Nokia Readies Smartphone With HDD

By Staff On May 23 2005 - 6:00am

Nokia plans to bring its first two two-megapixel cameraphone and first hard-disk-drive-equipped (HDD) phone to the U.S. market after a European launch.

The phones launch the company's new N series of GSM/W-CDMA phones, operating initially in the GSM 900/1,800/1,900 bands and the W-CDMA 2,100MHz band.

Whether the phones will make it to the United States in their current form, however, is still up in the air, a spokesman said. "There is a good possibility that one or more of these devices in their current form will make it to the U.S. market, and that in the future, similar N-series devices with the 850/1,800/1,900 bands will be announced, but no such announcement has been made to date."

The N90 and N70 will be the company's first 2-megapixel camera phones, and the N91 will be the company's first HDD phone. All are aimed at a high-end market that wants to combine photography, video, music and enterprise productivity into one device. They're based on Nokia's Series 60 smartphone platform.

The N90 is expected to go on sale for about $900 in the second quarter, first in Europe and then in the United States in July or August. The N91 and N70 at about $900 and $650 respectively, will go on sale in Europe in the third or fourth quarter, with their U.S. debuts possibly delayed until 2006.

The N90 features a 2-megapixel camera for still and video photography and high-quality lenses from German manufacturer, Carl Zeiss. It has a multiple hinge, "twist-and-shoot" form.

The N91 aims at the mobile music market, featuring a 4GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB 2.0.

The N70 will be the smallest Series 60 phone and includes a 2-megapixel camera, push e-mail, HTML browser, music player and FM radio.

Nokia expects its smartphone sales to double in 2005 to 25 million devices, Nokia's CEO Jorma Ollila said. He also said Nokia expects to sell 40 million devices this year with MP3 players built into them, making Nokia the largest mobile music device manufacturer.

Ollila said he refers to devices such as the N Series phones as mobile devices, while others in the company call them "multimedia computers." Earlier this year, Nokia announced it had licensed Microsoft's music player software to put on its phones. Nokia also partnered with another Seattle company, Loudeye, which has a large catalog of digital music and a platform for downloading music over cellular networks.

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