Nokia ships the N9, its first and last Meego phone

The phone will cost €480 with 16GB of storage, and will go on sale in China and Russia, but not the U.K. or the U.S.

Nokia has started shipping the N9, its first and last smartphone based on the MeeGo operating system, the company said on Tuesday.

MeeGo is one of the operating systems Nokia decided to forsake in February when it announced plans to use Microsoft's Windows Phone as its primary operating system for smartphones. The other operating system Nokia nixed was Symbian.

Four months after announcing the Windows Phone move, Nokia announced the N9. It has no physical buttons and instead relies on the 3.9-inch AMOLED touch screen for navigation.

The N9 user interface has three home views -- applications, events and live applications. Users will be able to dowload applications from Nokia Store, which used to be called Ovi Store, the company said.

The phone can access the Internet using HSDPA (High-Speed Download Packet Access) at 14.4M bps (bits per second) or Wi-Fi. Other features include A-GPS, an 8-megapixel camera that can shoot video at 720p, and an HTML5-compatible browser, according to Nokia.

The N9 weighs 135 grams and is 12.1 millimeters thick.

The estimated retail price is €480 (US$650) for the version with 16GB of storage and €560 for the model that can store 64GB. The prices are before applicable taxes or any possible subsidies.

Even though Nokia has chosen Windows Phone over MeeGo for its future phones, the company won't abandon users who decide to buy the N9, the company said. It will provide support for the Nokia N9 until at least 2015, including software updates, care and services support, a spokesman said via email.

On a Nokia website, consumers in about 20 countries -- including China, Russia and Portugal, but not France, Germany, the U.K. or the U.S -- can choose to be notified when the phone becomes available.

In Sweden, operator Three hopes to receive the first units on Oct. 6, a spokesman said.

Nokia is expected to launch its first Windows Phone at the Nokia World conference on Oct. 26, and the start shipping it before the end of the year.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Tags consumer electronicssmartphonesMobile OSesNokiamobile

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Mikael Ricknäs

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