Wow, this thing is cool!
A new site I haven't seen before, Mobile-Gadgets.net has the scoop on the Nokia Neo, which has an iPod-like scroll wheel on the front. That's pretty damn cool if you ask me. I wonder if this thing will ever see the light of day? It's too bad that Apple probably has the patent on a round touch-pad, because that's what this thing really needs. That center bulge is too much. I've written before many times of my love for the iPod's simple UI and physical design. I think it's pretty clear that this is a great interface for a mobile device - it's incredibly intuitive and easy to use, much better than a four way joystick.
This isn't the first phone with a scroll wheel interface though. Yes, the Nokia doesn't have any keypad at all (which I think is interesting, if you don't want any of your users to send text messages ever), if you check out this video at Wireless Watch Japan you can see the FeliCa SO506iC phone in action. (Say that name five times fast...). You can see in the video that the navigation wheel is very fast and useable.
Update: This thing has been canned for a long time, it seems. Good, it was a little too wacky. Phones need ways of *inputing* as well.