Even with the holiday season already in full-swing, hot new gadgets keep popping up to vie for fewer and fewer consumer dollars. Nokia
Nokia isn't just playing copycat, though -- the company has upped the ante with many enviable features. Like AT&T's
Social-networking fans will also like its ability to run Flash applets, video, and animations (something the iPhone has yet to adopt) and easy access to social-networking sites. In a nod to Google's
But while Nokia's latest offering looks to put up a real feature fight, it may fall flat right out of the starting gate. The device may not hit European shelves for six months, and there's no mention of when it will reach the U.S. While Nokia's CEO said it plans to market the N97 aggressively in the U.S., six months is eons in this market, giving competitors plenty of time to respond.
Nokia already learned some hard lessons in Japan, where it is calling it quits with a market share of 1% there. The iPhone has shown tremendous momentum in the U.S., more than tripling its share to 30% in the third quarter -- and didn't need to offer discounts on Black Friday. At this point, Nokia's worst enemy is time. Unless the Finnish giant can somehow freeze the competition while it catches up, it will continue to fall behind the pack in the U.S.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock offered the use of his time-machine to Nokia, but couldn't get the company to agree to the "results may vary" clause of the agreement. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Sprint Nextel and Nokia are Inside Value recommendations. Google is a Rule Breakers selection. Apple is a Stock Advisor pick. The Fool's disclosure policy once dated Heidi Klum when she was a nerdy high-school student.