If we were to sum up the trio of Nokia Windows Phones we've seen thus far, our verdict would be along the lines of “decent but safe”, hinting at the possibility of good things to come without necessarily delivering too many of them.
But Nokia head of design Marko Ahtisaari has hinted that NFC and wireless charging are just two of the features we can look forward to from future releases.
There's no doubt that wireless charging is the more interesting of the two. At present the flip-up grommet that shields the micro-USB port is one of just two moving parts on the Lumia 800, and from Ahtisaari's point of view, the aesthetic value of fewer connectors and cables is integral to his vision for the Lumia line going forward.
“If you can take away a moving part and make it [the phone] more beautiful in the placement of the components, we'll do it, so that's something where we can certainly keep improving,” Ahtisaari said in an interview with the Guardian. “Take it to the extreme, and why are there any connectors?”
Why indeed, but of course removing the micro-USB port has wider repercussions than just how you go about charging, and it's a no-brainer that NFC is the other pillar of a connector-free future.
Nokia and NFC already have a long history, of course, and while all of its recent Symbian releases have featured NFC capabilities on board, and work with a growing range of bespoke accessories, NFC support has still to land on Windows Phone.
Inevitably, Ahtisaari wouldn't be drawn on any specifics as to what sort of timeframe we're looking at here, but from what we know already we're probably talking Windows Phone Apollo at the earliest, which means end of the year.
Ahtisaari finished by suggesting we're just at the beginning of our journey with touchscreen interfaces, equating it to the early days of the automobile. “In the 1880s in the car industry cars had tillers – it took 15 years to agree on the steering wheel controlling the front wheels,” he said. “We're in the middle of that part of the evolution of interaction.”