Nokia N9: Finally a MeeGo phone, too late?

Old Nokia logo
By Richi Jennings (@richi) - June 21, 2011.

Updated: Nokia (NOK) has showed off its N9 smartphone, running its other "burning platform" -- MeeGo. That seems odd, seeing as Nokia is switching to Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Phone 7. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder why Espoo would bother releasing it.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: "Wild Guru" Larry Wentzel's Esch-R-Sketch...

If anyone can, Michael Kan:

The N9 will launch later this year, and the company will release later the device's pricing and availability in various markets. ... [It runs] MeeGo, a Linux-based OS developed in collaboration with Intel.


Nokia designed the N9 as an "all screen" phone with a 3.9 inch display. ... No home button ... instead, users navigate back ... by simply swiping across the edge of the phone's screen. ... The N9 features an 8-megapixel camera [and] near-field communication.  

Nick Farrell adds:

Nokia pulled back from MeeGo four months ago. ... Nokia's primary smartphone strategy is to focus on the Windows phone ... Chief Executive Stephen Elop ... told a telecom conference in Singapore.


Elop has promised a turnaround ... so it looks like he really is betting the farm on his deal with Steve Ballmer. ... It will all be too late to stop the slide. ... It is expected to lose its place as the top phone maker to Samsung this quarter. ... Apple will be the number two spot next quarter ... Nokia will be pushed to third.  

  Andrew Orlowski calls it a "burning-platform orphan":

The N9 provides the sort of high-end specifications absent in ... current Symbian smartphones. Nonetheless ... Meego [is] positioned as a rather expensive diversion for hobbyists.


For long-suffering Symbian users, there wasn't much [news]. ... Existing phones will receive updates and ... the N8 and E7 would get the updates over the air, come July.  

But Parmy Olson gives it a guarded welcome:

Most mobile analysts will tell you it’s embarrassingly late. But ... [designer] Marko Ahtisaari, is scoffing. ... “Late compared to what?”


First impressions are positive. ... The phone is very slim ... a tad thicker than the iPhone 4 ... tapered at either end like a pillow ... manufactured with “expensive robots,” ... which “no one in the market has right now.” ... There are no ridges, anywhere. ... It carries ... a slightly curved Gorilla glass touchscreen. ... The one drawback for ... an impressive phone, is the very obvious lack of an ecosystem.  

  Meanwhile, David Meyer worries success would be "Nokia's worst nightmare":

Not that you could tell it's running MeeGo from Nokia's ... promotional bumpf: the OS's name is nowhere to be seen. ... I find this hilarious, and I think it's a strategy that ... could backfire. ... [But] ignoring the handset's OS ... might work in [its] favour ... don't start that conversation in the first place, and you stay out of the fight.


[It] looks a million times more usable than Symbian, and I wouldn't be surprised to see ... UI design elements reappearing in Nokia's ... Windows Phone. ... There is a vague chance that the N9 might take off ... [which] would utterly undermine the Microsoft tie-in.  

And Finally...
"Wild Guru" Larry Wentzel's Esch-R-Sketch


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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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