Nokia has confirmed that its much-anticipated Meego-powered N9 smartphone will not be sold in the United States.
"After the very positive reception to the launch of the Nokia N9, the product is now being rolled out in countries around the world," stated Nokia's reply to Engadget inquiries. "At this time we will not be making it available in the US. Nokia takes a market by market approach to product rollout, and each country makes its own decisions about which products to introduce from those available. Decisions are based on an assessment of existing and upcoming products that make up Nokia's extensive product portfolio and the best way in which to address local market opportunities."
UK-based The Inquirer is much more blunt about the likely cause, saying that "it is getting more and more likely that the Finnish phone firm won't bring the N9 to the UK but instead will keep us waiting for its first Windows Phone 7 (WP7) handset, which it leaked shortly after it announced the N9...the N9 has gained a lot of interest and in general it got everyone excited about what looks like a pretty decent smartphone. But maybe Nokia is so obsessed with making its first WP7 smartphone a success that it doesn't want the N9 getting in the way."
Additionally, Nokia has confirmed that it will stop all US sales of its feature phones, as well as all of its smartphones that utilize the company's once-leading Symbian operating system. From now on, Nokia is putting everything that it has into its partnership with Microsoft.
“When we launch Windows Phones we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc.,” said Nokia President Chris Weber during an interview with AllThingsDigital. “It will be Windows Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do.”
Once a clear worldwide leader in both devices and operating systems, Nokia's sales and market share have fallen drastically as phones featuring Google's Android platform began to rise to dominance. In this way, Nokia's fortunes mirror the Canadian Research in Motion, whose BlackBerrys initially symbolized smartphones in the United States but are now a distant third behind Android phones and Apple's ever-popular iOS devices.
Symbian's successor on Nokia smartphones, the N9's MeeGo platform, has been highly praised by reviewers and users alike. However, the deal with Microsoft seems to have essentially killed any possibility of a US presence for MeeGo-based Nokia smartphones -- although partner Intel may be getting the Linux-based MeeGo into netbooks.
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