I remember when the N900 was released in late 2009. The blog sphere was abuzz and everyone was genuinely excited about this brand-new platform. The videos and published images were so cool. It had beautiful graphics and the multitasking was amazing, both as far as performance was concerned (i.e. the number of apps that you could run simultaneously) and the UI. Everyone wanted one even if it was being pitched primarily as a developer device. In fact, it seemed as if Nokia was taken by surprise by the interest that people were showing in their new device and platform, and as a result they repeatedly tried to downplay its relevance as a smartphone for the masses. I even recall one article saying so explicitly, that when they asked the Nokia sales rep about the N900 that it was quite odd and frustrating to see how the Nokia rep was trying to “cool down” the excitement of the article writer.
It was thus very clear that the N900 was not aimed at the masses, and as such that Nokia wasn’t prepared to completely back the phone up. It was as if they knew that the platform was not quite feature complete yet and as such would not be suited for everyone. Maybe it was because Nokia simply did not have the team in place that could fill the gaps in the platform and therefore did not want it to take off in a big way. I don’t know. But the fact is I have yet to read a single post by people who have owned the N900 that have not said that the N900 was a great device and that it is a shame and big mystery why Nokia did not put more effort in trying to evolve the platform. Many of them still use it and I have read numerous times that the N900’s browser was the best mobile browser ever made so far. The opinions on the N900 make me regret that I didn’t pick one up when it was launched, even though I knew that certain features were missing.
I think everyone agrees that it could have been the next major mobile platform, that disruptive technology that Elop keeps referring to. So, given the rumors that Nokia will launch a MeeGo device on Tuesday the 21st, what can and should Nokia learn from the N900? It is very simple, really: if you see that people are genuinely excited about the it, if it receives a lot of press, if you see that it creates an group of devoted fans just like the N900 did, then back your phone and your device 110%! Don’t hold back, put any and all resources you have into the platform. Run with it as far as you can. And if it means that you have to steer away some resources from the Windows Phone 7 development, then do so, because at this point WP7 is just a plan, a wishful thinking, while the N9 is real and is here and is creating the buzz and the attention that you desperately need! Don’t downplay MeeGo only because you have bet all your chips on WP7 at this point. OK?
But to be honest, at this point my real and only wish is that, come Tuesday, that N9/MeeGo rumor turns out to be more than just a rumor!