Send in the iClones: Nokia "Tube" Edition

iphone_nokia_tube.jpg

When the iPhone was introduced, Nokia's first official response was the corporate equivalent of a raspberry (the spitting kind, not the fruit!). Their second official response was to demo a device which so closely mimicked the iPhone that it quite possibly was one.

"If there is something good in the world then we copy with pride," said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's Executive VP & General Manager of Multimedia.

Well, proudly copy it they have! The final device, bewilderingly code-named "Tube" is ready for prime-time (or whatever time it is they relegate programs that knock off last season's hits).

Is Nokia worried about the iPhone and it's popularity? Not according to Tom Libretto, vice president of Forum Nokia (who must be auditioning for a shot on iPhone JEOPARDY!):

"We've done [the iPhone's sales numbers to date] since we've had dinner on Friday."

We would hope so! Since the global sales leader with a complete range from cheapo handsets to high-end convergence devices available in almost every country, on every carrier, on the planet is comparing numbers to a single (albeit revolutionary) iPhone available in only a handful of places on a single carrier each. And Fake Steve claims to be mathlexic! (N95 to iPhone numbers in the US anyone?)

That Nokia has adopted the increasingly popular "if you can't beat them, copy them" strategy -- a strategy that, if Apple had adopted it, there would be nothing for RIM, Samsung, Microsoft, or Nokia to be copying right now -- is disappointing to say the least. But it once again highlights that if Apple hasn't achieved market share, it's certainly achieved market leadership.

Do you want a world where there's the iPhone and every other manufacturer's knockoff of same? Or would you rather see the other companies innovate and revolutionize and differentiate their offerings? What do you think?

(via Engadget)

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 6 comments. Add yours.

Iceman6 says:

Competition is good. If Nokia one-ups the iPhone, Apple's next version will hopefully be improved in order to meet the challenge. However, this is all hypothetical. I'm not sure I will trade up when the 3G iPhone is released. How ya going to get people to switch to Nokia when they don't even want to switch to the next iPhone?

Rene Ritchie says:

Competition is great. One-up'ing is fabulous. But copying last year's innovation is doing neither. If they (the Nokia's, Microsoft's, RIM's, Samsung's, et al.) are simply hoping Apple raises the bar so high they can crawl under it, then we have a problem.
Apple believes in competing with Apple, which has led to a lot of MP3 innovation in an otherwise stagnant market, and hopefully that's carry over to the iPhone, but the other companies really need to step it up.

renn says:

LOL "send in the iClones" needs a logo and trademark. It would be funnier if Apple were not predicted to be so far ahead after 2Q with it's 3G & SDK goodness. Prediction: see more photos this year of iPhone in specialized professional application, behind camera on movie sets, etc. Just like the Palm pics of old. :cheers:

Garron says:

The ironic thing is that the iPhone is just a clone of the Sony Erricson P900. Once the key flap was removed it was a full touch screen 'PDA' phone with music/video capabilities and 3G.
Sure the new phones are faster but they are almost 4 years behind the times. I have the P990i that i bought in January 2007 and upgrading to the iPhone or the Nokia tube seems like a complete waste for a pathetically marginal upgrade in performance and features.
These new range of phone do have the 'coolness' factor, but i would rather not be one of the sheep clambering at the doors of my local phone shop, ready and willing to throw away my hard earned money on old technology.

asdf says:

sorry to say but the Iphone is a cheap copy of a number of phones as well, look at lg's and sonyericsson earlier releases (except for its os of course). Iam not a hater just think that apple is abusing its name to sell outdated technology (meaning the iphone) to fanboys! ow look at me i've got an Iphone, well good for you, please bring your charger everywhere since it won't last long! i"d have a 2 year old nokia or sonyericsson anytime over the iphone. even my old sonyericsson m still kicks ass..wouldn't change for the world!!

leif says:

Sony Ericsson fanboys. How about that.