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Check Out Prototype of Never-made Nokia Star Trek Phone [VIDEO + Pix] September 15, 2010

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Merchandise,Replicas,Science/Technology,Star Trek (2009 film),TOS , trackback

Wouldn’t you like a mobile phone that was built to resemble a Star Trek communicator? Mobile phone maker Nokia, one of Paramount’s promotional partners for the 2009 Star Trek movie, actually built some prototypes of such a device. Below we have more details, video and photos of one of these very rare prototypes.

 

Nokia’s "Starfleet Communicator" Prototype

It has often been said that the modern flip-style mobile phone was inspired by the communicators from the original Star Trek. So when Paramount was looking for promotional partners for the 2009 Star Trek movie, the Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia was a natural fit. In 2009 Nokia (along with Verizon) ran a Star Trek-themed promotional campaign (with websites), and of course they got a bit of in-movie product placement in the dash of the Corvette joyride scene. In addition, in Europe they released a special "limited Star Trek edition" of their popular 5800 (non-flip) model cell phone, which was essentially the same phone with some Star Trek-themed content.  


Nokia limited 5800 "Star Trek edition" released in Europe in 2009

However, Nokia built another phone that was never released. Nokia designed a special mobile phone to externally resemble the original Star Trek communicator (from the TV series, not the new movie). They built 14 prototypes of this phone in 2008, which were based on the Nokia N76 flip phone. It isn’t clear if Nokia just built these for fun, or if they were seriously considered as a product. Recently one of the fourteen prototypes went up for auction on Ebay (from a former Nokia employee) and TrekMovie reader Michael Fisher was the lucky winner of this rare almost product, and he has been nice enough to share his find (including pictures and video).


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – front

According to Michael the prototype is a fully-working smartphone which he was able to use with a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card. The prototype includes the famous "chirp" when it is flipped open and is loaded with ten custom Star Trek wallpapers, including a few animated moirés. There are also five Trek ringtones pre-loaded. The external redesign of the standard Nokia phone includes a metal "antenna grille" (with the yellow, red, and blue lights underneath) and a starfleet logo embossed into the casing on the back. The attention to detail even includes a tiny etching of the Enterprise on the cover for the USB port.


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – has good attention for details

Being the phone is a prototype it isn’t perfectly balanced. The lid is especially heavy due to the brass added to the flip cover and Mike reports that the buttons on the keypad are a bit hard to use as well, all of which would have probably been worked out in a final production model. But overall this prototype shows that making a true working Star Trek replica mobile phone is both possible, and extremely cool.

 
Video showing off Nokia’s "Starfleet Communicator"

Hopefully Nokia or some other mobile phone company will take this to the next level and make the Star Trek phone we all want. Alternatively there have been some rumblings of a TOS-era communicator shaped bluetooth device, which could be just as interesting. You can find some custom built bluetooth communicators, but so far there is no officially licensed versions. 

PHOTOS


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – box


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – card


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – open


Nokia Star Trek mobile phone prototype – compared to Art Asylum Star Trek toy replica

POLL: Want?

So if Nokia or another company made a real Star Trek mobile phone, would you buy one?

[poll=618]

 

 

Comments

1. Harry Ballz - September 15, 2010

Yikes! Would anyone here really use one?

2. ClemsonTiger88 - September 15, 2010

I don’t know if I’d use it but it sure is awesome!! I want one of those!

3. Captain Conrad - September 15, 2010

I would totally use that!!! I really hope someone pushes for actual production of this device!

4. I'm Dead Jim - September 15, 2010

Hell yes I’d use it! I’m 49. What do I care?

5. I'm Dead Jim - September 15, 2010

But it’s got to make the chirping sound when I open it or I’m not buyin’!

6. Red Dead Ryan - September 15, 2010

Harry, I most definitely would!

Too bad it got cancelled. I wonder if Nokia recieved any cease and desist orders from CBS in regards to copyright infringement?

7. X-Mind - September 15, 2010

Thank you so much for the video Very nice. I would have bought this in a second.

8. Kweeg - September 15, 2010

WANT!!!

9. The Riddler - September 15, 2010

WANT NOW!

10. Mikey1091 - September 15, 2010

You know, I have a Nokia phona and I’m rather pissed that I never even HEARD about this in the first place. Since, however, it isn’t even going to be released for production and whatnot, we’re kinda getting the “you are screwed” notice from CBS/Paramount and Nokia. Basically a big middle finger to trek fans. But then again, I don’t really care cuz I’m happy with my phone anyway :)

11. Thorny - September 15, 2010

6… If it was planned to be a promotional tie-in, they must have had authorization to market it from CBS or Paramount.

12. Mr.Scotty - September 15, 2010

Idiots. This woulda been STACKS of money. Why does everything cool never happen?????

13. Thorny - September 15, 2010

By the way, since Trek 2009 was such a hit, I wonder if Nokia will think about revamping/moving forward with the project to tie-in with Trek 2012?

14. CmdrR - September 15, 2010

Harry, not only would I use that, but I would also use the new Rand-bot that they’re building in Japan. I’m a true Trekkie!

15. Hat Rick - September 15, 2010

Pretty awesome.

Also, the Nokia ringtone in ST2009 was cool.

What, though, are the odds that that particular ringtone would survive 200 years into the future? As a ringtone, that is?

Unless, of course, it’s considered an “antique” ringtone. (Funny how Trek scenes so often “antiques” that conveniently date from the late 20th and early 21st Centuries… ;-) )

16. MikeTen - September 15, 2010

Just out of curiousity I wonder how much he paid for it?

17. GarySeven - September 15, 2010

I really can’t understand why a ST phone hasn’t been out commerciallly yet. Absurd.
I have the “chirp” as my ringtone on my phone. People find it very distinctive. But when I was at the convention at Las Vegas in the auditorium, the “chirp” kept going off, and for the first time I couldn’t tell if it was my phone ringing; the “chirp” was on everyone’s phone. I felt comfortable with my people but was amused….

18. Khan was Framed!! - September 15, 2010

Blarg!!!

I NEED this now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

19. jotin - September 15, 2010

It would be nice as a collectors piece but I would never use it. Now a blue tooth adapter i would. I haven’t even checked if those exist.

20. warp_10 - September 15, 2010

I would’ve bought one of those in a HEARTBEAT!!!

21. Phaser Guy - September 15, 2010

Hell, I’d use it. People have phones called droids and silly looking ipads, so why not this?

22. Starman - September 15, 2010

It’s a rebranded featurephone. Does this really impress anyone? Just slap a wallpaper on your iPhone and you’re done.

It probably wasn’t produced because by the time 2009 came around (it’s a 2007 phone), people were spending their money on smartphones.

Symbian? Really?

23. Elliot - September 15, 2010

That would be so cool!!! They should make more!!

24. webitube - September 15, 2010

I left Symbian behind a couple of months ago for Android. But, this would bring me back!

25. John Whorfin - September 15, 2010

A staggering display of incompetence on Nokia’s part. They were handed an incredible opportunity, and frakked it up.

Sad.

26. Phil - September 15, 2010

Afraid the few hundred they would have sold would turn this into a big money loser. They do test market this stuff…

27. Jerry Modene - September 15, 2010

My understanding was that the Roddenberry estate nixed the production of the phone, but that they are re-thinking their position….

28. Psylent1 - September 15, 2010

It always amazes me when corporations are handed the goose that lays the golden eggs and they cook it for dinner.

29. Vultan - September 15, 2010

Heck, I would use it!

Hopefully, some cell phone designers will see this and rip off some of the design elements. There really isn’t enough brass in today’s electronics. ;) Gotta love ’60s design!

Now, if only Colt or Smith & Wesson could make a working phaser….

30. Anthony Thompson - September 15, 2010

I’m not so sure it wasn’t going to be tied in with the movie somehow. After all, wasn’t the only product placement in the film a Nokia panel in the sports car?

31. Buzz Cagney - September 15, 2010

but you goda be able to flip it open.

32. Phaser Guy - September 15, 2010

30, wasn’t Budweiser in the film too?

33. Miles R. Seppelt - September 15, 2010

Absolutly I would use it! It would be the coolest phone ever!!!!

34. leonel - September 15, 2010

Oh hell, yeah.. I’d use it. With all the Trekkies out there, do you really need to do the math? I just don’t get it! No pun intended!

35. KMKProd - September 15, 2010

FAIL NOKIA!!! I would have bought one for sure!!!

36. leonel - September 15, 2010

I love the comment about the pathetic re-branded phone. And a screen under the bronze grille? Definitely a rather unusual design choice..

37. Sheldon Cooper - September 15, 2010

This is what I’ve been waiting for. WHY WON’T SOMEONE BUILD THIS?

38. moauvian waoul - September 15, 2010

29. Vultan – “Now, if only Colt or Smith & Wesson could make a working phaser….”

I like where your head’s at.

39. T2 - September 15, 2010

I remember when this was first announced, I checked the website every day, after day, after day…just waiting for it to come out. And, like some other really cool looking Star Trek products over the years, it mysteriously disappeared and never happened. (to this day, i get emotional thinking about interplay cancelling secret of vulcan fury).

anyway, this looks awesome, but now i have to settle for star trek apps on the iPhone. i would have gotten this in a heartbeat if it was released. i still will if it ever is.

40. The Original Spock's Brain - September 15, 2010

Not impressed.

41. Illogical - September 15, 2010

I would love to have that, I’ve always wanted a real Communicator! I’m still making these Bluetooth Communicators to order for those interested, or have not seen them before check out the video, I even loaned one to Anthony for a bit…hope he doesn’t mind the link…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6n5jEFoVOM

42. Vultan - September 15, 2010

#38

Yes, it’s in a rather scary place… but I do enjoy it there! :D

43. TrekGuy62 - September 15, 2010

At lease a Bluetooth TOS unit would be phone neutral, allowing everyone who wants one to have one no matter what their carrier.

44. Javier Lorenz Jr. - September 15, 2010

I was completely and utterly floored by this, having seen the pics and video! Now please bear in mind that I have NEVER owned a cell phone, nor have I ever had any desire to own one. I’m neither a Luddite nor a technophobe (how can ya be, as a Trek fan for over 30 years??!!). Yet, I’ve never been keen on the intrusive nature of ‘call me wherever and whenever I am’ tech and the impact its had on society. Yeah, I know cell phones have an off button, but how annoying is it when folks don’t shut ‘em off when they shouldn’t be on to begin with?

That rant stated, I wouldn’t have hesitated to buy this phone. Hell, a dear old grade school and high school friend, upon reconnecting with me after a decade or so, couldn’t help remarking that he was astounded that I’m the most fanatical Trekker he’s ever know, yet I don’t own a frakkin’ communicator! Truly, this prototype (with the noted kinks worked out) would’ve been a no-brainer to produce and sell. And, personally more notable, I wouldn’t have so much as flinched at the thought of buying it. That’s saying a lot for an anti-cell phone bloke like me.

And to any naysayers who are inclined to think Nokia might’ve lost money by producing this? I need only mention that a Star Trek crematory urn was mentioned as being sold on this very website. It’s frightening to think that some folks might buy said urn for themselves (though I can fathom doing so for one’s deceased and cremated pets). Yet, Trek, whether we like it or not, is a merchandising cash cow and this phone would’ve made oodles of money!

Anti-cell phone person that I am, I’m genuinely hoping this phone, or a very close approximation of it, is eventually produced and sold. What’s more, I would suggest to Anthony and the other moderators here, that if this thread yields enough positive responses, that they forward the contents of this thread to Nokia; in the hopes that they might produce (and this time sell) not 14, but at least 14,000 of these phones!

45. robowarrior - September 15, 2010

I don’t have a cell phone, but if they made these I sure as heck would.

46. Jim - September 16, 2010

On Facebook some guys did a campaighn to get Brian Blessed to do a celebrity voice on TomTom Sat NAV. TomTom gave them a target of 10,000 people to join the group to make it possible and they succeeded. I propose a similar solution. Now all we need is somebody with the drive and temerity to set up said group. If every Trekkie joined said group and if we managed to get some Trek Stars to endorse the idea there might be some scope! All manufacturers need to roll out a product is a proven market to sell to.

Make it so!

47. ety3 - September 16, 2010

Holy crap. If Nokia put that out, I would absolutely get one.

Why didn’t they go through with it?

48. BeatleJWOL - September 16, 2010

why. why? WHY? NOKIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *echoes through space*

WHY DID SOMEBODY NOT DO THIS FIVE YEARS AGO or any time since then WHY.

words fail me…except these two: DO WANT.

49. SciFiMetalGirl - September 16, 2010

I actually saw one of these! The Nokia rep said that they were doing a survey to see how much interest there would be in it. I told them I wanted it NOW! But I was denied! FAIL!

50. DJT - September 16, 2010

Must. Have. Phone.

51. Jonathan Archer - September 16, 2010

I’d get one. This is too cool.

52. Jim - September 16, 2010

I have contacted the Board of Directors at Nokia and asked them how many Facebook group members it would take to make them do a single run. As soon as I get an answer we can get the ball rolling. Now all we need is to get some Trek Celeb’s on board and populate! We can do this if we work together. You have to show that there is a market to warrant a product. The technology is there.

53. captain_neill - September 16, 2010

46

What we need is ShatNav

It was brought up to Shatner on a radio interview and I thought it sound funny.

54. Jim - September 16, 2010

2 simultaneous campaigns would be able to generate revenue with more strength. By co-advertising each others work you can increase membership exponentially.

This is the address of the Brian Blessed Campaign. They will have tips!

http://www.facebook.com/trevor.jones1?v=wall&story_fbid=118406364879358&ref=notif&notif_t=share_reply#!/group.php?gid=16221530186

55. Jim - September 16, 2010

Ooops

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=16221530186

Thats the one! LOL

56. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - September 16, 2010

It’s ironic, but a phone that really looked and worked like a TOS communicator would not actually be that great, functionally — it’s basically a walkie-talkie in functionality, though one that has incredible range in the show. But, here and now, in the world of cell phones and even sat phones, who doesn’t want a keypad? And as soon as a keypad comes in, it loses its resemblance to the original.

How about a bluetooth device that looks and works like a TNG communicator? That could work.

57. John - September 16, 2010

I have an equally good idea! Get a Majel Roddenberry impersonator to do a GPS voice! that would sell like hotcakes

58. Jim - September 16, 2010

John, suggest it to TomTom! I would do all the work, but I am working on the Phone!

59. dwnicolo - September 16, 2010

It’s a Star Trek world we just live in it.

60. Douglas - September 16, 2010

Yes, I would buy this as well. Hope some phone maker with decision making power hears us potential buyers and sees the market is worth it.

61. Holger - September 16, 2010

Haven’t I been ranting for years about the lack of a communicator-replica mobile phone?

62. Budi The Vulcan Jedi - September 16, 2010

Totallya will buy one! I would even consider ditching my BlackBerry for this marvel”

63. Robert H. - September 16, 2010

I’d prefer a cell phone like my first one in many ways, the LG490. Still with the Star Trek style flip up top, but having an LG490 style setup on the inside. I don’t care about the front display on the phone at all. As long as it’s something simple to use with one hand. Oh, and the flip up top? Have a solar collector to extend the battery life.

64. JWWright - September 16, 2010

I would use it, Nokia missed the boat on this one. Hey, Nokia! It’s not too late…

65. TonyD - September 16, 2010

That TOS style phone looked ultra-sweet; as long as it had a decent feature set I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

66. Clinton - September 16, 2010

I would buy this one just to have it. Period. (oh, I guess the other sentence already had a period. Well, you know what I mean.)

67. Kroll - September 16, 2010

I managed to get the chirrping as my ringing tone. It’s awesome. But I want that Phone, who the hell needs an iphone. pah.

68. Almighty Tallest - September 16, 2010

I would so use the heck outta that phone! I’d use it every day! I’d show it to everybody! That is awesome!!!!!!

It just begs the question – why hasn’t anyone done this before? Why not make a cell phone that looks exactly like a TOS communicator? It could have a flip-open panel with the number buttons under the moir or something. It could be done and I’m surprised it hasn’t been done yet. I’d buy it.

69. James Tyler - September 16, 2010

They’re idiots for not making at least a limited line of these. Us geeks would have been emptying our wallets faster than… well… something fast.

70. Losira - September 16, 2010

Boy did Nokia blow it! As for copy infringement, since Nokia as a sponser , I’m sure a string or two could have been pulled. Would buy one in a heartbeat! Be sure as some one said include the chirp also the Beep beep alert also. I can’t believe that Nokia dropped the ball on this. I say let RIM (blackberry) smart phone have a crack at this. If they do I’m. 1st in line clutching my wallet!

71. Daoud - September 16, 2010

Make it so! I’d buy it and use it, case closed. And opened. *chirp*. And closed. And opened. *chirp*.

72. Danpaine - September 16, 2010

Hell, yes. I’m 44 – done worrying if people think I’m a geek or not. Sign me up.

73. Melonpool - September 16, 2010

This is about the only thing that would get me upgraded to a smart phone. And I’m tired of carrying around this “brick.”

74. Jarok - September 16, 2010

Sure I’d buy one faster then you can say “Beam me up Scotty” if they were for sale. As others have said, I’m 47 and I don’t care if people think I am a geek. People have thought that all my life. Bill Gates is a geek and a Trek fan, I don’t see anyone laughing at him. I would imagine that Nokia could sell these in large numbers if they gave the product a chance. They could market it at conventions and make money hand over fist.

75. "Check the Circuit!" - September 16, 2010

SO would have bought one…and proudly used!

76. John from Cincinnati - September 16, 2010

Life imitating art imitating life.

Love it!!!!!!!!!!

77. John from Cincinnati - September 16, 2010

I still find it interesting all these companies from phones, to toys are still promoting the Original Series products over the new movie, next gen, voyager etc.

The Original Series is where it’s at baby!

78. Andy Patterson - September 16, 2010

Cool! Now get me a working servo that writes and maybe lights up.

79. TMMW (formerly TrekMadeMeWonder) - September 16, 2010

ARRRRRRGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

WWWWWAAAAANNNNNTTTTTT

OOOOOONNNNNNNEEEEEE!!!!

80. Polly - September 16, 2010

WHAT THE HECK

why didn’t they built this?!?!? I hate cellphones and I would have bought this in a flash!!!!! This is so cool! Why oh why oh why didn’t they build this?!?!

81. Robert Bernardo - September 16, 2010

Ooo, I would have bought one… and any keypad could have been hidden.

82. OneBuckFilms - September 16, 2010

I really would LOVE to have a phone like this !!!

If done right, this would be FANTASTIC, expecially if they used the sounds from TOS when someone is calling etc.

83. Boris - September 16, 2010

This is just…wrong.

The only way to do this right is to create an actual communicator which behaves _canonically_, to the best of our ability to match onscreen evidence. If it doesn’t look exactly like the communicator, if it cannot be used with only three dials and a speaker/mic, if its usage doesn’t resemble that of a walkie-talkie more than a cellphone, it’s not a communicator and I can’t take it seriously. The same goes for non-TOS models and their usage modes.

84. CaptainDonovin - September 16, 2010

I would love one of those but would be afraid to use it because I’m clumsey.

85. Chadwick - September 16, 2010

Very very cool, I love it, but the iphone reminds me of a small star trek PADD and after owning an iphone, there is no other phone I would own. Now if apple was licensed to make a star trek communicator phone that would be something.

86. Michael - September 16, 2010

Some of it’s look/features are cool. Others are not so true to the TOS Communicator, but when ya marry the 2 concepts and try to make it a cool phone in addition to retro looking like a communicator it gets tricky.
A bit more ingenuity, and I’ll bet they can make it so! But it must have net, keyboard and touch screens! But after flipping it open and hearing the chirp, Uhura has gotta say hailing Frequencies are open sugar!

87. dion1701 - September 16, 2010

I would use it in a heartbeat! I think they missed the mark by not tying this into the new movie and instead came out with a standard ho-hum phone. Why is it someone who is a fan of say a professional or college football team can have flags flying in their yards, wear their teams paraphernalia, paint their faces, have stickers on their cars, have a credit card with their team logo, and so much more and no one says a thing or finds it is odd? But wear a Star Trek t-shirt and you are ridiculed! As Star trek fans we continue to let this happen. Trek fans are smart! Many have gone on to be professors, engineers, and even astronauts. We need to be proud as fans. So yes I would use this phone proudly!

88. Marcel0815 - September 16, 2010

i would buy one, this is awsome!

89. dayxday - September 16, 2010

Sadly, I think the age of flip phones has passed. Too bad TPTB missed a marketing opportunity.

90. Boris - September 16, 2010

Bear in mind that these phones are more advanced in some respects than what we have seen in TOS. We should not retcon advanced functons into parts which obviously had 1960s functions.

91. Charla - September 16, 2010

Want it!

92. Viking - September 16, 2010

I was wondering what happened to this phone. I remember some hype about it a couple of years ago, then it just dropped off the radar. I have a Motorola w385 that’s pretty close in form factor. I’d love to get a screen wallpaper that would be appropriate.

93. FrequencySpike - September 16, 2010

Want!

Want even more – a Bluetooth TNG comm badge.

94. ety3 - September 16, 2010

#90 –

Not entirely true. The communicators on ST were able to work over distances of hundreds or thousands of kilometers … without any cell towers. If you got beamed down to a planet with this Nokia, you’d be stuck.

95. Tom1701 - September 16, 2010

TOO COOL!!. Would be a must have IF!!

96. Rastaman - September 16, 2010

@11 re: @6

While Nokia had a promotional tie-in to the movie, they might still have had problems with a CBS cease and desist order. That’s because the prototype they developed is modeled not after the movie communicator but the original television communicator.

By replicating the Classic TOS communicator, the are actually tying in more to the television license than the Star Trek 2009 movie license. This might have run amok with CBS’ rights, because they hold the television license exclusively I believe.

97. Green-Blooded-Bastard - September 16, 2010

I would change providers to get that.

98. Naver Drol - September 16, 2010

I’ve had the TOS communicator chirp as the ring tone on my Razor flip phone for years. It sort of looks like an all black TOS communicator anyway. It’s always fun to watch the reactions of people who know that sound when it rings.

99. Julie - September 16, 2010

All the guys I work with are crazy to have one. Me too. And I have never had a cell phone. (I don’t like the idea of people being able to get hold of me wherever I am.)

100. sisko - September 16, 2010

I… I don’t even know what to say other than:
WHY THE F DID THEY NOT MAKE THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I feel better. No really, I wish a Nokia rep would come here and explain why. I would have dropped my Treo 650 (which I’m still using, going strong after 5.5 years) for that. Some one needs to make a TOS Communicator cell phone.

Also, Anthony, here’s the link to your site about the Dream Cheeky Bluetooth Communicator (which still hasn’t come out yet): http://tinyurl.com/b8wubo
http://trekmovie.com/2009/02/09/details-on-star-trek-voipskype-usb-communicator/

101. Oktoberfest - September 16, 2010

Hyvää iltaa!

I was a Nokia proto tester for four years and the immersion in product, company, and Finnish culture are fond memories. There is a *huge* Trekker contingent at the company globally, mainly in Finland for obvious reasons. For example, one phone project was called “Starship”, and another is the “Communicator” (that’s the 9000 series of landscape “brick-shaped” business phones with a large QWERTY keyboard and the largest (landscape) screen up until then. The sleek silver 9300 was beautiful with great screen res).

Ideas were solicited internally for all things management and product. Everyone told them that a Trek-like mobile would fly in the USA, and probably in Canada and Europe as well (though not in Japan, they like stranger stuff). Nokia was built upon the candybar monoblock, but everyone on the USA side clamoured for a cheap, small flip to compete with the Moto Razr (which was still on the drawing board at that time). The first flip protos looked similar to a TOS style Communicator, and that fed even more excitement that at some point the company would break down and finally make a true Trek-like product, but it never came to pass (until the N76 refit). Maybe those suggestion boxes packed by internal Trek fans made a difference.

If they do come to market and the price point is $500, sign me up for two right now. I’m an iPhone lover but this proto totally rocks. The current CEO Jorma Ollila is stepping down in 2012, so perhaps now we’ll have “young minds, fresh ideas….”

Nähdään myöhemmin!

102. Fubamushu - September 16, 2010

Just kind of jumping past all of the comments…

I seem to recall that somewhere around 2005 there was a company promising a mobile phone that looked like a TOS Communicator. I remember signing up for e-mail product announcements, but they never came.

103. Fubamushu - September 16, 2010

Just kind of jumping past all of the comments…

I seem to recall that somewhere around 2005 there was a company promising a mobile phone that looked like a TOS Communicator. I remember signing up for e-mail product announcements, but they never came.

Looks like a little research and:

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/wireless/news/2005/08/68577

104. Stephen Moreno - September 16, 2010

haha, this would have been siiick!

105. number6 - September 17, 2010

Are you kidding?? Of course I want one!! Who wouldn’t?? WTFF?

106. Cobalt 1365 - September 17, 2010

I remember getting really psyched about this when it was first announced(?), but never really heard anything about it. It’s good to see that nokia didn’t completely forget about the idea, but I think I’m over really needing to have one.

107. Randy H. - September 17, 2010

I’d love one of these phones.

One the problems I have with the TOS “chirp” ringtone is that the chirp sound was made when the communicator was opened. The two short beeps was the sound made when someone was calling. I couldn’t find it *anywhere*, so finally made one myself after isolating some sounds. It sounds great, and has been recognized a few times (I work with some engineering types from time to time). Lot’s of fun!

108. jas_montreal - September 17, 2010

has boborci considered introducing a new Trek-gadget in the trek sequel? (if he’s reading…)

109. Lt. Bailey - September 17, 2010

We all know we really want one and would use it even if we won’t admit it. I sure would use it in public and be proud of it…finally something that works like a ST item but not as a toy prop.

110. Boris - September 17, 2010

109 – Non-canon alert. Canonically, you’re supposed to use it only in the proper century and only the proper design, while in this particular universe and time period you should get a regular smartphone instead. I will tolerate an extremely close approximation of the TOS communicator or one from the other shows and movies, since they’ve been known to appear due to time travel.

111. Boris - September 17, 2010

94 – I said in _some_ respects. Don’t ignore the understandable inability of TOS producers to predict a lot of our modern computer and UI advances. That doesn’t mean we should retcon advanced functions for those parts, but merely assume that TOS technology is only partially more advanced than our own.

112. Vultan - September 17, 2010

#111

Geez, Boris, lighten up a little. It’s a FICTIONAL universe, not our real future. For all we know, it may end up looking like Blade Runner or Futurama. Just enjoy Trek for what it is—fun, philosophy, and pointed ears! :D

113. Crewman Darnell - September 17, 2010

@107. Randy H

I did exactly the same thing in having added the two beeps (was amazingly hard to track down) as my ring tone, to my older model Samsung flip-phone. I’m often surprised how often people recognize those beeps, along with the more easily identifiable TOS “chirp.” I completed customization of the phone be adding a ‘realistic’ looking animated gif of a rotating moire as the background.

114. dmduncan - September 17, 2010

Too much of a conservative corporate interpretation of the communicator.

If you are going to do a Star Trek phone, do a Star Trek phone. Make the lid the antenna and use one screen on the base. Make it speakerphone only — to protect your brain — with the option to use a bluetooth Uhura style earpiece. Program it for voice command, and have half the base slide down to reveal a keypad.

Sure it’s geeky. But why else would you be making a Star Trek phone at all?

115. Boris - September 18, 2010

112 – Where did I say it’s our real future? I only said these phones are non-canon, which is why they cannot be taken seriously.

116. NX01 - September 18, 2010

I just wanted to point out that we did get the I PAD.
On Star Trek the next generation there was an Item called a PADD,
2010 rolls around and we get I PAD! Come on fans we did kind of get the coolest most functional Star Trek inspired item ever. This phone is cool too I guess. All I am saying is that we have cooler Star Trek themed and inspired items than this.

117. jim - September 18, 2010

Looks a hell of a lot better than the prop from the movie.

118. Crewman Darnell - September 18, 2010

@117

So true, Jim.

119. Vultan - September 18, 2010

#115

And where did it say in the article that these phones were going to be used in a Star Trek movie or TV show (making them canon)? They’re just modern phones inspired by ’60s design. That’s all.

120. Boris - September 18, 2010

119 – Where did I say it said so in the article? It’s like wearing camo pants on the street – totally inappropriate, since they were designed to be used by the military. The TOS communicator was designed to be used by the fictional Starfleet in the fictional 23rd century, while the correct device for our real world is a simple mobile phone or a smartphone (if you’re also looking for ‘tricorder’-style functionality).

I just can’t understand the obsession with costumes and related accessories. It’s like seeing people walking around town with 17th century rapiers. What’s the point, except to draw unnecessary attention? If you’re looking for similar functionality, get something with similar functionality.

121. Vultan - September 18, 2010

#120

It’s called style, my friend. Individuality. Not everyone wants to blend in with the crowd. Ever take a look at women’s shoes? High heels? Not very practical and yet many women still wear them. And what about classic cars? A modern Chevy is more advanced in every regard to a ’57 model. And yet go to a local car show and just count all the tail fins. You won’t see many GPS devices on those dashboards.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the cleaners and pick up my camo suit. ;)

122. Boris - September 18, 2010

121 – Style follows function. You can’t have style by shoehorning everyday phone features into a fictional 23rd century shape.

123. Vultan - September 18, 2010

#122

It’s not the 23rd century shape. Check out the comparison. Take away the brass grill and it would pretty much look like any other boring black plastic phone. Like I said before, it’s a modern phone with ’60s Trek style, just as the current Ford Mustang takes its styling from the ’68 fastback—not an exact duplicate but looking like it came from the same ‘family.’

Also, keep in mind that this phone is a prototype. With a couple more revisions, Nokia would’ve most likely found a nice balance between 2009 and 1966. They were pretty darn close with the prototype. :)

124. Vultan - September 18, 2010

And as for the “style follows function” mentality. If every designer strictly followed this so-called rule, we would probably have a world looking like—well, it would look like something made by a certain fruit/computer company in California—dull, sterile boxes that make the monoliths in “2001″ look like a Rolls Royce.

Design is like sports. It’s supposed to fun.
At least it used to be….

125. BeatleJWOL - September 18, 2010

@114

“to protect your brain”

Let’s all welcome Lady Gaga to the Trekmovie comments thread!
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/3118213/Star-fears-mobiles-send-you-GaGa.html

126. Boris - September 19, 2010

123, 124 – The grille probably had a function in the 23rd century, but it was added here in order to allow superficial fans to show off their fanhood. Real fans don’t settle for less than replicas, but they also know that such replicas have no use on the street, so they buy real phones. They also appreciate designs with both style and function, such as Andrew Probert’s designs. I’m quite happy with my smartphone from the fruit/computer company in California, thank you, although I wouldn’t mind trying out others as well. However, wasting my money on one of these? No, thank you.

127. Vultan - September 19, 2010

#126

Well, thanks for that definition of what a real fan is. I’m sure everyone who frequents this site will follow your manifesto to the letter.

Anyway, say hello to Natasha for me. :)

128. BobOrci'sAssPimple - September 19, 2010

Why don’t they just make a cell phone that looks just like the Art Asylum Star Trek toy replica!

129. T'Cal - September 19, 2010

^Exactly!

It’s pathetic that after this long, there isn’t a Star Trek Communicator-looking cell phone available. Just pathetic.

130. Boris - September 20, 2010

127 – Natasha of Mongo?

128 – Yes! And with only a speakerphone function so I can drive everyone around me crazy! And with no keypad, so I can say – “Boris to Home!” SMS? What SMS? Internet? And if it doesn’t make a radio noise every once in a while, I’m not buyin’.

131. Jim - September 21, 2010

Right, I got a response from Nokia. A generic response which was frankly indifferent. Sort of said they had already had the idea. In fact it seemed apparent that they had not even bothered to read my request, cos the answer they gave did not even attest to the question of how many facebook group members would it take.

I think we need to get the Shat onto this. Or if not the Shat, how about any of the other guys to give the FB Group a point of focus?

132. Boris - September 21, 2010

131 – What’s wrong with a regular phone?

133. Vultan - September 21, 2010

#132

What’s wrong with an unusual phone?

134. Boris - September 22, 2010

133 – The fact that phone designers would be devolving a regular phone into a glorified walkie-talkie so that fans could make-believe? Either that, or they would end up with a design which looks like one of the frankenphones above.

135. Vultan - September 22, 2010

#134

Take it easy. This was just a prototype. It’s not going onto the market any time soon—probably never. Your bland phone market is not in danger from something fun shaking things up. Carry on…

136. Zebonka - September 23, 2010

Well if the Roddenberry name ever stood for anything, it would be shameless money-making. IDIC, the blooper reel, writing unusable lyrics to the theme song for a 50% cut of the royalties …

Would it KILL the people in charge to start selling a communicator-ish phone? Come on guys, you are totally dropping the ball on this one!

137. Sarah - September 23, 2010

If there is ever a phone like this, I really don’t think Nokia will be able to keep them on the shelves. It’d be a have-to-have, for sure.

138. leonel - September 28, 2010

*ahem*

(psst… hey Nokia, take note.. looks like one of your competitors is leveraging the popularity of a particular little droid from another sci-fi franchise)

http://www.starwars.com/vault/collecting/R2D2DROIDPhone/index.html

139. Beam Me Up scotty - May 17, 2011

i would buy this in an instant

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