Yesterday, Nokia announced the “Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition”,
“an entertainment hub that combines mobile broadcast TV (DVB-H), social networking, music and gaming in one compact 3G device.”
Let that sink in: it is – apparently – not a phone. Mentioned nowhere. Well, it is of course but one might ponder if that is the message you want to get across. Focus?
Be not mistaken though, it offers some rather incredible specs: a full six hours (!) of mobile TV broadcast without re-charge. That is 3 football (my US readers, scil. soccer) matches (although I am not sure where, when and why one would do that). Compare that to the iPhone where you could watch maybe 30 minutes of highlights IF you have downloaded the respective clips when you were in a WiFi zone last. The headset doubles as an antenna.
QVGA on a 2.4″ screen, 3.2 megapixel camera (presumably with the trusty Carl Zeiss lenses, LED flash, video, free music via the “Comes with Music” service. It also says (well in the punchy headline above anyway) that it will also have specific gaming capabilities.
Phone calls? That is so last year… It is not a phone, it is an entertainment hub, baby!
The device but even more so the press release exemplify the challenges Nokia faces. It is not the technology; the Fins are good at that. It is not distribution network; they have excellent carrier relationships the world over. But the package and its presentation makes it almost anti-climactic – and probably unfairly so because the thing does even look pretty neat!
Now, if one needs TV broadcast is a discussion all by itself (the fact that you can set reminders “to make sure key episodes aren’t missed” sounds almost quaint in the age of TiVo and the iPhone’s Sky+ app).
But even apart from this, it is an example that demonstrates the approach: Nokia tries to answer calls querying its continued leadership by building monolithic technology beacons. But that is not why users flog to the iPhone; they merely want something that looks good and works beautifully. Dear Nokia, IF you equip a phone (a phone, not a multimedia hub!) with every gadget under the sun, this is cool – it really is! But do not sell it on technology, sell on user experiences. Users do not generally care much for tech talk (well, maybe some boy racers and hardcore coders do), they care for ease. Give them ease!
Apple’s overriding design goal is (and has been for a while) to de-clutter the user environment and experience. Then they execute nicely on it. That is what makes them so superb. Try to emulate this. You have all the tools. Now get the pitch right, will you?