Nokia Unveils New N97 Smartphone

The Nokia N97 is expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2009.
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Nokia (NOK) - Get Report, the world's largest maker of cell phones, is launching a new phone next year that is designed to compete with Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report iPhone and Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerrys at the high end of the market.

On Tuesday, the company unveiled that smartphone, the N97, which comes with a 3.5-inch touch display and a slide-out full keyboard for access to networking sites and Internet destinations.

Nokia said the phone introduces the concept of "'social location." With integrated GPS sensors and an electronic compass, the Nokia N97 mobile computer intuitively understands where it is. With the N97, users can update social networks automatically with real-time information, giving approved friends the ability to update their "status" and share their "social location" as well as related pictures or videos, Nokia said.

A part of Nokia's high-end N series of multimedia phones, the Nokia N97 is expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2009 at an estimated retail price of 550 euros ($694).

The company said the N97 is suited for browsing the Web, streaming Flash videos, playing games, blogging, sending texts or emailing.

The phone supports up to 48 gigabytes of storage, including 32 GB of on-board memory, expandable with a 16-GB microSD card for music and media.

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