Nokia announced on Nov. 18 that its Nokia N900 - called a smartphone by some, a tablet by others and a "Maemo-powered mobile computer" by Nokia - is now on sale in the United States and shipping to consumers who pre-ordered.
The mobile computer moniker sums up Nokia's intentions for the device: to offer consumers "more power, more ability, more connectivity," said Alessndro Lamanna, Nokia's vice-resident of retail sales, in a statement.
"The Nokia N900 ushers in a new era with a very powerful mobile computer," Lamanna continued. "With an open-source operating system, incorporated technology like an OMAP processor and real-time Web widgets, the Nokia N900 delivers the experiences of a pocketable computer that has the information you're looking for right there waiting for you, thanks to the ability to be connected just about anywhere."
The N900 pairs an ARM Cortex-A8 600MHz processor with up to 1GB of total available application memory, a 3.5-inch touch screen with a resolution of 800 by 480 pixels and a slide-out, three-row qwerty keyboard. Connectivity options include support for 3G data networks and WiFi. Up to 10 email accounts can be supported, along with voice calls, Internet calls, instant messaging and SMS. There' s a full HTML Web browser with flash 9.4 and AJAX support, as well as the ability to have several Web browsers, and applications, open at once.
The browser, which is based on Mozilla technology, and the open-source Maemo 5 operating system contribute to making the device more computer-like, Nokia relayed in the statement, adding, "Consumers can view their favorite Web sites, use drop-down menus, watch Flash videos and access the Web on a mobile device screen thanks to support for Adobe Flash 9.4 and gesture support within the Nokia N900 Web browser."
The N900 supports WCDMA 900/1700/2100 (HSPA) and EGSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz networks, measures 4.4 by 2.4 by 0.7 inches and weighs 6.4 ounces. There's up to 48GB of storage space, a 5-megapixel camera, integrated GPS with A-GPS, and the ability to geo-tag photos and instantly upload them to Flickr, Ovi Share or social-networking sites.
The N900 is available in black finish for $649 at Nokia's flagship stores in New York and Chicago, at nokiausa.com and through various retailers.
The largest phone maker in the world, Nokia's market share has consecutively slipped in recent quarters. In the third quarter of 2009, it sold 113.5 million phones, which was down from 118 million a year earlier.
Carolina Milanesi, a research director with Gartner, wrote in a Nov. 12 report that Gartner expects Nokia to have "strong end-of-year volumes," thanks mostly to its mid-tier products, such as the 5530 and 5230.
Milanesi advised that mobile phone vendors to "invest in their smartphone portfolios to benefit from the fastest-growing segment of the market and that which is most resistant to low [average selling prices]." She continued, "They should also focus on winning developers and carrier support, which will both attract users."