Nokia China announce N6708 UIQ Phone

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Nokia China have announced the N6708 - a UIQ touchscreen phone. The phone features a 1.3 MP camera, a mini SD expansion card slot, a Chinese localised Office application, and runs Symbian 7 and UIQ 2.1. This phone is expected to be only available in the Chinese market where data input is eased by the use of handwriting reognition. The N6708 is an ODM (rebranded) version of the BenQ P31. The specifications are the same as the BenQ 31, but there have been several software tweaks. There are some pictures of the device here from

Last time we spoke to BenQ they indicated they would be concentrating (for their branded phones) on developing Windows Mobile PDAPhones, and that rather than releasing the P31 themselves they would be looking for an ODM partner. Clearly they have found this partner in Nokia (BenQ also provided Nokia with the 6260), although it is not clear whether their agreement preclude similar ODM deals with other manufactuers or operators.

The N6708 is the first Nokia UIQ handset, but it is does not necessairly mean a major strategic change for Nokia. While it is possible Nokia is considering UIQ for further pen based phones, given this is an ODM phone it may well be a one off, that seeks to serve a specific market. Series 60 3rd Edition provides support for alternatve input methods (including touch screen), and it is more likely that this would be used in future Nokia models.