Nokia ships N97 in bid to regain smartphone share - Mobile World Live

Nokia ships N97 in bid to regain smartphone share

22 OCT 2009

Nokia has announced that its new flagship device – the Nokia N97 – will go on sale this month in more than 75 countries. Marketed as a “mobile computer,” imminent launch of the much-anticipated touchscreen smartphone marks the vendor’s latest attempt to compete with high-profile rival devices such as Apple’s iPhone and Palm’s Pre and claw back market share in the smartphone space. Reportedly priced at around EUR550 (US$780) before subsidies, the N97 has 32GB of storage, a Qwerty keyboard, boasts DVD-quality video capture and houses pre-installed widgets for uploading content to Facebook and other social networking sites. It is also the first phone with a built-in link to Nokia’s Ovi Store, the company’s push (launched last week) to build a third-party software warehouse to compete with Apple’s App Store. Tier one operators such as Telefonica, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, Telecom Italia and SingTel will carry the device. The N97 will reportedly be available in the UK from 19 June.

“The [Nokia] N-Series badly needs to revive its lost shine and this device will retake the lead at least in hardware terms with the highest density memory available,” Alexander Peterc, analyst with Exane BNP Paribas, told Bloomberg. According to Gartner, Nokia’s first-quarter market share of the smartphone space fell 3.9 percent year-on-year to 41.2 percent, as RIM and Apple upped the ante. However, Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi believes the N97 might not be enough to see the world’s largest device manufacturer take back smartphone market share. Milanesi told Bloomberg that Nokia will need “something maybe a bit less expensive, almost a step between the 5800 and the N97, and definitely a much better touch user interface than they’ve implemented.”

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