10 Things Nokia Must Do To Match the Popularity of iPhone

By soumitra, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, March 4, 2009

nokia-n97-versus-iphone-3g-thumb-430x3981Nokia sells more than one in every three cellphones sold over the globe. But it could not achieve a popularity anywhere near the popularity of the iPhone. Nokia is best known for its phone call quality and outstanding RF Reception. No one has ever complained about its rock solid hardware. But this mere basic things are unable to satisfy the needs of this generation. What is the way out? Here are our two cents.

1. Ease of Use


Every Nokia user knows the fact that you have to be a techie to be able to use all of the phone’s features to its full extent in those high-end Nokia Phones like Nokia N95 etc. On the other hand iPhone just won the heart of many by its simple usability.  One of my friends used to say that iPhone is so userfriendly that even his granny could use it effortlessly. It is time for Nokia to seriously invest time in making their user interfaces more user-friendly and more simple without losing its features.

2. The App Store

There are only a few apps available for even high-end Nokia phones in contrast to iPhone’s wide variety of Apps and thousands of games to choose from. Also Nokia should invest more time themselves to build apps and integrate them into the phones. The PIM apps like Calender, tasks, contacts are nothing special. Only the basic existing apps like Podcasting, QuickOffice, Nokia Maps would not satisfy the needs of today when we have a million dollar industry for the iPhone apps.

Again, we have seen what iFart did to the app maker. Nokia has nothing like this really. If you can interest people into earning from your product, then it is bound to get responses. Nokia have to make their apps open source so that  anyone can build an app for the Nokia Phones.

3. Beauty of Design

They say, there is no second chance in a first impression. Eye candy or not, we still admire beauty first and substance later. This is the point where Nokia is way behind iPhone’s appeal. I had heard a story about Apple that they spend 50% of their time only to decide the most attractive design for their models. And that pays well. Nokia, despite having features better than iPhone in almost all the areas, lag behind. We don’t really want a geeky pebble over a diamond at the end of the day.

Nokia, bring in some fresh eyes.

4. Internet Browsing Simplified

Internet over the years has grown so much that in social networking sites when people are asked about  things they can not live without, the answer comes - mom, dad, my boyfriend and internet. And that is true. This is where the iPhone hits the bull’s eye. The main reason for iPhone scoring browine points  is the effectiveness offered by its internet browser. Nokia Browsers though quite powerful does not come to that level of sophistication offered by the iPhone.

5. Operating System

Apart from the usability perspective, the Symbian OS used in most of the high end Nokia mobile phones are very buggy and they are more prone to viruses (though anti-viruses are available). The slow and sluggish  Symbian OS comes nowhere near the swift elegant performance of the OS of iPhone. Severe attention is needed to boost up the performance and stability of the Symbian OS.

I have never seen anyone, and take a note anyone, who has been satisfied with Symbian OS. Shouldn’t Nokia think of it now?

6. Creating Platform for Social Networking

Social Networking sites are the way to go these days. Facebook, Myspace, twitter and other social networking sites are not a fad. People want to access them from anywhere anytime. The iPhone going with this trend has something like 10-12 apps for twitter only. Where is Nokia’s first app for social networking? and even if there isn’t any, they can provide a webware which will be integrated with the social networking sites.

Doesn’t it make sense to go for what people want, now?

7. Surprise Element

We want to be surprised. I just love something that they cannot imagine. People were mesmerized the way iPhone appeared to them. One could not help having one iPhone in his pocket. Apple not only worked on the technical background but also studied human emotion. They knew exactly what people want and what they love. Nokia have to think out of the box how they can surprise people with the shear features and robustness of their phones which is their brand identity. Only a few more megapixels and increase in storage space with every alternate products won’t do much for Nokia.

8. The Cult that is Apple

There are millions of iPhone fanatics over the world. They can thrash anyone who hates iPhone. Nokia consumers are not less in number anyway but do you really see a passionate Nokia-fan around you?

People can blindly trust someone as iconic as  Steve Jobs in case of iPhone, but there is no such face to be found for Nokia. It is just a product manufacturing company. It lacks that humaneness that Apple has because of Jobs. May be this is the right time to think of someone who is Nokia.

9. Bring Out Less Number of Products, but with Quality

Nokia should concentrate on some good phones that people really want to buy - not those 10 look alike phone models with just a few changes. The creation of Apps for each and every model of phone is a nightmare for a developer. Rather give them one single standard as the iPhone has done and see the magic that they can create.

10. Appeal to Low Income Consumer Groups

Nokia mobile phones are priced much lower than iPhone. But why even the low income consumers are more fond of iPhone? It is simply because they can use this device in lieu of many other electronic gadgets. Even they are using it as a replacement of computer. They can use internet, send and receive email, listen to music, play games - What else do you want?


Nokia may be the biggest mobile phone manufacturer but Apple iPhone with a single product has shown how influential can one single efficient mobile phone be. May be time to learn something out of this Nokia? There is no way you can not do it or better it by many folds.


August 7, 2010: 2:04 am

i think nokia shud get cheaper n relax a lill with d prices.

May 8, 2010: 11:08 pm

@ Robert Mitchell

Oh shut up with the “jealous because you can’t afford one” bull. I swear, that is the only response you Apple fanatics give.

“It doesn’t have USB ports.”
“It doesn’t support flash.”
“This laptop does more for less.”

Apple guy says:
“You’re just too poor to buy an Apple. The end.”

Stop copping out to addressing people’s genuine concerns about Apple products.

Robert Mitchell
December 10, 2009: 7:30 pm

The people that go out looking for bad point about the iPhone are the people that are scared of it because they don’t understand it! Or jealous because they can’t afford one! Sorry to tell you guys but that’s said! It’s the same with apples MacBooks people say apples rubbish because of this that and the other! Well it’s not true they just have never had the chance to experince it, but they can’t afford it or are unwilling to try it! So it’s Windows agenst Apple and Nokia agenst Apple! And you know this people always diss Apple but
least they think outside and inside the box which makes there products more reliable, well built and worth ever cent! Coming to think about it bill gates stole from Apple and apple fell on there ass and they are back and better then ever;-) the end

November 13, 2009: 10:47 am

Hi i beleave that nokia must launch an mobile phone which must consist a wide large screen best for music games and web surfing with keypad and touch screen they must have a sporty appearance in their mobiles

March 23, 2009: 3:32 pm

Sorry Mr. B Ghosh.

We accidentally deleted your latest comment on our site. Thank you for your positive feedback. We appreciate it.

Feel free to suggest/ ask anything. Enjoy your stay.

Soumya Sinha

March 20, 2009: 3:57 pm

You have a point B Ghosh. . But we weren’t necessarily talking about iPhone and Nokia from Indian perspectives. It was about the global one and there iPhone costs almost similar to Nokia unlike India. :)

Soumya Sinha

B Ghosh
March 20, 2009: 11:20 am

whatever, but about which company a middle class man think before he wish to buy a mobile, Nokia or iPhone?
It’s true dat the quality become poor but I know some people who r still satisfied wid their Nokia sets.
But it’s true dat I dream to buy an iphone…….

March 19, 2009: 3:46 pm

Indeed. you are right. The difference between iPhone in other parts of the world and Nokia in India is, there we have a conscious cult going but here its almost like a blind faith. So that doesn’t do much to Nokia’s popularity, No?

Would love to hear from you on this point.

Soumya Sinha

B Ghosh
March 19, 2009: 1:41 pm

It’s really good.
I agreed with u in many points.
But it is the middle class people who will buy NOKIA phones than iphones for their communication purpose.But in India their r many people who have cult to their nokia phones.But it’s true dat there is something in iPhone which attracts people of all people across the globe towards it.
Well done again.

March 5, 2009: 8:25 pm

To some extent, I agree to most of the points on this list. However, I don’t think that number 5 (”Operating System”) is true. In fact, when you compare the iPhone performance to the 5800xm when starting key applications like messaging or contacts, the Nokia-phone is faster - even though its specs (processor speed, etc.) are much lower.

While the iPhone appears to be quick, in reality it looses time with the animations. After the application is visible, it’s also not usable right away - what’s seen first is only a screenshot that gets replaced by the app contents once it’s fully initialized.

So: while Symbian OS phones have traditionally been slow due to often underpowered hardware, this argument is no longer valid. Instead, Nokia should spend more time in giving users the impression of the phone being fast - e.g., by implementing nifty, but still short animations like seen on the iPhone.

Also: real viruses still don’t exist for Symbian OS, they all rely on the user installing malware. Here the main question is: is the approach from Apple to just control every single application that developers release really a better alternative to an open environment like we have with S60?

March 5, 2009: 4:58 pm

Interesting list. I wrote my own before the iPhone 3G was unleashed upon the world last summer:


A couple of thoughts on yours:

3. Some S60 handsets, like the N97 in white that you have pictured, are indeed better looking than the iPhone IMHO.

5. S60, “buggy” as it may be, is still capable of a lot more than Apple’s handset.

8. Cults aren’t necessarily a good thing ;-)

March 4, 2009: 4:14 pm

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