Its been 4 years since I used a Nokia, the last being a Nokia 6630, the bulky wierdly curved s 60 device that was as slow as a snail. S60's slow response and Nokia's bulky designs made me a fan of Sony Ericsson, which at that time came with the K750, which immediately caught my fancy was naturally a big hit.
Since that time, I have been through the w800, w810, w830 and was happy with all off them. At that time, I think no one could rival w 800 on music playback quality. so was the w 810 and w830. In the mean time, nokia kept churning out even bulkier phones which all looked and felt the same s60, though renamed as N series and Music editions.
Sony Ericcson kept out doing the competition with its cybershot series k800 and k10. But somewhere, after k 810 launch, SE got complacent or whatever, k 810 and w830 being the last of its latest models that would have sold resonably. While Nokia marched ahead continously refining the features it packed on its N series phones, SE kept loosing ground in its own USPs - the Walkman and Cybershot cams.
SE's K850 5mp and w910 series was infested with too many bugs and had terrible reliability issues. Though both devices managed to get some awards in Europe ( I still wonder how), it made many SE diehard fans (including me) feel disheartened and switch camps. Apple iPhone launch and N series ensured that SE's key USPs never remained theirs anymore.
Sadly SE didnt learn from its mistakes yet, and continues to churn out devices like c 902 with tiny screens, when the whole world is getting used to wider screens on their devices. In the mean time, SE also got it wrong on the business phones department also, with P990 and P1 failing to entice any interest in the market.
SE's target customer base, the ones looking for a bit of exclusivity and ownership experience went in for Apple's iPhone ( ME too) and the ones looking for features went in for N series. In the mean time, Nokia kept learning how to attract the SE customer base in Asia and Europe and its E series killed the SE P series and M series.
As I write this, I am trying to bring back to life, a w910, which I had gifted to my sister, when I was still a fan of SE (just around 5 months back). My terrible experience with K850 and W910 coupled with the ownership experience of Apple iPhone has now made me a SE hater.
In the midst of all this, I was happily suprised to see a slim and sleek e71 from Nokia. Within 5minutes of trying it out, I knew this one will keep me busy for atleast 6months.
Nokia improved many folds in the last four years, s60 v3 is such a beauty when compared to first s60 editions and has learned to make devices for all segments of the market. They are now ensuring that customers remain loyal by introducing OVI sharing and Nokia music services like iTunes. their latest attempt at remaining market leaders in music phone segment with pre loaded music makes sense. Moreover, in a country like India, it will help the content creators generate some income from Nokia atleast (else 90% music content in India would be pirated).
With the new touch screen 5800, Nokia is moving ahead fast, while SE is grapling with firmware issues and a eroding customer base. Its anxeity is fell seen from the delay in announcing the SE experia series.
Poor guys, they should poach some good product managers from Apple or Nokia.
Till that time, I will be happy with my iPhone and e71