The Nokia N97 has been announced in Pakistan together with the global launch in 75 countries. The N97 comes at a retail price of Rs. 58,000 only, much less than the expected Rs. 65,000 price point.
Despite all the ‘hype’ about this ‘Mobile Computer, the N97 isn’t a device that will trigger knee-jerk hysteria (we have seen all those cool features before in other phones… especially the Nokia 5800), but it does give you a sort of cool-headed excitement at the prospect of ushering in a new era of personalized mobile revolution in Pakistan, which the phone promises to bring – access to the internet, music, games and even maps for navigation can be fully customized according to the person’s location and individual likes & interests; this could be access to social networks, online videos, local weather updates or RSS feeds from favorite publications, putting the user in control of their online world.
Nokia’s saying however that the phone is not meant for technophiles (that’s what i over-heard anyway). People like us keep comparing it to the iPhone, Pre, G1, Blackberry storm, etc and since it’s a flagship phone expect capacitive screens, faster CPU than the E55, more on-board phone memory and the like. No! for Nokia, the N97 is meant for the other 97% of the population which doesn’t know how to install freeware applications, doesn’t know about Fring, Facebook applications or Google maps, etc. This basically means that for the N97, Nokia is targeting the upper income mature market in Pakistan who has a lot of money to spend, primarily uses voice only and want to show everyone that they’re rich and in the know. Well can’t argue with that.
For those who’d like to know, they’re calling it a mobile computer now because it can be upgraded and new components / software can be added in just like in your desktop. After having success by bundling small applications and games, Nokia is now actively engaging the developer community and I think it is from this initiative the concept of a mobile as a computer will really take off.
Anyways, the Nokia N97 comes with Ovi Store in Pakistan too and comes preloaded with ‘global applications’, so you’ll be able to pick up any apps you like, and unlike with the iPhone, it’s not a walled garden, so you can get your programs from wherever you like online.
Photos: At the Nokia event, held at Karachi Mariott, two European models brought the phone to the venue and the Finnish First Secretary, H.E.Miia handed over the phone to the GM Nokia.
Now though i’m waiting for the N86 to be announced in Pakistan soon. It was announced back at Mobile World Congress in February and is Nokia’s first 8 megapixel cameraphone, and while it’s late to the party (Samsung and Sony Ericsson are moving on to 12MP), the Carl Zeiss optics should keep quality high (i personally loved the N82 and N85 both) and the HSDPA and Wi-Fi will let you get on the web at speed, and there’s GPS to guide you around like any self-respecting smartphone should. Now that’s something I actually want…