updated 08:05 am EDT, Tue August 26, 2008
Nokia Brings N96 to US
Nokia today tried its hand again at competing in the US smartphone market with the announcement of a North American edition of the N96. The black slider phone carries the same 16GB of built-in storage, five-megapixel camera, true GPS and Wi-Fi as the version just reaching Europe but makes a few key changes to adapt to the Western market. The update brings full 850MHz band HSDPA to support 3G on AT&T and Rogers but in return loses the ability to tune mobile digital TV, with no DVB-H broadcasts available on the continent.
The N96 will continue to be sold as an unlocked device that can optionally be used with T-Mobile USA or international carriers, and as a result comes only with preloaded Nokia software, which includes a three-month trial for Nokia Maps as well as a racing game from the N-Gage catalog. An absence of the carrier discounts that come from locked versions will push the price up to a full $895 when the N96 ships in the fall; it's unknown whether Rogers will offer a subsidized version to replace or complement the N95 8GB.