Nokia's recently rumored entry into multi-touch phones may come relatively quickly if a slip through Taiwan circuit designers is accurate. They reportedly tell DigiTimes that Nokia has finally settled on Synaptics to provide the circuitry driving at least one phone's touchscreen and "does not rule out" the possibility of the phone supporting multi-touch input, a first for Nokia's handsets. The product would be launched in the summer, though whether it ships at that time or is simply announced isn't apparent.
So far, the only Nokia touchscreen phone that will actually ship in the summer is the N97, which uses a single-touch screen and is due in or near July. Nokia is also known to have two more touch phones in the pipeline and is rumored to be adding a capacitive touchscreen to the 5800 XpressMusic that would be necessary for multi-touch if it were to appear at all. Whether the new phone is one of these isn't clear, but the new tip indicates that Nokia is also sourcing glass for the phone, which isn't an option on the resistive screens Nokia has used so far.
A leap into multi-touch, if it occurs, would likely be prompted both by a continuing plunge in smartphone share for Nokia as it bleeds share in some areas to the iPhone. It may also be triggered by the runaway success of the 5800, which despite its being Nokia's first touch phone has sold 3 million units since its late November debut.