Nokia Launches Thin N76, Wi-Fi-Enabled N800 Internet Tablet at CES

Company is gingerly picking its way through the mobile phone thicket by introducing one non-Wi-Fi phone and one Wi-Fi-only model

January 8, 2007

2 Min Read
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Nokia introduced two major mobile phone devices Monday, aimed at different markets—the thin N76 cell phone handset and the N800 Internet tablet with Wi-Fi and Skype calling capability.

The company is gingerly picking its way through the mobile phone thicket by eschewing Wi-Fi and Skype calling with the N76 (cell phone service providers look upon Wi-Fi as the bubonic plague), but enabling the usually free VoIP service with the tablet, which has no cell phone links. The firm also announced upgrades to existing phones.

The N76 is slightly more than a half-inch thick and features a 2-megapixel digital camera; the handset will likely compete with Motorola's Razr handset family, which has enjoyed strong sales in recent months.

In a keynote speech at the CES show in Las Vegas Monday, Nokia's president and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo promoted the connectivity concept, observing that Nokia is committed to simplifying and converging mobility over the Internet with multimedia devices.

"Single-purpose devices are becoming less attractive," he said. "And the converged devices taking their place are increasingly powerful and easy to use."While there's no Wi-Fi capability for the N76, Kallasvuo indicated that Nokia will eventually offer strong support for Wi-Fi and wide area WiMax in future products. He said Nokia will have agreements with "leading Internet companies, helping them to take their brands and content mobile." Predicting that WiMax will be a major U.S. offering in 2008, he took note of Nokia's effort to help bring WiMax to the United States in the form of infrastructure build-out for Sprint Nextel.

Nokia's partnership with Skype in the N800 Internet tablet could be a harbinger of VoIP things to come. The Skype service is expected to debut on the tablet by the end of the first half of the year. In addition to Skype capability, the N800 features Bluetooth and Webcam technologies. The device builds on Nokia's earlier 770 Internet tablet.

Also at CES, Nokia unveiled partnerships with Yahoo featuring the latter's Go Services, including instant messaging, e-mail, address book synchronization, and photo uploading. Nokia also announced a free blogging service with Six Apart.

In addition, Kallasvuo formally launched the firm's 6131 NFC handset, which integrates Near Field Communications.

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