It's the event you've been waiting for all year. Well, maybe not, but it's sure to be exciting, especially considering the recent partnership that Microsoft and Nokia announced. That's right, Nokia Connection 2011 is happening June 21st and there are rumors aplenty about this one. I've done some digging of my own and have come up with a prediction for what I think we'll see. We discussed this prediction as well as what other people think will happen in this week's episode of PhoneDog Live. The full broadcast, which you can watch the recording of from our YouTube channel, contains other interesting topics like the recent teaser video we saw for the Sony S1 and S2, an interesting new LG dual-screen slider phone, the HP TouchPad, and minor tidbits and rumors about other cellphones and tablets. In this article, we'll focus on the Nokia event.
Honestly, I've been so focused on Android and iOS lately that I completely forgot Nokia was even having an event. What can we expect to see? Well, Nokia has dropped a few hints. We were told that, at the event, Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, will "provide an overview of Nokia’s new strategy, the resulting new ecosystem" and this will "set the stage for a number of exciting Nokia product and service launches." Nokia also says that this will be their "biggest event of the year" and that the new product will be 'market disrupting'. Strong words, huh? So what the heck should we expect?
My prediction is that we'll (finally) see the N9, but instead of it running MeeGo as we've seen in past leaks, it will be running Windows Phone. What led me to that conclusion? Puzzle pieces. (Also, I'm not alone in this prediction.) First, Nokia said this new product would be 'market disrupting', something like we've never seen before. Well, the N9 is pretty spectacular and unique. It supports all 4 GSM bands and 5 3G bands, meaning that if you're on AT&T or T-Mobile, or live anywhere in Europe, you'll be able to access 3G speeds. We've never really seen a mainstream device like that. The second puzzle piece is in the FCC filing for the N9 where it says that the images must remain confidential until June 24th. The event is June 21st. It makes sense. Not only that but Nokia Blog got a tip in May that Nokia would delay announcing a big device until June instead of at their MeeGo Conference that month.
So that's what led me to the N9 part of my prediction. But why do I think it will be running Windows Phone when we've heard in the past that it would ship with MeeGo? Well, we originally heard that the N9 was meant to run Meego but we've also heard that it could be running Windows Phone 7. Sources said that the N9 continuously crashed when running MeeGo but 'ran like a dream' when Nokia installed Windows Phone 7 on it. Along with that, we heard that the N9 was supposed to launch at Nokia World in September 2010. We all know that didn't happen. What DID happen only four months later was the announcement of the Nokia/Microsoft partnership. It's certainly possible that Nokia was already in talks with Microsoft and other companies back in September or August and decided before Nokia World to put the N9 on hold until they could find a more reliable alternative operating system. My last puzzle piece is from Microsoft at their recent conference detailing the Mango update. There it was stated that Microsoft would have 4G Windows Phone devices this fall. The N9 is an HSPA+ device and, if announced this month, could surely be released by fall and would constitute being a part of Nokia's "new strategy and the resulting new ecosystem".
I could be wrong about this. A recent teaser video for the N9 still shows it running MeeGo. However, that's my prediction and I'm sticking to it.
We're not entirely sure what the specs will be for the N9 since we've heard two different versions. In August of last year, we got a report saying it would have a 4-inch OLED display, would be powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, would have a camera capable of capturing 720p HD video, and would be an HSPA+ device. In February, just a few months ago, we got another report saying it would instead be powered by an Intel 1.6 GHz processor but would still be an HSPA+ device, this time capable of 21 Mbps for downloads. Either way, this is going to be a killer device and could definitely be Nokia's biggest announcement of the year. I think it would be smarter for Nokia to use Windows Phone 7 for the N9 since it's pretty clear that they've scrapped Meego for Microsoft's OS, but it will be an awesome phone nonetheless.
So, what do you think we'll see? Do you think I'm crazy for thinking we'll see an N9 running Windows Phone 7? Let me know in the comments.
If you'd like to watch the next episode of PhoneDog Live, we'll be broadcasting every Friday at 5 p.m. ET from our Ustream channel. You can watch it directly from Ustream or from our Facebook page. This week's show is available to watch on our YouTube channel. The video description contains a timeline of when each topic was discussed.