Nokia N9--With Meego--Is Now Shipping

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting a Nokia N9 running Meego, today’s news that the phone is now shipping offers a mixed bag. On the one hand, the phone will be available in many areas. On the other hand, once the N9 outlives its usefulness (which will no doubt happen quickly in the fickle and rapidly-changing mobile market), Meego fans will probably be out of luck. Nokia is ditching Meego and Symbian in favor of Windows Phone 7, so the N9 is the first and last handset the company will produce that runs Meego.

Its possible that Meego will live on elsewhere on different hardware and/or for different purposes, but the future isn’t clear. But that’s the future; now is the present, the N9 is shipping, and the details are copious.

The N9 has nary a button, instead relying on a slick swiping system to get users back to the home area. The 3.9-inch AMOLED screen itself is curved and scratch resistant.

The home view is actually three separate home views: Applications, Events, and Live Applications. The Applications area includes all your apps in one place, plus a link to the Ovi store, whereas the Live Applications area shows what apps you currently have open and which you recently used. The Events area features a live feed of all your social networks.

Other features of the hardware include an 8MP Carl Zeiss camera (that shoots both stills and video) with autofocus and a wide-angle lens. N9s are available in black, cyan, or magenta and come in 16GB or 64GB versions.

NFC technology plays a prominent role on the N9. By bumping another N9, users can share photos, videos, and contacts, and they can also participate together in multiplayer games and easily pair with NFC-enabled accessories.

The Nokia N9 also features mobile Internet radio as part of the Nokia Music offering; free turn-by-turn navigation; a mobile Web browser; a number of conveniently preloaded apps; and basics such as a calendar, email capabilities, and a search function.

Pricing for the N9 will vary somewhat between regional operators, taxes, and subsidies, but you can expect the 16GB version to cost about EUR 480, while the 64GB version will be about EUR 560.

Lest Meego fans in the U.S. get too excited, however, there’s some bad news for you: the N9 probably isn’t coming to the U.S., or at least not any time in the foreseeable future. The press release isn’t clear exactly which markets are getting the N9, and Engadget reported several weeks ago that Nokia wasn’t planning on making the N9 available in the U.S. Further indication resides on the European Nokia website, where there’s a page where you can select your country and submit your email address to be notified when the N9 is available to you. Conspicuously absent from the list is the United States.

So it goes.
Tags:  Nokia, meego, N9