Nokia N9 Event A Fizzer A Lot Like The Phone Will Be

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Nokia’s much-heralded media event yesterday, which was to have featured CEO Stephen Elop beamed in from a Singapore gabfest introducing a “disruptive” new smartphone, proved to be a bit of a fizzle, though the wines and finger food at the Sydney Hilton Zeta Bar were pleasant enough.

The advertised Stephen Elop beam-in didn’t eventuate, despite a last-minute one-hour rescheduling of the event to coincide with the Singapore shenanigans. And the new phone – which most of the media, CDN included, has been guessing would be Nokia’s first to embrace Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 architecture – turned out to feature nothing of the sort.

The new N9 handset will run under an OS that appears to have little future: the Meego system which was being worked up by Nokia and Intel before former Microsoft VP Elop was appointed to Nokia and announced the dumping of other OS’s – along with a heap of employees – in favour of Windows systems.

The new N9 is certainly a natty looking smartphone, its body carved from a solid polymer block topped with Gorilla glass, and offered in a choice of black, cyan or magenta colours. It’s being billed as the first totally button-free smartphone, relying on finger swipes for navigation, and offering better multi-tasking than competitive models.

It has a 3.9-inch display, an 8-megapixel camera and near-field communication technology – which can’t at this stage be used for making purchases but is said to enable sharing of images and videos between NFC-equipped devices.

While no local telecom carrier has yet put up its hand, Nokia says the phone will launch in Australia around August, with pricing to be announced closer to the event.

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