|Maemo powered Nokia N900|
ESPOO, Finland ( TheStreet) -- Nokia ( NOK) seems to be shaking off some of its characteristic stiffness and rolling with the times. For the second time this week, Nokia has stepped boldly into mobile computing. Switching from a stubborn attachment to its Symbian operating software, the Finnish phone giant introduced a smartphone that runs on Maemo, a Linux-based operating system. The device is basically a hand-held touch-screen computer with a 5-megapixel camera and a whopping 32 gigabytes of memory. The Maemo software runs an ARM chip, which allows for more processing power than standard smartphones and uses far less battery power than conventional PC chips.
The move comes just three days after Nokia announced it was entering the cutthroat netbook arena with a 3G Booklet later this year. Nokia has faltered in recent years as gadget leaders like Apple ( AAPL), Research In Motion ( RIMM) and even Palm ( PALM), took the lead in new touch-screen-powered smartphone designs.
The Maemo effort marks Nokia's potential revival in this very hot product segment. Nokia shares have been down 12% this year, lagging the rest of the sector. But the stock was up 5% Friday on the renewed hope for the No. 1 mobile-phone maker. -- Written by Scott Moritz in New York.