Nokia N900 Linux Phone Is Now Shipping

After a delay, the Nokia N900 smartphone, the company's first mobile phone to run a Linux operating system, is now shipping to the United States and several other countries. Nokia says it hopes that the N900 device will appeal to developers interested in creating applications for the Maemo operating system.

The Nokia N900 smartphone, Nokia's first phone to use a Linux operating system, is now shipping after a delay of several weeks, the handset maker officially announced on Nov. 10.

For now, Nokia is shipping to North America, including the United States, as well as Europe, the Middle East and Russia. At this time, the Nokia N900 costs about $750 U.S. dollars. The high starting price is similar to the $699 that Nokia initially charged for its N97 smartphone when it first began selling in June.

(While one Nokia blog lists the starting price as 500 Euros, the U.S. Nokia site has the N900 phone listed at $649.)

On Oct. 23, Nokia announced that the N900 release date was being pushed back until November to allow the company to gather more feedback from developers before worldwide shipments began.

"Today sees the first batch of Nokia N900 handsets boxed up and shipped out on their maiden voyage into wild," according to a Nov. 10 post on the Nokia Conversations blog.

"As the N900 begins to appear on shelves around the globe it will be price-gunned at around 500 Euros SIM-free, with plenty of contract deals making it available at a reduced cost and in some cases gratis," Nokia said.

The Nokia N900 runs the Maemo 5 open-source operating system. When Nokia first announced the N900, the company pointed out that Maemo is a complement to Symbian and not a replacement for that operating system.

Nokia is pushing the N900 more to developers than business users or even consumers. The goal is to get developers to develop third-party applications for the device that utilize Maemo. Nokia then plans to make the applications available through its Ovi store by the end of 2009.

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.

For users looking for a more budget-friendly phone, Nokia recently began offering the Nokia 3711 for the T-Mobile network. It retails for $69.99.

Earlier this week on Nov. 9, Nokia announced that it would recall about 14 million phone chargers after reports of people suffering from electrical shocks. Nokia is replacing the chargers for free.

Editor's Note: This version of the article includes updated pricing information for U.S. customers.