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?