7 Comments

Summary:

Nokia has extended support for the Ovi Store to the N900, its impressive — but pricey — Maemo-baed flagship device. Could that help score a much-needed subsidy deal with T-Mobile USA?

Nokia  yesterday extended support for its Ovi Store to its N900 via a firmware update, enabling users of the Maemo-based gadget to browse the shelves and download applications. It’s a move that may finally help the manufacturer score the carrier deal it needs to gain traction with its flagship device in the U.S.

The N900, which is Nokia’s first device to run the Linux-based Maemo 5 operating system, debuted late last year to positive reviews (which Om took as a sign that the Finns were beginning to get things right). Nokia has staked its future to Maemo — at least on high-end devices — in an effort to better compete with Apple’s iPhone, RIM’s BlackBerry and the Android OS. But while the N900 is supported by T-Mobile USA’s 3G network, the carrier doesn’t subsidize the gadget, leaving it with a price tag of $550-$700 — far out of the range of most consumers.

As Kevin noted over at jkOnTheRun, the store is a substantial improvement over the handset’s embedded Application Manager, which requires users to add software repositories in order to download new apps — a time-consuming process that many mainstream users don’t know how to do. While the selection of Maemo apps in the Ovi Store is still pretty thin, that is sure to change as Nokia expands its portfolio of Maemo-based devices later this year and beyond.

Nokia’s carrier relationships have never been its strong suit, but support for the Ovi Store may just be enough to entice T-Mobile to pony up some cash to defray the cost of the N900 and give it more mass-market appeal. And that would go a long way toward helping Nokia get back in the game in the U.S.

In-post image courtesy Flickr user SpeednutDave.

  1. “Nokia has extended support for the Ovi Store to the N900, its impressive — but pricey — Maemo-baed flagship device.”

    The teaser is misleading. How is the phone pricey compared to other unsubsidized models? It’s not.

    Share
  2. The question that drills in my mind is; why is the whole market lagging behind Apple and its iPhone, where is true innovation…

    The n900 is powerful, probably one of the best for web browsing, but that’s it, what about making the screen just a little bigger, and why are we back to bulky devices again???

    Nokia could have spent less on advertising and more on making a device that is ground braking, shipped with amazing applications and some free music, 50$ worth of music, and that would have got them somewhere…

    I guess the iPhone will remain ahead, if for nothing but the shear ability of Steve Jobs to see the obvious; users want a device that is simple to use, light, stylish, fun, cool, and gives real value, be it apps, music, games…etc

    Share
    1. as nokia has said on many occasions idiot this is not a mainstream phone and is not built for the consumer and its not to compete with the iphone. it is built for geeks who want to hack their phone and play around with it.also the phone is so bulky because it’s jam packed with excellent hardware

      Share
    2. What advertising?

      Share
    3. Apple innovative? Are you blind. You could have said that about the original iPhone for the first 6 months it was out, maybe. More so, if Apple is so innovative and takes notice of the what the consumer wants, why did it take so long to add mms functionality. Maybe it is because, just like with regards to security holes, Apple fails at innovation and down right fixing the obvious.

      Share
  3. n900, like the n770 and n800 will be relegated to the dusty shelves of history. we all know it’s true…

    Share
    1. Not those of us still finding uses for our 770s, N800s (and N810s).

      Share

Comments have been disabled for this post