Coming Soon: The Nokia E62

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The Nokia E62, the yet to be officially anounnced US version of the E61, is starting to generate interest amongst the US media. The E62 is expected to be available on Cingular in the second half of Septmber with subsidised pricing starting at $100 ($300 unsubsidised). Read on for further details.

Despite its unannounced status the E62 has been reviewed favourably by some US based technology correspondents:

  • Walter Mossberg writing in his Personal Technology column concludes that the E62 is a solid an inexpensive smartphone. 
  • Sascha Segan writing for PC Magazine (via GearLog) thinks the E62 will become a top handheld in the US and with a compelling price could become a killer handheld.
  • Gary Krakow writing for MSNBC thinks the E62 is spectacular and 'may just be the best smartphone around'.

The E62 has the same design as the E61, but the WCDMA (3G) and WiFi connectivty has been removed. Consumers will have to make do with GPRS and EDGE connection speeds. Software changes are also expected including better support for keybord shortcuts and Cingular application customisations. The E62 is an example of the power of the US carriers - the E61 is a quad-band GSM phone and as such is perfectly usable in the US. The E61's WCDMA radio is not compatiable with current US 3G networks, and so its removal does represent a cost saving. However the removal of the WiFi is likely to be an operator request aimed at defending data revenues. As such the E62 which is available for approximately $100 more may be a better buy for users wanting a greater range of connectivity options.

As a thumb keyboard phone device the E62 will be facing off against the the Motorola Q, Blackberry series devices, Palm Treo 700p and Palm Treo 700w. It represents Nokia's first serious push into the US corporate market with an Enterprise specific device. 

Both the Q and Treo devices are available on EVDO networks meaning faster data speeds. However for the same reason they are also unusable outside the US. Nokia will also point towards its vendor agnostic approach to corporate services - the E62 supports all the major corporate mobile email systems from the market leading Blackberry, through GoodLink, Visto, Seven, Visto to Microsoft's Exchange server technology. The S60 platform, in sharp contrast to Europe, is little known in the US market where Palm and Windows Mobile are the dominant platforms. Although many are anticipating an interesting face off between the major platforms it is worth remembering that the E62 represents only a small portion of the S60 device portfolio. In the US the corporate smartphone market has great potential, but still looks small next to the potential smartphone consumer market. Nokia are clearing hoping for success with the E62, but it is it's rivals that are probably more concerned as their core markets and devices, especially Palm's Treo, come under increasing competitive pressure.