If you were under the impression that the MeeGo-powered N9 was staying out of North America to reduce confusion as to Nokia’s future with Windows Phone 7, this might be a bit confusing.
Rumors, pictures and even videos of the Nokia ‘SeaRay’ were circulated less than 24 hours after the N9 was announced. Nokia was adamant and strong in their stance of sticking with Windows Phone 7. It seems many media outlets are too simple to understand that Nokia is a global company. Nevertheless, the N9 will not ship to North America through carriers. Nokia wants to provide a clear and concise offering to customers. Windows Phone 7 is new, it’s fresh and it’s different…except that last bit.
PocketNow has published press shots of a Nokia WP7 phone. The Nokia 800, likely to be unveiled at Nokia World in a few weeks, looks exactly like the aforementioned N9. See the trio of devices above? That is a render of the N9 in Cyan, Black and Blue. What is immediately below? Why that’s the 800…in Cyan and Black. Confused yet?
You’ll notice almost no difference unless you look at the render of the Blue 800. Keep staring, it will come to you eventually.
The inclusion of a camera shutter button is the only immediate thing that separates the N9 from the 800, unless you count the software that actually makes this thing useful. The 800 runs Windows Phone 7 Mango, while the N9 runs MeeGo-Harmattan. Very different software, polar opposites. Very similar hardware, almost the exact same thing. To think, the only reason Nokia has decided to let the N9 fall by the wayside was to not confuse customers? The numbers clearly make sense. N9 – MeeGo = N800 + Mango.
The only thing worse that could happen, is finding out there is some truth to an N9 clone running Android Gingerbread. Actually, scrap that, iOS5 on an N9 would really seal the deal.
It would seem that Nokia is having a hard time keeping things under wraps when it comes to their recently leaked Windows Phone 7 device, the ‘Sea Ray’. First unveiled by CEO, Stephen Elop in a “super confidential” showing, the Sea Ray carries the same design cues at the Nokia N9, save for a few external changes such as camera component arrangement as well as the addition of camera key.
In what appears to be an assembly factory, the ‘Sea Ray’ is removed from a bulky disguise case, taken for a quick hardware tour and is turned on. A new “7” boot animation as well as many other subtle UI changes indicate the device is running the ‘Mango’ build of Windows Phone 7. The usual front facing capacitive buttons, Back, Home and Search are present along with a covered microUSB port on the top, a domed power button and 3.5mm headphone jack. Presumably the third side button below the volume keys is for locking and unlocking the device.
Although this won’t be the first device to have Mango on it, the Sea Ray is rumored to be Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 device to launch and is said to be available in the coming 2012 year. A step off of the proverbial ‘burning platform‘ and into cold waters. A ray of light in a cold and dark sea. Hopefully it can keep the company afloat.
When Stephen Elop demonstrated the Nokia N9, I was excited. That hardware powered by Windows Phone 7 would’ve been a great product, lo and behold, in a staged/controlled/uncontrolled/accidental leak we now have a modified Nokia N9 running Windows Phone 7 as a product.
The N9 has been modified by adding a dedicated camera button on the side and the positioning of the flash. Nokia N9 has a front camera and supports NFC. Both these features are part of Android and the iPhone but missing from Windows Phone 7 devices. Stephen Elop has been talking about a special relationship between Microsoft & Nokia with Nokia being able to offer differentiating options. Elop was clear that Nokia’s first WP7 devices will be running Mango.
The video doing rounds doesn’t show the full device and there is significant space next to the front camera for the 3 WP7 buttons. NFC based devices from Nokia could be a compelling feature in Nokia’s handsets.
A front camera and NFC support along with all that Mango is already known to add, Microsoft won’t be playing catch-up any more.