updated 09:05 am EST, Thu November 27, 2008
Nokia 5800 Ships
Nokia today said it has started the first wave of shipments of the 5800 XpressMusic, its first touchscreen phone. The Symbian S60 device is already on sale or should be soon for the few regions receiving it before the end of the year, including Nokia's home country of Finland as well as Hong Kong, India, Russia, Spain and the Taiwan area. The company positions it as a near-smartphone with support for full apps, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi but also a media-centric interface with an always-present media bar for navigating tracks, a 3.2-megapixel camera with video capture and a particularly sharp 640x360, 3.2-inch display.
The phone is relatively inexpensive among touch devices and, in Europe, should cost 279 Euros ($360) at full price and substantially less when linked to a contract. It also supports Nokia's Comes With Music subscription service and will cost more up front in return for a year's worth of unlimited but permanent downloads.
A US version of the 5800 with full 3G support isn't due until 2009 and, combined with an inability to launch in most parts of Europe before the end of the year, is believed to partly contribute to Nokia's market share decline as the iPhone, BlackBerries, and similarly higher-end devices from LG and Samsung have eroded Nokia's influence among media-oriented phones.