Today Nokia unveiled the phone that could conquer the world, the Nokia C6: 5 MP Camera, full QWERTY, GPS, Bluetooth, WI-FI, Symbian^1 and a 3.2 resistive touchscreen at an unbelievable price. The Nokia C6 will be available the second quarter of this year in both Euro/Asia and NAM flavors for aprox. 220 EUR. The Nokia C6 is a really cheap smartphone that offers all the latest features into one elegant and cheap package, just a brilliant. If looking closely, the C6 could be a contender to the Nokia N97, the C6 is nothing short of a high-end device from Nokia right now, which is very exciting because the C6 raised the bar for what a high-end smartphone should be. However, I was very frustrated when Nokia announced that the C6 would sport a resistive touchscreen.
In my opinion, Nokia did a huge mistake by selecting a resistive touchscreen for the C6. The Nokia C6 should have sported the same capacitive screen that the X6 sports, why? Because capacitive offers a much better experience for users. The truth is that resistive touchscreens are hated by everyone, and capacitive screens are loved by everyone. Part of the magic of the iPhone is that it responds immediately and elegantly to the slightest touch of a fingertip. Using the capacitive touchscreen on the iPhone is so intuitive, so responsive, so magical that is part of the reason why the iPhone has a 99% satisfaction rate. On the other hand, most people would say that the Nokia 5800, 5530 and N97 don’t offer the same magic, its because you actually have to use your nail to get a response back from any of those devices, making scrolling, typing, and just about any other task a frustrating experience. I always laugh when I lend my N97 to friends for them to try it out, they slide their fingers across getting an undesired response and sometimes no response at all. Then I make my ”you have to use your nail” speech and they attempt to modify how they interact with the phone without necessarily getting a better response. I don’t mean that resistive touchscreens are unusable, once you get how to use it you can live with it, but why bother with a less responsive screen if using a capacitive screen is a joy? People want easy, Apple proved it, and capacitive is easy. Another example I can think of right now, are several conversations I have had with friends that use Samsung and LG resistive touchscreen phones, they all hate their phone, and when I ask why, they all say: ”Have you seen how in the iPhone it works better….?”
I know what some people will say. First, that females with long nails can’t use capacitive screens, and second (what Nokia says) is that Asian markets require a stylus compatible screen for text-input. To this I will respond two things, first, the iPhone has 99% satisfaction rate and has a capacitive screen. No one complaints about the screen on the iPhone; I see women using iPhones everyday, don’t you? And second, if Asian markets require resistive touchscreens then make two versions of the same smartphone! One capacitive for non-Asian markets, and another resistive for Asian markets (The C6 has a keyboard by the way, so no screen text-input is required, and therefore, the Asian markets don’t need a screen to input text). But even if Asian markets needed that resistive screen on the keyboard-capable C6, shipping resistive touchscreens to non-Asian markets is like if Nokia shipped Euro band phones to the US because people in Europe don’t use the NAM 3G frequency. So what is the conclusion? Well, Nokia won’t have a problem with the resistive touchscreen on the C6 because of its price, but they could make customers happy -loyal- to a brand that produces a phone that is magical to use.