Nokia is releasing its first-and last-smartphone based on the MeeGo operating system as the company heads to Windows.
While Nokia's partnership
with Microsoft left it with two operating systems destined for the
technological dustbin, Symbian and MeeGo, the company is still releasing its
first-and last-smartphone using the Meego OS. The N9 offers three home views
via its touch-screen interface, including Applications, Events and Live
Applications, to enable users to navigate through the smartphone.
One of the
N9's main selling features is users can swipe their fingers across the 3.9-inch
active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) screen in order to navigate away from an application.
Plus, there is no home-screen button, which lends the handset a sleek,
Features include free
turn-by-turn drive and walk navigation with voice-guided maps for more than 100
countries and in more than 50 languages. The device also has social
networking, communication, entertainment and gaming applications preloaded,
global and local applications available through the Nokia store for further
personalization, and an 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss autofocus sensor and wide-angle
lens for high-definition-quality video and photo capture.
Additionally, the handset offers mobile Internet radio, with a range of music and is available for the first
time as part of the Nokia Music offering. To improve audio quality, the
smartphone also comes with Dolby Digital Plus decoding and Dolby Headphone
post-processing technology. The N9 also features near-field communication
technology, which allows the user to share photos and other information by
tapping another NFC-enabled device.
The N9 is available in black,
cyan and magenta, and will be on sale in countries around the world. The
estimated retail price of the Nokia N9 16GB and 64GB models, which will first
be sold in Europe, is approximately EUR 480 ($650) and EUR 560 ($760) before
applicable taxes or subsidies, with pricing and availability varying from
region to region and operator to operator.
"Since we announced the
Nokia N9 in June this year, the feedback that it has gotten from discerning and
avid smartphone users across the world has been nothing short of
fantastic," said Ilari Nurmi, vice president of marketing for Nokia.
"With the innovations in industrial design, user interface and the Qt
developer experience, the Nokia N9 sets the bar for how natural technology can
feel, and represents the first in a number of products from Nokia that will be
brought to life in similar fashion."
An August report from
Gartner found Nokia rivals using Google Android-based operating systems and
Apple's iPhone have been putting continued pressure on Nokia's market share. The
Android platform ascended to take 43.4 percent of the market, more than
doubling its share from this time last year. Nokia came in second with 22.1
percent, and Apple notched 18.1 percent. Nokia, once the dominant smartphone
maker, saw its Symbian market share slide to 22.1 percent from 40.9 percent in
the year-ago quarter. The Finnish company sold 97.9 million mobile devices in
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.