Nokia is introducing an upgraded version of a wireless multimedia device without a phone, the company said on Wednesday, as it takes aim at Apple's iPod Touch.
The Nokia N810 Internet Tablet is intended for heavy users of Web sites, such as Google, Skype , Facebook and Flickr . It connects to Wi-Fi hot spots or Bluetooth connections, instead of cellular networks, as cell phones do.
The N810, with a price around US$479, has built-in maps and satellite navigation for getting directions, a high-resolution camera, instant messaging, and a 10-gigabyte memory card that stores up to 7,500 songs in compressed format.
"The Nokia N810 packs the power of a traditional computer into a pocket-sized format. Its open standard technology accelerates the convergence of multiple functionalities and services into a single device", said Ari Virtanen, Vice President, Convergence Products, Multimedia, Nokia. "Our new Nokia N810 offers users a true Web 2.0 experience in a compact, stylish, yet affordable package - it connects people to what matters to them."
The N810 resembles Apple's recently introduced iPod Touch Internet multimedia device, which also goes without phone features and costs $299. Nokia's new device was unveiled at a news conference ahead of the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.
Among the key differences, users can choose a touch screen, writing stylus or pop-up keyboard that hides behind its screen that is more than 4 inches across -- larger than Apple devices.
The N810 is expected to start shipping in mid-November. It uses Linux as its underlying software operating system. The wireless device carries a Mozilla-based Web browser, with fully interactive AJaX technology and an Adobe Flash 9 video player.
Nokia has worked with Google to incorporate Google Talk instant messaging features that allow users to know when other friends using Google Gmail are online. Users can also choose Skype or other Internet-calling applications.
Batteries last for two days of normal activity, Nokia said. In continuous use, the battery lasts four hours, according to product literature.
The device will first be available in North America, 15 European markets and in limited parts of Asia, officials said. The average price of the phone in Europe will be around €450.