Nokia Corp. unveiled several new mobile phones in Singapore on Tuesday, including N9 smartphone which is based on the MeeGo platform.
The Finnish handset maker, once the ubiquitous name in hand phones, has lost ground and is struggling against smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone, Research In Motion’s Blackberry as well as Android at the top end and on the low end of the market to Asian rivals such as ZTE and India's Micromax.
Nokia four years ago sold more mobile phones than all the other handset-makers combined. From a 50 percent market share, Nokia phones are now only being bought by one out four cellphone users.
At a telecoms conference in Singapore, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that he has increasing confidence the company will ship its first Windows Phones this year, though significant volumes won't come until next year.
Nokia said it planned to launch up to 10 new Symbian-based smartphones over the next 12 months, restating its commitment to its own software-based phones.
There are hundreds of millions of people enjoying Symbian today, and we will continue to support our customers and operators through 2016, with new software updates, maintenance, customer care and services, Elop said.
The N9 is a candybar handset constructed from solid polymer and comes with a 3.9-inch OLED display which runs to a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels (WVGA). Unlike some preproduction MeeGo devices, the N9 lacks a physical keyboard, while the specifications are very similar to high-end Android devices.
The N9 comes too close to the expected launch of Nokia's Windows Phone device to have any impact on its current smartphone woes. The strength of rival ecosystems leaves little room for MeeGo powered devices. It's difficult to see the N9 being anything more than a niche device ... the N9 will be a tough sell, said Ben Wood, head of research at London-based mobile consultancy CCS Insight, Reuters reported.
However, some phone users said the N9 held no appeal versus its rivals.
It will be too much of a hassle to switch all of my applications to some other device, so I'd need a lot of convincing to switch to a new type of device like the N9. I'd rather take the easier life and stick with the Apple, which I am happy with, said Mark Fox, managing director of NetEvents International, Reuters reported.