Nokia is delaying the release of its N900 smartphone, which will run the open-source Maemo operating system, until November, according to Reuters and other reports.
When Nokia first began talking about the N900 device in August, the smartphone maker announced an October release date. However, Nokia on Oct. 23 said the N900 is now scheduled for release in November. Nokia said it wanted more feedback from developers before releasing the device.
While the pricey Nokia N97 smartphone is geared toward the consumer market, as well as enterprise users, Nokia defines the N900 as a device for developers. The N900 runs Maemo 5, a Linux operating system, which the company clearly hopes will attract new developers to build applications.
When Nokia announced the N900, Nokia executives quickly pointed out that Maemo was complementary to, and not a replacement for, the Symbian operating system. Nokia expects third-party applications for Maemo to be available in the Ovi store by the end of 2009.
Given the delay, Nokia is looking to maintain some buzz about its Linux phone. On Oct. 26, the company posted a lengthy article on its Nokia Conversations blog about the N900. The post goes into detail about some of the capabilities of the N900, including the Web browser.
"The N900 Web browser is a charmer, but one of its smartest of subtle flourishes relates to search," the Nokia blog post said. "Bring up the address bar and if you type in a keyword instead of a proper URL, it knows what you've done, and instead of bringing up an error page (as you might expect), it performs a handy Google search and delivers a page of relevant results so you don't feel like you made a mistake. It's a great little touch that makes browsing even easier."
There are other additional features listed about the N900 and its Web browser, as well as details about the physical device, such as a kick-stand in the back that can be used to prop up the smartphone.
The N900 is meant to offer a lot more computing power than the average smartphone. For example, the N900 includes an ARM Cortex-A8 processor running at 600MHz, along with 1GB of application memory and an OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics accelerator. In addition, the N900 offers up to 32GB of integrated storage and users can add 48GB more with a MicroSD card.
The last few months of 2009 should offer smartphone enthusiasts plenty of choices in addition to the Nokia N900. Verizon Wireless is planning to release the BlackBerry Storm2 and the Google Android-based Droid from Motorola. There are also a number of other Android devices headed to store shelves this holiday shopping season.
On Oct. 26, Palm announced that it plans to release the Pixi on Sprint's network starting Nov. 15.
When the Nokia N900 does start selling, the smartphone will retail for 500 euros or about $740 in the United States. No official wireless carrier for the N900 has been announced.