Nokia N8 showcased at Nokia World, but Meego is absent
Nokia unveils four new Symbian smartphones at its London summit, but there’s no news on Meego, the operating system that’s crucial for the manufacturer’s reputation
Troubled mobile phone manufacturer Nokia today disappointed analysts and critics by failing to make any announcements about its forthcoming Meego operating system at Nokia World, its global conference.
Unveiling a host of new smartphones based on Symbian 3, the company said only that Meego, the operating system that it hopes will allow it to challenge Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android handsets, will be revealed in more detail by the end of the year.
Former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop was appointed last week as the company’s new chief executive, but he will not take up his position until next week. Unveiling four new handsets, outgoing vice-president of mobile Anssi Vanjoki claimed that the top of the range N8 would be “an entertainment powerhouse”, although analysts said that even Nokia itself would not claim the device was industry changing. “I don’t think Nokia would position the N8 as a revolutionary device,” said Ovum’s Tony Cripps.
Nokia remains the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, and the company was keen to point out that there are more Nokia smartphones globally than Apple and Google devices combined. It pledged to expand smartphone use into new and developing markets.
The N8 is aimed at relatively affluent consumers, however, and features Dolby surround sound and an HDMI port – features that will soon be available on a number of handsets from rival manufacturers.
Nokia, however, said that the response from customers for the N8 has already been stronger than they ever seen for a previous device.
The company also announced the C6 and C7 phones, designed for social networking, as well as the E7, which it claims is the successor to 1996’s breakthrough “Nokia Communicator” device, which was by some definitions “the first smartphone”. The business-focused E7 allows the editing of Microsoft documents and presentations, and features a full slide-out keyboard.
Nokia World will this year feature an expanded range of events for developers; the company claims 2 million developers work on apps for Nokia. It also announced enhanced walking directions for its Ovi Maps product.