Nokia Branding N97 as a Mobile Computer, Not a Phone

You probably have been reading about the Nokia N97 since its announcement at Nokia World back in January. So, you probably are not surprised by the announce that it will ship this month or the features described in the press release below. But, you probably will find reading this press release interesting reading anyway…

Nokia N97 mobile computer to begin selling worldwide in June

Why? Let’s start with its title. The Nokia N97 is branded as a mobile computer instead of a phone or smartphone. Now, read the release’s text. Do you see the word phone or voice anywhere in there? Go ahead, use your browser’s text search feature to make sure you didn’t miss it with your eyes. Neither word is found in the press release’s text.

If you didn’t already know that the N97 is a phone, you would not learn about it from this press release. I found the lack of any phone or voice call references startling. It looks like Nokia is positioning this as a competitor to netbooks instead of other smartphones. While understandable, I don’t think this is a wise move given that here in the U.S., prospective buyers will find that the N97 costs about twice as much as the typical netbook. It makes sense to at least mention that the N97 is also a capable voice phone.