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, futuristic look.
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 Q2.