Nokia N8 Smartphone Availability Clarified

After reports of a possible shipping delay for the Nokia N8 arise, the company says the phones will ship by the end of Q3.

Mobile phone maker Nokia issued a statement via the company's official blog in an effort to put rest to the confusion over the release date of its flagship N8 smartphone. There were numerous reports that shipment of the phone was going to be delayed due to software glitches. Bloomberg reported Nokia spokesman Doug Dawson said the N8 would be shipped by month's end, as planned. The reports of delay are taking place during a closely watched transition period as new CEO Stephen Elop takes the reins at Nokia.
"There have been a few stories this morning about the N8 availability, which we feel need clarification. As we have previously said, we still expect to start the shipments by the end of the third quarter. As with every global launch, when the device reaches the hand of the customer will vary by market and operator," the blog post read. "We have received a record number of online pre-orders for the Nokia N8. We had targeted our online pre-order customers to receive their N8s by the end of September. As it can take time from the beginning of shipment to arriving at their doorstep, in full transparency, we have advised our pre-order customers that they should expect their new Nokia N8 in October."
The high-tech Nokia N8 is crafted from a single piece of anodized aluminum and boasts an HDMI connector, a 3.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen, live feeds from Facebook and Twitter that are pushed directly to the home screen (along with several other social networking-oriented features), Flash player 10.1, support for the business e-mail solution, Mail for Exchange, Ovi Mail and POP3/IMAP e-mail clients.
The N8 also has backlighting and ambient light sensors, a magnetometer (compass), an orientation sensor and a proximity sensor. The proximity sensor will switch off the screen every time the user brings the phone to the face to answer a call, and the ambient light sensor will adjust the display's brightness dependent on the user's surroundings.
Elop, former Microsoft Business Division president, officially took charge at Nokia today. Microsoft's partnership with Nokia extends back to August 2009, when the two companies announced that mobile versions of Microsoft Office would be preloaded onto Nokia smartphones, followed in time by other applications such as Microsoft SharePoint. Nokia had also begun work on optimizing Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for its devices, allowing more streamlined direct access to e-mail and personal information.
Nokia led the handset market in the second quarter of 2010, with a 36.1 percent market share, and saw shipments rise to 111.1 million from 107.8 million units the quarter before. However, the company faced criticism from research firm Strategy Analytics for its annual 8 percent growth-which was just under the industry average. "We estimate Nokia's global market share of legitimate handset shipments dipped to 36 percent, compared with 38 percent a year earlier," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston wrote in a July report.
Mawson also commented on the N8, which he said should help stabilize profit margins during the second half of the year. However, he cautioned that a lack of retail presence and media coverage in the high-value U.S. 3G market means the N8 may not meet its full global sales potential. Other analysts have attributed Nokia's market share losses to its inability to compete at the high end of the smartphone market, where Apple's iPhone and other Android-based smartphones rule.