Making its move
It may seem counter-intuitive to view the world's leading smartphone maker as struggling in that sector, but that's exactly how things are looking for Nokia as handset makers like Samsung, and even Acer, consistently beat it to the punch in embracing new technologies.
For that reason, the delayed launch of the Nokia N900 - its new high-end smartphone offering, which Nokia is trying to position as a tiny PC - is especially significant for the Finnish handset giant.
Hardware-wise, it's pretty up to date. It runs on a Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 SoC, which contains both ARM's Cortex A8 processor core (600MHz in this case) and Imagination Technologies' PowerVR SGX 530 graphics core. This should mean sufficient grunt to get most things done pretty quickly on its 3.5 inch resistive touchscreen.
This is also the first device we've seen with ARM branding on it. When you slide open the QWERTY keyboard and look underneath the screen, you can clearly see ‘ARM Cortex A8' written. We haven't quite got to the ‘ARM inside' stage, but surely it's just a matter of time...
Perhaps the most significant development in the N900, however, is the operating system. It's called Maemo and is Nokia's Linux-based offering to take on the likes of Google's Android. Nokia is positioning Maemo as its OS of the future, despite Symbian - which it owns - currently being the most widely used smartphone OS.
Nokia's in-house ‘blog' - Nokia Conversations - announced the N900 was shipping this morning. It reckons the handset will cost around €500 SIM-free and should be available on most networks bar, initially, 3.
Here are a piccie and a video Nokia Conversations made about the N900.
UPDATE - 12:15, 10 November 2009: You can buy the N900 direct from Nokia in the UK for £499 here.