MeeGo-powered Nokia N9 begins shipping

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Sep 282011

Nokia N9Nokia has begun shipping the Nokia N9, its first and very likely only smartphone powered by MeeGo.

“Since we announced the Nokia N9 in June this year, the feedback that it has gotten from discerning and avid smartphone users across the world has been nothing short of fantastic,” said Ilari Nurmi, Vice President of Marketing, Nokia. “With the innovations in industrial design, user interface, and the Qt developer experience, the Nokia N9 sets the bar for how natural technology can feel, and represents the first in a number of products from Nokia that will be brought to life in similar fashion.”

Two models will be offered: One with 16GB of internal storage for €480 and a second with 64GB of storage for €560. It will also be available in three colours, black, cyan and magenta.

Availability will vary from region to region and operator to operator. Nokia has already confirmed that the Nokia N9 will not be coming to North American shores.

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Samsung dispels MeeGo purchase rumours

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Sep 092011

SamsungLast week, Samsung dispelled rumours that it was going to buy webOS. Today, it dispelled rumours that it was looking to take MeeGo out of Intel’s hands. As it points out, it could not buy MeeGo even if it wanted to. “Meego is an open source project which can not be a target of acquisition,” Samsung representative James Chung told CNET today.

Rumours that Samsung was looking to acquire a mobile operating system picked up steam after Google’s announcement that it would acquire Motorola for US$12.5 billion. The move potentially pits Samsung and other manufacturers directly against Google in the Android device market.

Intel, facing little interest in the MeeGo platform, recently indicated that it remained committed to the platform despite rumours that it would reduce or halt development completely.

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Sep 052011

MeeGoWhen Nokia turned its back on MeeGo after the release of the Nokia N9, Intel stepped up promising to continue development of the mobile operating system for other potential hardware manufacturers. But there has been little interest, prompting rumours that Intel would halt development to focus instead on Android and Windows Phone 7. Without commenting on the rumours themselves, Intel said that it remained committed to MeeGo and would continue to “work with the community to develop and help meet the needs of customers and end users with open source.”

A new rumour now suggests that Samsung might take control of MeeGo. Citing three sources, the German-language Netbook News reports that Samsung will take over the future development from Intel but provided few additional details.

Samsung already supports three mobile operating systems: Android, Windows Phone, and its own internally developed Bada. As with its rumoured (and quickly dispelled) interest in HP’s webOS, it’s not clear what it would gain from taking control of MeeGo, a platform that has little market share. One possibility is that there are elements of MeeGo that it wants for its own Bada operating system.

Read more about this story (in German) [Google translation]

Nokia to exit Symbian and feature phone markets in North America

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Aug 092011

NokiaIn an interview with AllThingsD, Chris Weber, President of Nokia Inc. (US) Head of Markets, North America, revealed that Nokia will soon stop selling both feature phones and Symbian-based smartphones in the United States and Canada. Instead, the company will focus all of its efforts on its Windows Phone devices. Weber said:

“When we launch Windows Phones we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc. It will be Windows Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do (elsewhere).”

Weber also confirmed that the Nokia N9, Nokia’s only MeeGo smartphone, will not launch in the US.

Nokia is planning its biggest marketing push for Windows Phone devices. “Without getting into numbers, it is significantly larger than anything we have done in the past and the most we will invest in any market worldwide,” Weber said.

Other changes are in store for Nokia’s operations in the US (and presumably Canada as well). It will stop selling devices directly to consumers and will focus instead on sales through wireless carriers.

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Nokia CEO confirms no more MeeGo devices coming

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Jun 252011


Nokia earlier this week announced its first MeeGo-powered smartphone, the Nokia N9. Just don’t expect any other MeeGo devices even if the N9 is a runaway success. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop once again reaffirmed that the company is focused on Windows Phone now rather than on MeeGo and Symbian. In an interview with the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Elop said, “I have taken part in the conversations with the teleoperators and I have been part of the consumer test groups. The feedback has been extremely positive and I am sure that the Windows Phone system will be a great success.”

Elop spoke highly of the Nokia N9 and touted its “breakthroughs related to its usability, design, and materials” but ruled out other MeeGo devices. He credited Nokia’s Qt cross-platform development environment for many of these breakthroughs rather than directly to MeeGo. But Nokia will not use Qt for its Windows Phone development but Microsoft’s own tools.

With Nokia already having turned its back on MeeGo and therefore on the N9, there is no chance that the Nokia N9 will ever become a hit for the company.

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Polar Mobile to develop 80 applications for MeeGo tablets

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Jun 222011

Polar Mobile

Polar Mobile yesterday announced that a deal with Intel that will see it launch over 80 applications for MeeGo-based tablets in 2011. Intel, which developed MeeGo with Nokia before the latter decided to instead focus on Windows Phone, wants to ensure that there is a good selection of apps available to support MeeGo tablets about to hit the market later this year.

“Intel is excited about the fantastic line up of great content that working with Polar Mobile’s platform brings to Intel AppUp center. Their track-record in launching high-quality apps for top-tier media companies globally and ability to scale quickly is phenomenal,” said Scott Apeland, Director, Consumer Services Division, Intel. “We look forward to working with Polar Mobile to provide our consumers with these compelling apps.”

Polar Mobile has struck similar deals with Microsoft and RIM in the past. It agreed to build some 500 Windows Phone 7 apps and about 150 for RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

There has been little news to date on MeeGo tablets. Nokia yesterday launched the Nokia N9, its first MeeGo smartphone, but is not believed to have plans for a MeeGo tablet. Some rumours have suggested that LG and ZTE might develop such tablets but there have been no official announcements yet.

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Nokia announces MeeGo-powered Nokia N9

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Jun 212011

Nokia N9

Nokia today unveiled the Nokia N9, its first smartphone to be powered by MeeGo.

“With the Nokia N9, we wanted to design a better way to use a phone. To do this we innovated in the design of the hardware and software together. We reinvented the home key with a simple gesture: a swipe from the edge of the screen. The experience sets a new bar for how natural technology can feel,” said Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia’s head of Design. “And this is just the beginning. The details that make the Nokia N9 unique – the industrial design, the all-screen user experience, and the expressive Qt framework for developers – will evolve in future Nokia products.”

Nokia N9 specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz OMAP3630 with PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Operating system: MeeGo 1.2
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM and penta-band WCDMA
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1
  • Display: 3.9-inch AMOLED (854×480)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB or 64GB onboard, microSIM cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with HD video capture
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Dimensions / weight: 116.45 x 61.2 x 12.1 millimeters (at its thickest) / 135 grams
  • Other: NFC support, Dolby Digital Plus

Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft and decision to essentially abandon MeeGo will likely relegate the Nokia N9 to the history books.

The Nokia N9 will be available “later this year” with availability and pricing to be announced closer to the launch.

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