Nokia Unveils First MeeGo Phone

The N9, a touchscreen handset running on the MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan operating system, will be launched later this year, according to Nokia, which declined to disclose the specific date or price. The device is also fitted with the latest wireless technology, Near Field Communication, which allows users to share images and videos by touching compatible devices.

“Today is summer solstice. In many cultures, including in Finland, the solstice is celebrated as the start of something new, and today is the start of something new for Nokia,” said CEO Stephen Elop, at the Nokia Connection 2011 event in Singapore.

MeeGo, a Linux-based software platform, is designed to work across a range of terminals, including computers, tablets and connected TVs. The US chip giant Intel Corp has been working with Nokia since February 2010, to create the MeeGo OS.

However, the Finnish phone giant disappointed Intel by delaying the release of the first MeeGo-based device for around half a year and announcing a strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp in February.

Elop did not answer directly whether the N9 will also be the last Nokia handset to adopt the MeeGo platform, but said a variety of innovations in the handset, including industrial design, the user interface and its focus on Qt framework, will evolve in the company’s future products.

“Our primary smartphone platform strategy is the focus on Windows phone. I have increasing confidence that we will launch the first device based on the Windows phone platform later this year,” Elop said.

He revealed that some of the first batch of Nokia’s Windows phones have been produced and those who have viewed the early work are “very optimistic about the device that Nokia will bring to market”.

Nokia also restated its commitment to the Symbian OS. The company plans to bring up to 10 new Symbian-based smartphones to market over the next 12 months.

Elop said since hundreds of millions of people around world use Symbian, Nokia will continue to support the operating system through 2016, with new software updates, maintenance, customer care and services.

Nokia will start shipping its N8, E7, C7 and C6-01 models with the new Symbian Anna software update.

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