updated 12:25 pm EDT, Thu October 7, 2010
Intel dashes Nokia hopes by putting MeeGo in 2011
Intel set back Nokia's competitiveness in mobile on Thursday with an update that MeeGo won't reach a shipping phone until 2011. Software VP Doug Fisher claimed to Forbes that the mobile OS was on track but noted that MeeGo would only get real phone call and touchscreen support with 1.1, a pre-release update due later this month. Most of the devices shipping in 2010 will be non-touch devices like netbooks and in-car computers with the exception of the German-made WeTab slate, which suffered a hit after the company's chief was caught faking reviews.
The semiconductor firm characterized it as part of a measured pace but may have hurt its main phone partner, Nokia. It has been actively pushing its upcoming N9 flagship and may already have the hardware finished, but it will now have to wait months to ship what has largely been considered a savior for the smartphone designer. Nokia has been continually losing share as its dependence on the aging Symbian platform has left customers shifting to the iPhone since 2007 and Android since 2008.
The company is counting on the shipping N8 and upcoming C6, C7 and E7, but these use Symbian^3 and have relatively modest additions such as overdue multi-touch support and a newer home screen model, features that have been present on Apple and Google platforms since their beginnings. MeeGo on Nokia phones should have a simpler, more intuitive interface but should also have more advanced multitasking and other features that were previously left to specialized phones like the Maemo-running N900.