8 Million devices sold in just one year. That’s how many units of the 5800 Xpress Music Nokia managed to sell in its first year. When you consider that the device retailed for around $400 worldwide, that is a massive success. However, the 5800 Xpress Music was the first significant sign of trouble. As the first Symbian device to come running on the S60 5th edition, the first S60 version to fully support touchscreen input, it was clear that the legacy of Symbian was starting to weigh down on Nokia Mobile. Here is my video talking about this iconic device.
If you were inside the Nokia bubble back in 2008, you might have found in the 5800 exactly what you were looking for from a Symbian touchscreen device. After all, on paper at least, the 5800 ticked so many of the same boxes that made Symbian such a powerhouse. Unfortunately for Nokia, Apple had completely rewritten the rules when it comes to UX and UI with iOS, and understood the value of getting out of the way. iOS might have been laughably poor when it comes to features back then, but as someone who had used an iPhone very briefly at the time, it was clear which one had the user experience figured out. It’s even more painful when you realise Nokia already had Maemo and S90, both could have been further developed and had a much higher potential to succeed on touchscreens. You don’t fall from grace without colossal mistakes, and these were colossal by all means.
The success of the 5800 might have actually backfired on Nokia, giving the management a false sense of security and maybe even reinforcing the idea that S60 5th edition was a step in the right direction. It wasn’t. And it completely blew in their faces, not with the 5800, but with the Nokia N97. But that’s a story for another day! For the time being, have you used a Nokia 5800? What did you think of it? What aspects do you think Nokia got right, and what did they get wrong? Share your thoughts with us below.