Nokia N8 Rhymes With Late

Phone giant Nokia finally gets in touch with the touchscreen trend and promises a third-quarter arrival.
Publish date:

Updated since 9:14 am EDT with Nokia share price.



) --


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unveiled the N8 Tuesday, its boldest effort yet to catch up with


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Three years and

a dozen market-share points

late, Nokia has introduced a thin touch-screen phone that will be available in select markets -- read maybe the U.S. in the third quarter.

The standout features include a 12-megapixel camera with high-def video, free Navteq-powered navigation and 16 gigabytes of memory. The N8's 3.5-inch screen and a half-inch thickness is roughly the same as the iPhone.

The N8 is the first phone to use Nokia's Symbian 3 operating system, which promises to heat up the legal battles, because it uses multitouch controls like pinch and finger-spread zoom. This is one of the technologies popularized by Apple's iPhone and at the core of

Apple's patent infringement

lawsuits against Nokia and more recently


. Nokia started the patent fight last year

accusing Apple of infringement

on some of its wireless technology.

The Next Crisis For Customer Satisfaction (Forbes)

Nokia has been struggling to develop a touch-screen phone that could help it compete with the likes of Apple and an expanding roster of


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Android-powered phones made by



and HTC.

Nokia has managed to remain the top smartphone maker globally, but it has lost a lot of turf to rivals like

Research In Motion


and Apple.

>> Who Owns Nokia?: Karen Finerman

The N8 is

aimed directly at Apple

and the touch-screen trend.

One of the biggest challenges, beyond phone design, is finding support among U.S. phone companies to sell the phones. Telco subsidies cover as much as $300 of the customer's cost of the phone. In the exchange, the telco gets subscribers locked into two-year service contracts.

In recent years, Nokia's promise of a new generation of touch-screen phones has been a disappointment. The N8's arrival hopes to deliver on that promise and get Nokia back in the game.

Nokia shares continued their week-long 18% slide, falling 2% in midday trading Tuesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.