specs made it appealing but once I started using it I realized that Nokia had dropped the ball big time. Within the space of 3 months they released 3 patches to deal with issues that made the phone effectively unusable, hardly the beginnings of a well implemented product.

      Warslat - 2011-09-23 23:24

      I will say this much for Nokia, their phones can take a beating. I've had many and not one has died from being dropped which happens quite often. Great software is useless if the hardware breaks and no other brand seems as hardy

      Stephen - 2011-09-26 01:49

      hahahahahaha apple cant do anything but sue people these days.. and dont come with the "apple is the best because im a fanboy" attitude because their hardware is not even close (screen aside) to the best..

      Stephen - 2011-09-26 01:54

      at least the "kids, maids, artisans etc" will be able to transfer files via Bluetooth without having to jailbreak their phones

  • John - 2011-09-23 12:14

    Nokia used to be the king of phones - many years ago. It has been left standing. Now the iPhone, Android phones and Blackberry have become the leaders in smart phones. Nokia isn't even close. They are in serious trouble right now, and had to be bailed out by Microsoft.

      Shumba - 2011-09-23 12:37

      funny then how nokia still sells more smartphones worldwide than apple (or any other manufacturer for that matter). see for yourself:

      spcwzrd - 2011-09-23 14:34 thinks you should go and check your Wiki reference...

      Niren Mahabir - 2011-09-23 14:50

      Nokia is still king by numbers. Do your research before posting comments.

      Mikemcc - 2011-09-23 14:57

      @Shumba, you apparently did not bother to read the article you have referenced. Your wiki link does not show Nokia as leading, and your gartner link article makes clear mention that Nokia will not see a repeat in the next quarter as demand has decreased dramatically for their product. Nokia are yesterday's news by the looks of things.

      Bob - 2011-09-23 19:01

      John, Blackberry is the company that is in serious trouble, their stock price fell with about 50% since the beginning of the year. You will also find it is the other way round in that Microsoft needs nokia. I remember at the nokia conference this year when a journalist asked the CEO of nokia "how he is going to save the struggling company" and he just said their not really struggling seeing as they sell 256000 phones a day.

      CTatheist - 2011-09-23 19:09

      Bob, it will be a sad day for Nokia if they get in bed with Microsoft. Microsoft adds unrealistic costs to anything that computes.

      Shumba - 2011-09-24 10:13

      @mikemcc. actually mate I think you need to go and read the article. symbian (the nokia OS) has a 22% market share whereas apple only has 18%. Yes I agree android has a 43% share, but many different manufacturers use android (samsung, htc, etc) so in terms of absolute numbers, nokia sells more smartphones than any other individual manufacturer. As for the market share decreasing, I never made any comment on that, i was simply pointing out that at the moment they are still top

      Stephen - 2011-09-26 01:50 sorry but i am yet to see a black berry that DOESNT need repairs within a month of use.. poor app support, dreadfully slow OS, shocking camera and utterly crap build quality... so much for black berry being better than Nokia. the only thing black berry has is BBM. As for android, you cannot compare android to Nokia as such as android is software and Nokia as a manufacturer.. android. look at the HTC wildfire for example, that's an android device.. name one single Nokia that the wildfire is better than. if an android device does not have a dual core CPU then it cant handle the resource intensive software. meego will be able to run any android app soother than an android device can.. ( and as for the iphone, there isnt a phone on the market atm that has more signal drops than the iphone.. granted the software is amazingly well engineered and user friendly however it is so restricted and linear, the only way to get good use out of the iphone is by jail braking it! im so sick of apple fanboys going on and on about the iphone hardware.. the company has one phone and the hardware is not top end in the market, the SGS2 RAPES it in every sense of the word on paper.

  • CherryTree - 2011-09-23 12:14

    It looks like a dominant design for smartphones is emerging here.

  • Jack - 2011-09-23 12:16

    i love my N8, does everything and more that I need it to. still a nokia fan...

      ingery2k7 - 2011-09-24 00:45

      same here i had a n8 b4 i threw it at a wall in temper i slightly liked it better than my new s2 but nokia + any other os apart from symbian is guna be bad for them they just needed to revamp symbian and give it a app killer button and make it slightly faster iff all of this was done the n8 would of been the iphone killer it was dubbed. ive had a go of a fully operational iphone and hard to say its excellent but i dont like them because theyre TOOOOOOOO controling, i shouldnt have to jailbreak it or whatever to do what i like. on the other hand i had to set my mates iphone 4 up for him and i felt like i was being interrogated for BEING raped, its a wonder they didnt ask for my social security number so they could see if i was WORTHY of owning their product just to set the bloody thing up so i could use it

  • Ace - 2011-09-23 12:33

    It all depends on the amount of Apps available, iPhone and Android have the most by far.

      Mc - 2011-09-24 10:49

      MeeGo Harmattan can run any Android app.

      ryanfucquasmith - 2011-10-19 13:59

      In reply to MC, they haven't actually released the software capable of doing that to the average consumer, unfortunately the point is null and void untill they do so!

  • Born To Fish - 2011-09-23 12:38

    You lost market share with the N97 which is crap! And with your move to Microsoft you can expect more people to move away from your brand.

  • Ascendo Tuum - 2011-09-23 12:42

    My boss has/had an iPhone.. and iPad. The other day the iPhone just stopped working.. crashed.. dead, bereft of life, shuffled off this mortal coil.. a dead Apple. But still, she waits for the i5 so she can fork out another large wad of cash for an overhyped product. I think I will stick some Apple logos on dog turds and flog them to the Apple die hards who will buy anything with an Apple logo. I will make a fortune!

      Klip - 2011-09-23 12:55

      Need a business partner? I have 2 big dogs!

      Mikemcc - 2011-09-23 14:38

      @Ascendi Tuum, I have had every one of my Nokia's do something far worse than completely die, they hang up after every function. I should start referring to them as "buttercup" :)

      Atlant - 2011-09-25 01:48

      Tell your boss to take the iPhone to her nearby Apple Store; if it's at all recent, Apple may very well replace it. They don't have a phenomenal customer satisfaction rating for nothing.

  • Sharkie - 2011-09-23 13:00

    Don't care what they come up with. They lost me as a customer ages ago, would never get a Nokia again.

  • AntonioP - 2011-09-23 13:10

    Nokia, Smokia. Look up specs on Samsung Galaxy Note -and drool. Bit big but 1,4Ghz dual core processor. And that screen! But, it's big; about like a scientific calculator. OK for winter, but not for summer-wear. Sadly, whilst we wait for it, the rand drops through the floor. Now it'll cost a 1000 more.

      Nathan - 2011-10-05 08:24

      Samsung Galaxy note over a nokia? Whats wrong with you? Nokia is the king manufacturer of all mobile manufacturer's. I have a samsung once before, what a dissapointing time in my life that was. However, nokia sets the bench mark for all mobile communication all over the world. All the others are the followers trying to catch up.

  • Gola sleven - 2011-09-23 13:11

    Lol @ Nokia...

  • Atlant - 2011-09-23 13:16

    And if you're one of the lucky three people in the world who can actually *GET* this phone, and you still want to buy it when you realize it's a "one-off", no-migration-path-whatsoever orphan, well then you should *BUY* this phone. BTW: 1. The "grip-of-death" story on the iPhone expired ages ago; it was never very true in the first place and any of the iPhone cases mitigate whatever actual problem there was. 2. In a couple of weeks, the iPhone will have an 8MPixel camera as well. Atlant

      4334hdhsakldh89yhqah - 2011-09-24 01:27

      It never "expired", it still exists. Iphone4s today still have poor rception if you hold them with bare hands. Apple swept it under the rug by doing three things 1) called in favors, got all the blogs to refer to it as the "grip of death", as if you need to squeeze the phone to make it happen. supplied pics and videos of people squeezing competitor's phones. 2) released a software update that shows more bars. You can put it in a farday cage under the ocean and it will still say it has between 1 to 3 bars. 3) FREE IPHONE 4 COVERS!!!one! They never fixed the problem. They swept it under the rug. And doesn't matter if the iphone 6 has a 20 megapixel camera. It's the lens that matters, not the sensor.

      Atlant - 2011-09-25 01:52

      Sadly for you, I have extensive experience with both the iPhone 4 and a variety of Nokia high-end phones and I'd have to say that the performance of their radios is not distinguishable to the user. While the "grip of death" can be demonstrated if you try hard enough, in practical use it's meaningless. And what makes you think the iPhones have poor optics?

  • spcwzrd - 2011-09-23 14:13

    People who use the iPhone or iPad do so because it is a "Label". Android based devices are becoming the world beaters, by a long way. BlackBerry..South Africa is now the largest consumer of their devices, they are bombing in the rest of the world. Nokia is now trying to play catch up, and have pinned their hopes on Microsoft, they hope the N9 will hold market share while they do this.

      Niren Mahabir - 2011-09-23 14:53

      How is Nokia playing catchup when they still outselling all other handset manufacturers. They just dropped market share over the last 2 years.

  • shmangle - 2011-09-23 15:03

    Nokia knows the way of the samurai!!! I've always liked their phones, the only problem is the shortage of decent apps, as they aren't using android, think they hung onto symbian for too long.

  • wayneoK - 2011-09-23 15:06

    Nokia is sooooo 2002 :)

  • asidman - 2011-09-23 15:32

    My work is N8 is ok and that is only because it is an ok media player (with HDMI out) and has what is honestly one of the best phone camera's out there. As a phone/smartphone though, I'm not impressed... why the N9 has a crappier camera, I do not know... My Galaxy S2 beats it hands down without even trying

  • topgrip - 2011-09-23 15:44

    I am willing to bet that not one single person here who has commented on the N9 has even seen or held one.

      Zaakir Ahmed Mansoor - 2011-09-23 16:45

      I have played with one and It is Absolutely Awesome!! The swipe feature is stunning and the screen looks like whatever is on it is floating . . . :) Nokia All The Way!!!

  • Igsta - 2011-09-23 15:53

    Nokia still sells the most 'Phones' but its market share for 'Smarphones' had decreased drastically. They lag behind iPhone, Android devices and Blackberry. That is a fact and they are predicted to continue shedding market share. By the way Android devices (only just over 2 yrs old) outsold everybody for Year 2011 Quarter 2 with Samsung leading the charge in Europe - one of the biggest mobile device markets.

  • Bob - 2011-09-23 19:05

    Nokia has always had the best hardware(just take a look at the N8 specs), but the software sucked. Their next generation of phones are going to take a big chunk of the market with Win8(go check youtube for win8).

  • CTatheist - 2011-09-23 19:14

    Boycott Windows, go for Unix and Linux.

      ingery2k7 - 2011-09-24 00:49

      android all the way

      4334hdhsakldh89yhqah - 2011-09-24 01:28

      Meego is linux. And btw, android isn't linux.

      CTatheist - 2011-09-24 09:03

      4334 Android is a frontend to a linux kernel.

  • Ricky - 2011-09-23 20:26

    if its that good then Marko why not give this to India ??? ok Windows Phone...but why??? I will definitely buy Android and my 1000s of friends too and most of them already have...

  • peterretief - 2011-09-23 21:40

    oh come on! what a advertorial, a silly article

  • Stella13 - 2011-09-24 06:31

    I dont care what anyone says, I have been a Nokia fan for years, but i will now never ever buy anything else than a blackberry. Sorry Nokia.

  • AForum - 2011-09-24 06:54

    whatsapp can even receive push notifications with nokia unless it stays on 3G. pathetic to even compare the two!

  • Carla - 2011-09-24 07:41

    Yay for Nokia. Cant wait to get mine

  • Roamer - 2011-09-24 08:21

    "It still makes phone calls" - great, so it would be usable as a phone too! iPhone, HTC, Samsung, Blackberry, Bluegrape... can these phones also make phone calls?

  • Louis - 2011-09-24 09:19

    Marko Ahtisaari- wasn't this the oke who talked such a lot of nonsense as a united nations person? cant believe a word he says,,,

      topgrip - 2011-09-27 13:25

      I guess its his father Martti Ahtisaari you are referring to, He was former Finland President ad worked for the UN as well.

  • Obama - 2011-09-24 10:24

    My only problem is that this thing is running on some Linux OS. AS a smartphone, are there any Apps available for it on this platform its running on?? Cause I'm sure everything is standard... It makes calls, sms, emails, internet blah blah blah... So the real issue is usability and apps??

  • Bosvark69 - 2011-09-24 18:03

    BWAHAHAH all the "thumbs down" idiots who dis Apple are the ones that can not afford Apple's quality shame!

  • LOL - 2011-09-25 01:59

    what makes IPHONES the apps(play thing) what makes Blackberry(Business tool ) the cheap service. nokia stop following and start thinking out of the box's

  • Joe - 2011-09-25 09:54

    I want the WP OS version !

  • ryanfucquasmith - 2011-10-19 14:23

    What grabs me with this phone is the hardware, the look of the device which is completely unique and honestly the freshest thing since the iPhone 1 in terms of looks, the only other phone I think that can stand next to it in looks is the Experia Arc which is also beautiful. Everyone is posting on this phones UI as if it's running Symbian, which with the Belle update has been said to finally be catching up to Android and iOS in terms of UI. It's not it's running Meego, from every review of the device I have read and that's a lot, so I've done my research unlike every other Joe posting here, says the phone’s the most intuitive and amazing phone they've USED I'm sorry but honestly in terms of South Africa where Blackberry is market leader where everywhere else it's falling on its face it brings to my mind that the clear deciding factor for a phone to do well is communication. You do realise how good this phone is at that? It's constantly connected to various social networks as well as Skype, meaning you’re constantly connected really. The only gripe I have with this phone is Nokia itself as it's abandoned it before it even made it to market. They could EASILY have made this a success story by buying into the Alien Dalvik which allows 1-to-1 emulation of all android apps which would at least give this a viable app base. If you want an amazing phone to use and aren't a crazy app user then THIS is THE phone to get!

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