How many N900 units has Nokia sold?

Well, there’s some confusion about how many Nokia N900 units the world’s largest handset maker has sold, as a report from Gartner indicated the company’s flagship device has only sold 100,000 units in the first five months.

If true, this could be a disaster for Nokia as it tries to battle Apple, Research In Motion and a variety of Android handsets for the hearts, minds and dollars of high-end users. The N900 certainly has the features to compete against these smartphones as it rocks an ARM Cortex-A8 processor at 600 MHz (or at 1 GHz if you’re adventurous), a 3.5-inch touchscreen, a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, the Maemo operating system, a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeis optics, 32 GB of built-in storage and all the connectivity you’d expect.

The good folks at Engadget have their debunking shovels out though, as they heard that Nokia sold 100,000 units in the first five weeks worldwide. While it’s not quite the staggering numbers that the iPhone racks up routinely, it’s a much different story than the Gartner report and it indicates the handset is having healthy sales. What does Nokia say about the confusion?

“Sales have substantially exceeded expectations,” Alberto Torres, head of Nokia’s solutions business, said.

The sales figures of the device itself may not matter much in the long run, as the overall goal of Nokia is to get more developers using and creating programs for the handset’s operating system. Nokia and Intel have merged the Maemo and Moblin to create the MeeGo platform (awful name, I know) and it could eventually power all of the handset giant’s top-shelf products in the future.

Nokia’s platform strategy is still kind of muddled though, as we’re already seeing smartphones hit with Symbian^3 and Symbian^4 should be coming by next year. If the company were bold, it would pull a page out of Microsoft’s mobile strategy and scrap Symbian quickly to just focus on MeeGo, at least for the high-end devices. I’m pretty sure that won’t be happening for a long time, though.

[Via Reuters, Engadget]

  • Ajit

    Scram Symbian? Are you mad…??? I mean seriously… Years of work and research has gone into the Symbian OS. What we have today is a result of a glorious past that is invested in Symbian.

    The OS is one of the oldest and most reliable. It has incorporated all the best security and robust measures through the ages. It has got stuff that still many OS'es today are struggling to do – multitasking for example which has been in its hood since long which popular phones are struggling to do.

    It might not be eye-candy, but for me its the reliability that matters. Whats under the hood is the most important. Whats external will fade soon…

    That is why OS'es like symbian and RIM's blackberry OS are being trusted even today.

    • Jonas Lihnell

      Actually, I think that symbian have had a lot of bad design decisions when it comes to the UI and has always been hard to work with. From the stability perspective I agree with you though, and that is probably whi nokia is still shipping symbian devices.

      As a n900 owner and tinkerer I've found though that there are a multitude of things which symbian failed with that the n900 shipped with by default which made it a more pleasant experience than my previus nokia n85, sony ericsson p910i and p800.

      Also, it's always been a struggle to get the symbians to do the stuff I want and if I compare the communities around the platform the strengths of the open linux for the n900 comes out as a clear winner. Not only does it have, easily accessible at no cost, all the basic applications like IM and mail, it also features a large amount of games, puzzles, art applications and even music creation apps.

      I assume that while the MeeGo merge delayed the end of symbian it is still only a matter of time before nokia will settle on an open platform where the community behind it is a driving force towards making it great, far beyond the sales and support period of the devices themselves.

      • Ajit

        Whilst I agree with you from a power user's perspective, but I must say that Symbian delivers a similar experience from a cheaper/ lower cost hardware which is why people today get a smartphone experience from a cheaper phone which only Symbian can perform.

        Practically, Symbian is tailor made for a mobile phone with these important factors considered while being designed:-

        > Low memory consumption
        > Resource management without rebooting the OS.
        > Telephony app given the highest priority(which is why, even if a phone is hung you can still answer a call)

        The design philosophies and structure is just amazing at just how the designers went on to design this OS. I did a very minor project on Symbian(the old S60) and understanding its true pottential is an amazement.

        I would never want such an OS to be scrapped which is so mature- thats my point.

        With so much of stuff in the OS, I'd recommend a very quick comeback by Symbian to upgrade the OS – Which is why people have a high expectation on Symbian^3 & 4. The core functionality is there and its a generation ahead – its only the UI thats lagging behind.

  • Ajit

    Another point – IphoneOS, Android, Maemo/Meego all run on top of Linux or in some flavour of Linux.

    Symbian is a pure C++ based OS right from scratch hence its resource utilization is more effective and it does not need to depend on an underlying OS. Its kinda designed in a mobile perspective…

    I agree that N900 is a clear winner(as of now) and there is a good future for Meego at this point but I cannot rule out Symbian having a good future too… Only time will tell.

  • @Epiphenom_blog

    I think it's clear from what Nokia's been saying over the past year that Symbian is destined for low-mid range smart phones, and MeeGo for the high end (at least , for the near future).

  • Roberto

    I sold my 3GS for my Nokia N900 and i still own my Blackberry 9700 Bold and i compare them all my Berry seems to be the one i use the most since email and messages get to me a lot faster. I like my Nokia N900 how i can just through any movies files like avi and it plays them not having to convert them and IM for Skype and Facebook wonderful. Nokia and Maemo especially Nokia having the lack of support for this phone. I know this is the first generation N900 but i hate how it reboots its self even though it is a bit better since the new update and lack of Apps. The Idea is there but they need to work on it more to make if more fun and user friendly. Android sure is calling me though so i might have to get the samsung Galaxy S or the New Iphone When it come out. Nokia you need to work on your Flag Ship Phones. More Updates, Apps and fixing it so it doesn't crash. The N900 has the good idea there but i am going to leave you for Galaxy S or New Iphone

    • Peter

      wannna sell my your nokia then xD

  • Debra Criste

    I’m a brand new Nokia n900 user from india, i need to have some help from ur all, how can i use skype in my mobile phone where by it really is not displaying the pre installed application. however i m not able to use aMSN in my cellphone whn ever i m installing it, it saying unable to set up as some installer files are missing please tell how can i use yahoo voice and movie calls and msn voice and movie calls and most significant skype.

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