Nokia are tipped to begin using Synaptics touchscreen technology in their upcoming cellphones, with the first models using the presumably capacitive panels to launch in Q3 2009. According to sources at Taiwan IC designers, Nokia is also considering introducing multitouch functionality to their handsets, in a move that could bring them into more direct competition with Apple and Palm.
Nokia has been criticized for choosing resistive touchscreens for its 5800 XpressMusic and upcoming N97 smartphone, over the more fashionable capacitive technology. Its response – similar to that of Microsoft regarding Windows Mobile’s need for resistive panels – has been that capacitive displays do not allow for the on-screen character recognition desired by Asian markets.
Given that Synaptics do not have a resistive range, however, it seems that distinction is now less of an issue for Nokia. According to the leaks, Synaptics will only supply the touchscreen panels, with related modules and glass coming from other vendors. The first Nokia devices to use a capacitive touchscreen are described as a “high-end handset and smartphone”.
Touchscreen Nokia concept by Fabien Nauroy