Nokia Unveils New Hardware, But Few Specifics for U.S. Users

Nokia N97 mini
Nokia N97 mini

Nokia (s nok) executives are using the company’s current annual European show to plug its new Booklet 3G netbook as well as three new handsets, but the company has so far offered few details for U.S. consumers looking to get their hands on the stuff.

Executives at Nokia World in Stuttgart, Germany, unveiled specs for the Booklet 3G, a netbook running Windows 7 and boasting an impressive 12 hours of battery life. The gadget features a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor and includes HSPA and Wi-Fi connectivity, and will sport a hefty unsubsidized price tag of $810.

The company also took the wraps off the N97 Mini, a redesigned version of its flagship phone that features a smaller screen and keyboard. The $640 device — which begins shipping next month — offers substantially less storage (8 GB compared to 32 GB) than its big brother but boasts an improved user interface and new social networking features such as Lifecasting with Ovi, the result of a new partnership with Facebook. The feature allows users to publish location and status updates from the handset’s home screen — a feature Nokia claims is a first. “We’re opening up the technology, allowing more people and companies to be a part of the development of solutions,” Kai Oistamo, EVP of devices, said during a media call from Stuttgart.

Nokia also introduced two new phones set for a fourth-quarter launch. The X6, which will feature the company’s Comes With Music service, boasts 36 GB of memory and will sell for roughly $640, while the stripped-down X3 will sell for $165.

Oistamo said the Booklet 3G and the N97 Mini — both of which feature GSM support — will be available in the U.S. but declined to disclose any other specifics, including whether Nokia has secured any deals with potential carrier partners such as AT&T (s at) or T-Mobile USA that would subsidize the hardware. Such deals will be key considering the lofty price points both devices feature — because as Nokia learned earlier this year with the original N97, even the most impressive hardware won’t gain traction among U.S. users if it can’t compete on price.