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Nokia scores hit with wireless internet device

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The world's largest mobile manufacturer Nokia looks to have scored a major hit with a new wireless device that doesn't have any phone functionality. The Finnish firm announced on Wednesday that, against its expectations, it is to increase production of its 770 Internet Tablet handheld after achieving huge online sales since its launch in early November. In fact, demand for the product in Europe and the US is so great that the company has currently run out of stock and customers are facing a minimum two-week wait for the device.

The sleek, pocket-sized device is Nokia's first Linux-based terminal product and is dedicated to internet browsing and e-mail communications over Wi-Fi. nokia's 770 The Tablet, which retails for EUR350, comes with a high-resolution widescreen display with zoom and on-screen keyboard, making it easy for users to view content online. The handheld also boasts a web browser with Flash player, e-mail client, internet radio, news reader, file manager and media players.

Significantly, the device, which is currently only available to purchase online, doesn't offer mobile phone functionality and its launch has been seen by analysts to be an attempt by Nokia to extend its portfolio beyond mobile phones. The product has no direct competitors in this new segment and analysts believe it could be successful as a niche product.

The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet runs on Linux-based Internet Tablet 2005 software edition, which is based on desktop Linux and Open Source technologies. The device was recently named Best Embedded Linux/Mobile Product or Initiative at the 2005 UK Linux & Open Source Awards. At the launch of the Internet Tablet back in November, the company made clear its intention to stick with Open Source technologies.

"This is the first step to creating an Open Source product for broadband and internet services," said Janne Jormalainen, vice president of convergence products, multimedia, Nokia. "We will be launching regular software updates. During the first half of year 2006 we will launch the next operating system upgrade to support more presence based functionalities such as VoIP and Instant Messaging."

Copyright © 2005, ENN

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