Nokia has confirmed to Pocket-lint that it expects to have a touchscreen S60-based mobile phone on sale by the end of the year.

Following the company's Design Studio behind the scenes event in London earlier in the month, Pocket-lint asked Nokia what its plans were with respect to touchscreen technology in the hope of garnering more information about the Nokia Tube, the company's iPhone and HTC Diamond killer.

The response: "We plan to bring the first touchscreen-based Nokia S60 products to market this year. It is an important trend but it's not going to be for everyone. We will continue to offer choice here so people can pick what works best for them".

What's interesting is the "not going to be for everyone" comment, which implies that the touchscreen feature might not be making it to the company's flagship Nseries range.

Nokia, who has had touchscreen products since 2003 with the Nokia 6180 and now more recently with the N810 web tablet has yet to embrace touchscreen technology in the same way as its competitors Samsung, LG, HTC and of course Apple.

That's not to say that the company is ruling out bringing touch to the masses. Nokia told us that it "will continue to use and evolve touchscreens as we look for ever simpler and more natural ways for people to interact with their devices".

Last month a Nokia exec revealed that the Finnish mobile phone company is still hard at work on an iPhone competitor.

Speaking at a developer event in California, Tom Libretto, vice president of Forum Nokia, also revealed the codename for the device - the "Tube".

"It's our first touch device", said Libretto, who could not confirm a timescale for the launch of the new handset at the time, but now seems, if the response from Nokia today tallies with the comments made by Libretto will be before the year is out.

We will keep you posted.