by CIO Staff

CES: Nokia Slims Out Phone, Adds New Web Tablet

Jan 08, 20073 mins

Nokia unveiled a slim mobile phone, a mobile phone for bloggers, and an updated wireless Internet tablet with voice-over-IP (VoIP) capabilities at the CES show in Las Vegas on Monday.

The new Nseries devices let users work with music, video and images over the Internet, as single-purpose mobile devices have become less attractive to users, Nokia said.

The N76 is a 13.7 millimeter-thick clamshell phone. It contains a digital music player and 2-megapixel camera that can be operated while the phone is closed using buttons on the outside.

With an optional 2GB microSD memory card, the N76 can hold up to 1,500 songs encoded by Nokia’s Music Manager software, or 250 songs encoded at a higher data rate by other software. It can play songs in AAC or Windows Media formats, including those locked by Microsoft’s Windows Media digital rights management technology.

It also contains Nokia’s Web browser software, and can send e-mail and instant messages. The phone should ship by March and have an unsubsidized retail price of 390 euros (US$507), Nokia said.

Nokia’s new flagship blogging device, the N93i, is also focused on video, with a swivel head for shooting and viewing. It ships with a 1GB miniSD memory card, which can store 45 minutes of DVD-like quality video in MPEG-4 VGA format, Nokia said. The phone also comes with video-editing software.

The N93i has a 3.2-megapixel camera, supports wireless broadband and can handle streaming TV. Nokia said the phone should be released by March with an unsubsidized price of 600 euros ($780).

Nokia struck a partnership with blog hosting company Six Apart to make it easy for N93i users to upload voice and video to the company’s Vox blogging service. Users of some other Nseries phones can download the file settings to use the service.

The other new device, the N800 Internet Tablet, performs faster and is better at keeping continuous Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections alive than its predecessor, the 770, the company said.

Nokia is marketing the N800 as a device that offers a desktop-like Internet experience on the road. It has an on-screen qwerty keyboard and is based on the Linux open-source operating system.

The tablet will also benefit from a software update adding VoIP capabilities later this year. Nokia and Skype will jointly develop software enabling the N800 to make and receive calls over the Skype VoIP service. The software should be released for download by June, the companies said.

The N800 is available now in some European markets and the United States for $399, Nokia said.

In another agreement, Nokia said that as part of its work with Yahoo announced at CES last year, Yahoo’s Go services—comprising instant messaging, e-mail support and address book synchronizing—have been extended to Nokia’s Series 40 phones.

-Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service (London Bureau)