Nokia held the launch party for the highly publicised N9 handset that is supposed to be releasing in the next couple of weeks. Like most Nokia parties, the event was glamourous and at a posh location- the Address hotel in downtown this time around. The event was introduced by Tom Farrell, General Manager Lower Gulf at Nokia who passed the microphone to Alessandro Lamanna, VP Sales MEA.
Alessandro provided us with a general overall picture for Nokia in the Middle East citing Gartner that Nokia smartphones continue to be market leaders in MEA, claiming 41.9% of the category market. However, looking around me, the only people I found carrying Nokia were either promoters or employees of Nokia so I’m not sure where these people hang out.
Following Alessandro, Marko Ahtisaari came up on stage to introduce us to N9. Marko talked about how we are in the same era of design that cars were before the steering wheel was finalized- basically an era of experimentation to see what works. I’m not sure I agree with him as the iPhone has pretty much set the standard as an all slate design with a capacitive touch screen that almost every high-end phone follows- including the N9. If you remember the glory days of Nokia, you will remember them pioneering the two soft button navigation structure that evolved into a d-pad before the era of capacitive touchscreens kicked in that they were a bit late to join into.