The Nokia Blog isn’t an official site of the handset maker, so consider this news to be unofficial. However, their claim that the Nokia N97 handset hits North America on June 2nd isn’t completely in left field, for a few reasons.
The über-phone was announced last year and we’ve already seen pre-orders with expected June fulfillment dates. Add in the fact that we know Palm (s PALM) is planning to launch the Pre at some time prior to the end of June. Oh and there’s still the likelihood of an Apple (s AAPL) iPhone refresh announcement (or launch, for that matter) in mid-June. If I were launching a flagship phone that I announced last year, I know I’d want to get it out the door prior to my competitors doing the same.
The N97 offers the best of both worlds with a large, 3.5-inch touchscreen as well as a full slide-out QWERTY keypad. With support for up to 48GB of storage capacity, a 5-megapixel camera paired with Carl Zeiss optics and an emphasis on social-location features, Nokia is targeting this as a mobile computer, not a phone. But solid hardware specs alone don’t turn a device into a winner. With an expected price tag north of $600, the N97 will have to offer a positive user experience. That holds true whenever it arrives.