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.