(WSJ. July 18, 2012). More than seven years before Apple Inc. AAPL -0.08% rolled out the iPhone, the Nokia team showed a phone with a color touch screen set above a single button. The device was shown locating a restaurant, playing a racing game and ordering lipstick. In the late 1990s, Nokia secretly developed another alluring product: a tablet computer with a wireless connection and touch screen—all features today of the hot-selling Apple iPad.
"Oh my God," Mr. Nuovo says as he clicks through his old slides. "We had it completely nailed."
Consumers never saw either device. The gadgets were casualties of a corporate culture that lavished funds on research but squandered opportunities to bring the innovations it produced to market.
People tend to forget that the iPhone, with its beautiful design, was just a part of a new system Steve Jobs and his team at Apple put together with help from Google, ATT, Hollywood, Samsung, and the app development community. Furthermore, to succeed in the early stages (Synthesis), an innovation doesn't have to be perfect,
Nokia engineers' "tear-down" reports, according to people who saw them, emphasized that the iPhone was expensive to manufacture and only worked on second-generation networks—primitive compared with Nokia's 3G technology. One report noted that the iPhone didn't come close to passing Nokia's rigorous "drop test," in which a phone is dropped five feet onto concrete from a variety of angles.Not surprisingly, Nokia's patent portfolio is worth more than its business operations.
tags: mobile, system, synthesis, s-curve, evolution