Counterclockwise: Nokia 5800 XM, IPhone OS 4, Galaxy S Plus

By 04:29 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 Comments

Welcome to this week's edition of Counterclockwise – our weekly article that looks back in time at what happened in the last few years. This week has seen a slew of hardware debut through the years, some of it achieving more success than the other, but Symbian enjoying most of the time in the spotlight.

A unaccurate dawn

Just six years ago we were getting all excited about Nokia's long overdue foray into the touchclassy screen game. The smartphone, which was back only known by its codename Tube, was expected to bring Nokia at the front of the innovation game and solidify its lead as the world's largest handset maker.

Things didn't go as planned however, and even though the Nokia 5800 XperssMusic wasn't a complete flop, the Symbian touch platform never reached the recognition of its non-touch version back in the days.

Samsung Omnia HD takes center stage

Still one year after the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic came to life, many were still hopeful that the more functional Symbian was just a few UI tweaks away from competing with the quickly rising iPhone OS. Samsung was among those and it showed its support in a gigantic way, unveiling the Omnia HD.

Back in 2009, the Samsung Omnia HD was considered a huge phone and considered by many unwieldy with it 3.7" screen. Nowadays the smartphone would be considered pretty compact. By that one was all about the features - a qHD AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screen, 720p video recording and an 8MP capturing camera sounded like a hard-to-beat combo just five short years ago.

iPhone Operating System (OS) 4 debuts with 100 recent features

Fast forward another year and you acquire to witness the birth of iPhone Operating System (OS) 4 as the Apple platform was called at the time. It brought 100 recent features, including multi-tasking, folders and improved email support. It may not sound like much now, but in 2010 those were some game-changing features that the iOS predecessor needed to catch up with the competition and even hold the lead. iAds also debuted at that point, but that one didn't turn out to be the success Apple hoped it would be.

Nokia C3 easily outshines C6 and E5

Meanwhile Nokia was busy expanding its portfolio to cover every imaginable segment of the market. It introduced the C6 touch-driven Symbian smartphone, the E5 non-touch smartphone and the C3 QWERTY-packing featurephone.

Nokia C6 • Nokia E5 • Nokia C3

Even though it seemed like the least fascinating of the bunch at the time, the affordable C3 actually went on to become the only accurate best-seller of the three. The other two never even achieved a fraction of its success.

Too little, too late

Symbian may seem like a thing from a distant past now, but only three short years ago it was still working furiously to turn around its fortunes. Two more Nokia smartphones debuted in this week of 2011.

The Nokia E6 was the last representative of an iconic lineup that shaped a whole era in the mobile phone industry, while the Nokia X7 was meant to show that the well of innovation at the Finnish company hasn't dried up and it can still produce the occasional out-of-the-box device.

Nokia E6 • Nokia X7

Alongside those two came the first major Symbian update called Anna. Bringing a split-classy screen keyboard and an improved browser the update was still a classical case of too small too late and didn't really assist Symbian regain much ground.

And frankly with Nokia announcing that it will be shifting focus to Windows Phone two months earlier, even if Anna was the greatest thing since slice bread it still wouldn't have done wonders.

A sign of things to come

The final noteworthy event that happened in this week of April through the years is the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S Plus, which happened that same year 2011. While the smartphone is hardly a remarkable milestone on its own and didn't acquire particularly successful, it showed an fascinating strategy by Samsung.

By diversifying its portfolio of flagship smartphones, by releasing several different versions of each of its Galaxy S smartphones, Samsung managed to address the needs of a larger number of consumers than anyone else in the market. It's that exact tactic that helped it to the number 1 smartphone and cell phone maker globally, but also earned a lot of critics for the overly fragmented lineup.



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