The Nokia 770

May 26th, 2005

Nokia, the Finnish phone folks, have revealed a not-a-phone device: the Nokia 770. It’s a great looking, instant on, wi-fi enabled tablet device slated for a Q3 2005 launch. And get this: it runs on Debian, GNOME and GStreamer! A blurb from mobileburn:

Thanks to the 770’s massive 4.13″ diagonal, 800×480 pixel display, browsing and email should be quite comfortable. In addition to the Opera web browser and the built-in email client, the initial Q3 2005 release of the 770 will also ship with a RSS news reader, an Internet radio, various media players, a PDF viewer, and Flash v6 compatibility. A user installable software upgrade that is expected in Q1 of 2006 will introduce Voice Over IP (VOIP) and Instant Messaging to the mix.

The best thing (and one, in my opinion, which will drive adoption of this device like crazy) is that Nokia plans for the device to be open and very developer friendly. And these are not just token words - go take a look at the software platform, dubbed Maemo, for this and possibly future device(s). The site is full of developer documentation and tutorials, and it’s only just been launched! As Joel (of Gizmodo) says, “the 770 could end up being a really cool mobile computing platform that serves as the mobile media and connectivity device the PSP should have been, if Sony hadn’t locked out developers.”

Going back to the mobileburn blurb, instant messaging support is expected to come via a Q1 2006 software update. That’s funny since they’ve already ported Gaim to run on the 770. What gives? Is Nokia waiting for or better yet, funding robust voice and video support in Gaim ? Wait and watch!

Edit: Check out this new press release - Nokia announces patent support to the Linux Kernel. Linux and Nokia are now best buddies? Or just a case of Finnish folks hanging out together ;-)