Nokia Debuts Cheap iPhone Competitor, Misses the Point

Nokia's continuing its XpressMusic charge with a new smartphone—the 5530 XM. Unlike its 5800 predecessor, the 5530 is designed to be a cheapy touchscreen smartphone. While that sounds cool, Nokia's dropped the price by ditching the clever smartphone bits.

Nokia 5530

The 5530 is still a monolithic touchscreen candybar device, with a 2.9-inch 640-by-360-pixel screen, and it runs Symbian S60 for full-on smartphone functionality. Nokia's also tweaked the home screen so it has one-click shortcuts to apps, a pop-up media bar and a fast contacts scroller, dubbed the "people carousel" that gives you quick access to up to 20 favorite contacts. The device also has Wi-fi, and a 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash.

So far, so good. But to lower the device's price, Nokia also halved the microSDHC card included with the phone, down to 4GB. And more importantly it's disposed of the full 3G capabilities of the 5530—for data you're stuck with Wi-fi, or, if you can believe it, EDGE. As a result of this trimming, the phone will likely be about $280 before carrier subsidy.

And that folks is not cheap enough. Sure, the 5530 may well cost you nothing when you buy it on a two-year contract, but the existing 8GB iPhone 3G easily outperforms it, and is due to cost just $99 on contract. The Palm Pre and iPhone 3G S aren't all that much more expensive, either.

I'm sure there'll be a number of crazed fans who'll buy this, and enjoy the XpressMusic function of the device. But, if Nokia really wants to crack open the smartphone market, I suspect it'll have to try much harder than this. 

[via Electronista

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  • Kit Eaton

    @Giovani. Background apps... hmmm. Having been through three different smartphones before the iPhone, I can honestly say I don't care whether an app runs in the background or not. There's only so much screen real-estate and processor cycles. And the symbian phones I have used have been marred by, what seems to me, to be an unimaginative and non-innovative UI.

  • Giovani Delgado

    Hint: 5800 XM or N97

    Features? maybe you haven't owned a Symbian, but the list of features goes on for days, for starters you can open more than one third party application.

  • Kit Eaton

    @Giovani. A slim candybar all-touchscreen media/smartphone... *not* an iPhone competitor? Color me intrigued. What symbian features do you mean?

  • Giovani Delgado

    this phone can be easily be offered for free with subsidy, and I don't from where did you got "iPhone competitor", it isn't, the point here is that the iphone will never outperform a symbian on features and personalization, Pre is new and also Android, it's just another option for consumers of many that Nokia has to offer.