Nokia could have done that too. Maemo was comparable to (or better than?) Android in 2007. If they had really understood what made the iPhone a success, they could have spent a year repositioning Maemo to be competitive with iOS, just like Google did with Android.
Of course, they didn't since they were already heavily invested in Symbian, and that's why they stumbled.
Maybe Nokia could have made a technically competitive smartphone in 2008 but they didn't. Why not? They thought they were competing on technology and that they had time. They weren't though. They were in the middle of a market changeover and they didn't see it.
If they came out with a phone that was technically competitive I don't think people would have bought it. They have one today and it's sales are disappointing.
If you already had a Nokia your default choice was usually a new Nokia. And they had a pretty strong brand at the time (and 70-80% market share?).