Nokia N900 coming to retailers in April

Ovi Store and Maemo app download services to merge
Nokia's N900 smartphone is the company's first to use the Linux-based Maemo 5 operating system.

Nokia's N900 smartphone is the company's first to use the Linux-based Maemo 5 operating system.

Nokia has announced its Linux-based smartphone, the N900, will be available in Australia through retailers in April, but stopped short of announcing any agreements with carriers.

The hybrid touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard N900 will be sold through consumer electronic retailers, including Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, and phone stores Crazy Johns, Telechoice and Allphones for $899 RRP.

The announcement was made at the company’s first Nokia Developer Conference in Sydney, attended by developers and content providers.

Managing director of Nokia Australia and New Zealand, Emile Baak, did not reveal any teir-1 carrier distribution deal for the N900, like those enjoyed by the iPhone and Android-based devices, the main competitor to the Maemo-based N900.

The N900 was launched globally six months ago.

Baak talked up the success of the app store locally, saying the Australian Ovi Store is in the top 15 countries worldwide in terms of downloads as well as number three in terms of global revenue.

According to Nokia, the Ovi Store serves about 1.5 million downloads a day. Nokia intends to merge the Ovi Store and Maemo application download services to provide one integrated app store for the N900.

The recent collaboration between Nokia and Intel for the Meego mobile operating system was also discussed, with Intel Australia and New Zealand managing director Phil Cronin saying the new venture is an exciting evolution in the relationship between the two companies.

The majority of Nokia’s smartphones, including the N900, ship with ARM processors, but that hasn’t stopped the company collaborating with Intel for Meego.

Purnima Kochikar, vice president of the Forum Nokia Developer Community, said the N900 offers developers the flexibility of distributing applications via the Ovi Store or through community-run services.