Nokia has been struggling somewhat in the upper tier of the mobile phone market. The company has  40% market share of phone sales but its market share and indeed mind share has reduced in the smartphone sector. The arrival of the iPhone is major factor.

Smartphones form approximately 12 % of mobile phone sales but this number is slowly increasing. Nokia has over the last 3 years lost the wow factor with its new flagships. Summer 2009 saw the release of the much vaunted Nokia N97, a device that was good but did not live up to its expectations. Ansii Vanjoki, Executive Vice President of Nokia was frank about the N97’s failings in set of interviews to All About Symbian.

Nokia in the past year has focused on improving and streamlining its services sector. It has launched the Ovi store which is a services portal which provides email services, applications and navigation solutions. It is a business model analogous to the Apple App Store and Google services. One major announcement was the introduction of free turn by turn navigation via Nokia’s Ovi maps earlier this year. This, in my opinion has enhanced the value proposition of owning a Nokia handset. Ovi maps is available world wide as opposed to Google’s Navigation application. Nokia has a clear advantage here.

Amidst all the changes that has been taking place within the company, Nokia has taken awhile to introduce their next flagship running the latest version of the Symbian Operating System(OS) , Symbianˆ3. They finally did that on the 27th of April 2010 with the Nokia N8.

The Nokia N8 is the first smartphone running on the Symbianˆ3 OS with a tablet form factor similar to the iPhone, Google Nexus One and various other devices out there. Nokia had provided a preview of the N8 to various tech journalists in June. The general consensus was that whilst the software will need further optimization, the device itself shows great promise.

Here are a few of the  technical specifications of the Nokia N8

  • An all aluminium shell.
  • A 3.5inch capacitative touch screen.
  • A 12 megapixel camera with the ability to record high definition video at 720p.
  • HDMI port which streams high definition video and Dolby Digital audio output.
  • A wide array of radios which includes Wifi b/g/n, High Speed Data, FM transmitter and FM radio.
  • 16 gigabytes(GB) of internal memory with a secure digital (SD) expansion slot which supports up to 32 GB of memory.

My only concern with the device at this point in time is its rather low capacity , non user removable battery. As to whether this will provide ample battery life for the N8 is something that remains to be seen.

Nokia is taking its time with the N8’s release to optimize the software to ensure a relatively bug free system upon release. This is certainly a good thing and is an encouraging sign of a company paying serious attention to their flagship device.

I certainly look forward to seeing it in the flesh.