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Nokia Unveils N9 Phone Using MeeGo, Where is WP7?

Nokia, who formed a partnership with Microsoft earlier this year, has unveiled the all-screen N9 smartphone, powered by the the company’s troubled partnership with Intel and the open source Meego operating system. But the bigger question is, why Meego and not Windows Phone 7?

Nokia unveiled the N9 smartphone and plans on launching up to 10 new Symbian based smartphone over the next 12 months. The N9, a very slim (12.1 mm in the middle which is a tad thicker than the iPhone 4) phone with an eight megapixel autofocus camera and slightly curved Gorilla glass touchscreen, is expected to go on sale later this year.

But what about the partnership with Microsoft? I thought we were going to see Windows Phone powered Nokia handsets? “Our primary smartphone strategy is to focus on the Windows phone. I have increased confidence that we will launch our first device based on the Windows platform later this year and we will ship our product in volume in 2012,” Nokia CEO Steven Elop stated.

Analysts are criticizing Nokia for releasing a Meego powered smartphone. “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 head of research at CCS Insight, Ben Wood.

Nokia developed MeeGo with Intel last year but pulled back four months later and recently decided to turn to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform as its main smartphone operating system. Nokia continues to face steep competition from rivals in several categories. In the smartphone arena, Nokia is facing Apple, RIM, and Google while phone makers are dropping prices resulting in more purchases of such phones.

Check out the Nokia N9 spec sheet here.

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