New Nokia 3G Phone Next Week
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Nokia Australia has named the launch date for its new 3G smartphone, the N96, as it seeks to regain some of the ground it has lost to new competitors like the Apple iPhone, Blackberry Bold and HTC Touch.

Nokia Australia’s new GM, Emile Baak, will pluck the veil from the N96 slider phone at a media event in Sydney on Thursday, September 25. Invitations went out yesterday.

The N96 is being billed as Nokia’s flagship. Australian pricing is unknown but in the US it is to sell for US895 (A1089), well ahead of iPhone and Blackberry Bold pricing.

Powered by a new version of the Symbian OS, said to have been optimised for multimedia applications, it has a 2.8-inch colour screen, significantly smaller than the iPhone’s 3.5-incher, and it can connect to both 3G and
Wi-Fi networks.

But there is no indication of touchscreen technology to match Apple’s, or even HTC’s ­ a key selling point. However the N96 does have a significantly better 5-megapixel camera than the
iPhone’s 2MP model. It also has GPS navigation.

The Nokia smartphone is capable of push e-mail and instant messaging, and ­unlike the iPhone ­ there’s an Office document viewer built-in. Users can also surf the Web with an HTML browser and check the news on an RSS reader.