Nokia on touchscreen collision course with Apple

Given the success of the iPhone's touchscreen user interface, it would be natural to expect other handset manufacturers to follow this with their own designs. Nokia has already demonstrated its Touch mobile phone and this has triggered predictions by industry analysts of legal battles once the similarities become clear.

While handset makers, such as HTC, are already shipping touchscreen devices--without any legal headaches from Apple, the device is seen as being lackluster when compared with the capabilities of the iPhone. However, Nokia's Touch handset, which is expected to be launched late in 2008, appears to be using a touch sensitive screen with haptic feedback and a display which resembles the iPhone interface, if only superficially.

A research note from Nomura analyst Richard Windsor states that Nokia could well face legal action given that Apple claims to have filed at least 200 patents relating to the touchscreen interface on the iPhone. "I think Apple will likely view Nokia as infringing on its user interface patents," said Windsor, "but I don't see this being on the same scale as the legal battle Nokia has with Qualcomm."

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