Nokia delays touch-screen designs

Nokia delays touch-screen designs

No gimmicks - we´ll do it when we are ready, say executives

Nokia will launch an Apple-style touch-screen interface on its mobile devices – but not yet, company executives said today.

Niklas Savander, executive vice presdent of software and services had to maintain continuity with its existing range of devices. “We want to maintain some semblance of a migration path,” he said.

But he promised: “We will bring out such products. But we don't want to bring out something that is simple gimmicky.”

Chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvui said when Nokia did bring out a touch interface it would have on a variety of different form factors and not just one size.

Both men were launching Nokia's latest range at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The four new models include the N96, a successor to the highly successful N95, with more memory and a bigger screen. (See our Test Bed blog later today for pictures and details of products),

Like others in the range the N96 largely follows Nokia´s existing design philosophy which despite the the success of Apple´s iPhone interface won Nokia a highest ever 40 percent market share last year.

But there are some impressive enhancements to services designed for the phones. A new Map 2.0 version of Nokia´s navigation system, which cvomes as standard on the N96, includes a pedestrian mode which (while it might make you a tempting target for muggers) changes view and orientation to suit your current position and direction.

It also, of course, provides a platform for location-based advertising and services.

A new photo management feature not only facilitates uploading pictures to your PC or the web but stamps each picture with the location as well as the time. The information is held in the metadata within the image file.

Nokia has created a portal called Ovi, open to any browser, to provide social networking, picture sharing, and other services for its users.