Nokia (s NOK) is going to release a touch-screen phone on Oct. 2nd, Reuters is reporting today. Based on comments the company made earlier this summer, the device, code-named “Tube,” will be cheaper than rival models and be aimed at hot growth markets, such as India. In a post earlier this month, I had asked about the whereabouts of this phone. Here is what I wrote then: “It has been over a year since the iPhone was launched, and Nokia still doesn’t have anything new to show except for some videos. Sign of a company that is, well…yes, I’m just going to say it…too bureaucratic. Either that or they’ve decided to adopt the ostrich approach to competition.”
Well, at least a response is coming, if this news is actually true. Since it’s coming from Reuters, I am inclined to believe it. Nevertheless, my first reaction was: Is this too little, too late? After all, many of their smaller rivals — LG, Samsung, even HTC — have responded with interesting if not entirely effective competitors to Apple’s iPhone (s AAPL). The lack of a touch-screen device makes Nokia look like a slow-moving giant that is trying to respond to whiplash-inducing changes in the mobile business.
Nokia has to grapple with the new reality of creating a seamless web and software experience on its phones. As a regular user of all things Nokia, I have to say they are not even close. Ovi, music download services and other features they have introduced don’t quite seem to have the seamlessness of an iPhone or even a Samsung Instinct.
Regardless, I will wait to see what comes out of Helsinki in a few days. What are your thoughts on Nokia and its lack of a touch device? Is the “Tube” is going to change anything?