Nokia to Launch N8, E7 Smartphones in September

Ahead of its Nokia World 2010 conference, reports indicate Nokia will release two key new smartphones - the N8 and E7 - later this month.

A week before its Nokia World 2010 event, Nokia has let loose with information about its next generation of smartphones, indicating news that the much-anticipated N8 will launch at the end of September.

According to Engadget, based on an article that ran in the Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti, the Nokia N8 will be available by Sept. 30. A machine translation of the Kauppalehti article shows that Tapani Kaskinen, a senior communications manager at Nokia, told the Finnish paper that N8 "advance orders begin shipping 30 September."

The phone enthusiast blog E's Phone Blog reported, "Those of you who have ordered the Nokia N8 directly from Nokia should receive it on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010. The Nokia N8 is the first phone to run on Symbian 3. Personally I have to say that I'm pretty impressed about this device, and I think that it will sell quite good. For instance here in Finland, you'll have to pay 499?ö?®?? to get this thing and this is cheaper than what you'd have to pay for a competing device with roughly the same specs."

And the NokNok blog, which focuses on Nokia phones, said: "The Nokia N8 is coming and will be exclusive to Nokia Online for a whole week before it goes on general sale. That's right; the Nokia N8 will go on sale here in the UK on the 23rd September. How do we know? Well, it seems Nokia has been buying Ad Word space and leaked the story itself."

The Kauppalehti article cites FIM technology analyst Michael Schroeder as indicating that although the Nokia N8 is a breakthrough device for Nokia, its potential as a competitor to the iPhone and Android devices is limited by the Symbian platform as the phone's underlying operating system. According to the translation, Schroeder says the Symbian application range is still in its infancy compared with the iPhone.

The Nokia N8 introduces a 12-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and a large sensor that rivals those found in compact digital cameras. Additionally, the Nokia N8 offers the ability to make HD-quality videos and edit them with an intuitive built-in editing suite. Doubling as a portable entertainment center, people can enjoy HD-quality video with Dolby Digital Plus surround sound by plugging into their home theater system. The Nokia N8 enables access to Web TV services that deliver programs, news and entertainment from channels like CNN, E! Entertainment, Paramount and National Geographic. Additional local Web TV content is also available from the Nokia Ovi Store.

In addition, Nokia said social networking is second nature to the Nokia N8. Users can update their status, share their location and photos, and view live feeds from Facebook and Twitter in a single app on the home screen. Calendar events from social networks can also be transferred to the device calendar. The Nokia N8 comes with free global Ovi Maps walk and drive navigation, guiding people to places and points of interest in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Although the Symbian platform is the leading smartphone operating system and Nokia is the primary driver of Symbian phones, the cell phone giant has been slow to introduce high-end smartphones that appeal to users, particularly those in the U.S. market. That has negatively impacted Nokia's bottom line, as many customers have chosen the iPhone and Android as alternatives. A win with its new smartphones would be welcome for Nokia.

For developers, the N8 is Nokia's first device to be integrated with Qt, a software development environment that simplifies the development and makes it possible to build applications once and deploy across Symbian and other software platforms. Nokia has also made the Nokia Qt software development kit (SDK) available to enable developers to start realizing the potential of Qt.

Meanwhile, Reuters on Sept. 6 reported that Nokia will release its E7 smartphone at Nokia World in London on Sept. 14. The Reuters report said:

"The cell phone maker will unveil its new flagship model E7, which comes with a large touch screen and full keyboard, at the show in London, two sources with direct knowledge of Nokia's plans told Reuters.

"Nokia will also introduce to the public its new N8 model, which is the first phone to use the new Symbian 3 software, along with other new smartphones, the sources said."

In a Sept. 6 post, Nokia Conversations, the official Nokia Blog, said what to expect at Nokia World 2010: "Last year, it was the Nokia N900, X6, N97mini and Nokia Booklet on the hardware side. On the software and services side, it was where we first heard about Nokia Money, the Ovi SDK and navigation API. We don't know what could possibly be in store this year, but we're hoping for several magnitudes of awesome."

It appears Nokia's Kaskinen and others have let at least part of the cat out of the bag. More news will be forthcoming on the developer front, as the Nokia Developer Summit 2010 will be held in conjunction with Nokia World in London Sept. 14-15.