Nokia N900

Should Nokia Abandon Symbian S60 for Maemo Linux?

Should Nokia Abandon Symbian S60 for Maemo Linux?

Nokia has a problem: it is both the largest handset vendor in the world, by a significant margin, and the largest smartphone vendor in the world – again, by a significant margin. Yet it has never managed to crack the U.S. smartphone market, and it has begun losing market share even in its European strongholds, primarily to Apple, though RIM, Samsung, and HTC are also threats. Nokia admits that it was caught sleeping while Apple first redefined the mobile user experience with the iPhone, and then again when Apple reenergized app development with the App Store. Nokia’s initial response has been lackluster: adapting its existing Symbian S60 OS to support touch, applying that to a few phones (the 5800 and the N97), and stumbling in its initial launch of the Ovi Store.

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Nokia N900 ships today; Maemo enhancements get video demo

Nokia N900 ships today; Maemo enhancements get video demo

SlashGear is at Nokia's The Way We Live Next 3.0 conference in Helsinki, Finland this week, and the company has just confirmed that the much-anticipated Nokia N900 Maemo smartphone will be shipping today.  We've been told that the handset - which has a 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard - went out from Nokia's production facilities over the weekend, with shipments of the handset beginning in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and North America.

Video demo of N900 Maemo 5 enhancements after the cut

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Nokia N900 video unboxing

Nokia N900 video unboxing

The Nokia N900 was the stand-out device from Nokia World back in September, and we've been tracking the Maemo 5 smartphone ever since.  Imagine our surprise, then, when a pre-release N900 dropped onto the SlashGear test bench today; the hardware is final, so the 5-megapixel autofocus Carl Zeiss camera is onboard, together with HSPA, WiFi b/g, a 3.5-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and you can check out our video unboxing and gallery after the cut.

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