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Nokia may drop N9 in favor of MeeGo tablet amid trouble

updated 07:35 am EST, Mon January 24, 2011

Nokia said making MeeGo tablet in place of N9

Nokia may have dropped the MeeGo-based N9 in favor of a larger tablet. The Finnish company has reportedly scrapped the would-be flagship, well known Nokia leaker Eldar Murtazin said, in favor of an unidentified "other phone." Whether that would be a second take on the device or a new model entirely wasn't mentioned.

Instead, Nokia may have a tablet in its place. A leaked shot has shown a 4.5-inch, touch-only tablet using the new OS. The device identified on the Mobile-review forums may just be a testbed but could be a substitute to have at least some MeeGo hardware in the works. Nokia and Intel are the core partners for the OS and have a vested interest in showing a finished product.

It may be unveiled at Mobile World Congress next month if sufficiently ready, though the more widely known N9 might have been intended for the Barcelona show. Nokia hasn't commented on any of the claims.

The strategy, if true, could compound Nokia's sagging market share. Symbian^3 phones like the N8 and C6 have so far had relatively little effect in stopping customers from moving to Android or the iPhone as they have only just added modern features like multi-touch while still being criticized for holdover complexity in the interface. The company has remained determined to stick to self-developed operating systems but has been worried enough to retake controle of Symbian and plan multiple updates to close the gap.

Nokia was one of the earliest tablet designers, having made the N700 and N800, but was conspicuously absent as the iPad and Galaxy Tab gained traction in the market.





By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Stoli89

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010

    +10

    What?

    It's amazing how quickly this tweet spread considering it came from someone who was a person of interest in a Moscow police investigation into theft of Nokia IP. Seriously, does anyone care about such a serious conflict of interest? The timing is also suspect, considering Nokia's Q4 announcement this coming JAN27. The picture is incredibly poor in quality and could just as easily be an in house development platform. As well, Nokia never stated that Meego would be limited to an N9 device and went further to state this OS would remain a highly capable foundation for diversification beyond hi-end smartphones and tablets. I'm taking this rumor with more than one grain of salt. IMHO.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +1

    Nokia is completely lost in the mobile

    New World Order. They don't know what to do and are rapidly losing market share while running around trying this and that. All Nokia is going to be left with is selling $35 dumbphones to third-world nations and losing money on every sale. Eventually, Nokia will even lose that market as $30 Android smartphones take over. Nokia really built some nice high-quality smartphones a couple of years back, but now that Android is in full force, any company that doesn't use Android doesn't stand a chance for survival. Google's free weed OS of Android is guaranteed to break every current company's mobile strategy except Apple's. Nokia is like the gashed Titanic. Full of leaks and ready to sink at a moment's notice.

  1. facebook_Mel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011

    +1

    Tablet?

    I don't understand why writers continue to call small devices with 5" or smaller screens and low resolutions, tablets. They aren't. While back in the late '80's, the Newton was a tablet, that was back then. Now, calling these things tablets is an embarrassment.

    At exactly what point does something NOT become a tablet? Is the iPod Touch a tablet? Is it a mini tablet? Can we have 2" tablets? It's getting absurd. If this 4.5" device is a tablet, then so are all the 4" and up phones, tablets. But I don't see then referred to as such, except for the Dell Streak, which Dell calls a tablet, but which is just a slightly oversized phone.

  1. createrio

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2011

    +1

    Lost opportunities

    I have purchased a Nokia N800 few years ago and at the time, it was quite a breakthrough device which I used extensively when traveling, to check my mails, call through Skype and play some music. I still have it sitting on my shelf as an Internet radio, used daily, excellent hardware.

    But it always felt as half-baked product. It was very baffling to find and install new software and everything was slightly wild and experimental. You could feel the device's potential and it was even more frustrating wondering why it wasn't fully realized.

    If Nokia would have continued developing the Nxxx series continuously, they would have been a major player in the segment by now. They are also too arrogant to adopt Android, yet not agile enough to develop their own products. Quite a sad situation for a company with such great resources.

  1. foobaz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2011

    +2

    Small bits of information

    Origin of this image is a public bug report on MeeGo bug tracker. According to the bug, the device is MFLD nCDK, Intel Medfield based MeeGo reference development device, Nokia variant. Although the device is not announced in any clearly public way, considerable amount of information about it can be extracted on public MeeGo bug reports and source repositories.

    The device runs 1.6 GHz (unannounced) Medfield-class Intel Atom SoC with unknown amount of RAM, and is equipped with the regular peripherals - capacitive touchscreen controller, acceleration sensor and gyroscopic sensor, 3D electronic compass, focusing camera and a display at resolution of 864x480 at about 255 dpi. Radio side should include NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth, but lack or existence of LTE radio modem isn't evident from the leaked information. It's categorized as "handset" and includes a SIM and calling functions, so by any means it should have at least a HSPA radio. The device appears to have a slide-out keyboard, so calling it a tablet is quite a stretch.

    First public mention found by Google is from early September with announcement of gravitometer driver patches specifically for this device. The device photo on the bug report (and this article) is from October. It's apparently a test device with display attached to development breadboard, and can't be called an usable "phone." ES51 label on the corner disturbs me since it would indicate it's an engineering sample at a time when the boards were supposed to be engineering betas, but I'm not certain of the Nokia-internal numbering, especially with non-phone test boards.

    This may or may not end up being a product that can be purchased, but not necessarily for consumer use. It has a good chance not to be very different from a future Nokia MeeGo/Atom phone since it has been given priority on MeeGo quality assurance (but although MeeGo work is public, large portion of the work going to Nokia devices coming to market, including software, obviously isn't).

    Judging what we can expect from both MeeGo roadmap and Intel Medfield projections, this device would seem unlikely to hit the market before late second quarter at best - but there's a chance to be positively surprised. It may still be so that it's not the first Nokia MeeGo handset, or that it would be never a mass market device at all.

    By the way, I'd hope that people that never even designed phones or managed large-scale product deployments would sometimes keep from giving expert opinions on strategies of handset/network equipment manufacturers. Managing product with sales of even as few as five million units gives a bit of perspective on things.

  1. foobaz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2011

    +1

    Second photo

    By the way, the second photo on the "article" is clearly Nokia N900, also from the same bug repository (maybe it was even the same bug). Nothing new there. It runs MeeGo development version which can be publicly acquired and installed by anybody.

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