Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but it appears that for one of its latest smartphones announced today Nokia is taking its design cues from (ulp) BlackBerry. The new Nokia E61, all three phones are the first in the company’s E series of smartphones, is a deadringer for the BlackBerry with its large-ish monitor and so large even chubby fingered business blokes can use it QWERTY keyboard. This being Nokia though the handset is pretty slim, has a good quality screen and is compatible with all manner of mobile email clients like BlackBerry Connect, GoodLink, Nokia Business Center, Seven Mobile Mail, Seven Always-On Mail and Visto Mobile. Like both other phones in the E series it also feature packed boasting the Series 60 Nokia interface (which means at least it is compatible with the excellent Opera web browser), and comes with Bluetooth, 3G facilities, IP telephony and push to talk.
Nokia is on more familiar ground with the E60 which is in the chocolate bar format and is without a keyboard. It does however boast many of the facilities of the E61, though isn’t quite as well endowed on the email front.
Finally there’s the latest in Nokia’s pull open messaging device series the E70. It sports the company’s twist out mobile keyboard, has plenty of email support and its Series 60 interface means that you can gadget-ise it to your heart’s content.
All three phones will launch in early 2006.
These are important handsets for Nokia. Sales of Blackberry devices, as opposed to devices that are compatible with BlackBerry, are likely to decline and Nokia wants to be the company with the hardware that corporates aspire to. In the E61 it has a similar product with arguably a superior design and better line up of features. The fact that it is compatible with a wide range of push email clients helps its appeal too. Interesting stuff.