N8 shipments begin

Nokia’s long-awaited N8 smartphone has started shipping after several delays, but the firm still won’t confirm which markets will be the first to see the device.
 
The Finnish vendor said today that the first devices have shipped and will be delivered to customers who pre-ordered online and in stores, but notes that availability “will vary by country and operator.”
 
However, it has promised “broad availability in the coming weeks,” after a series of delays in launching the unit – the most recent of which was announced last week.
 
While Nokia gave no explanation for the most recent delay, reports stated it was to allow for last-minute de-bugging of the handset’s software.
 
The N8 is the firm’s first unit to run the latest Symbian ^3 operating system and is considered an essential part of the firm’s fight back in the smartphone market.
 
Heavy criticism of Nokia’s apparently sluggish response to the iPhone cost CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo his job, which in turn sparked a wave of resignations among senior management.
 
Analysts say new boss Stephen Elop may have to reconsider the firm’s decision not to deploy Android smartphones in light of predictions of rapid growth for the Google-backed platform.

 

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